AI in HR can help optimise employee efficiency: Santanu Banerjee of Bajaj Allianz
Currently, artificial intelligence is the core of the global workforce. Both in terms of the employee functions and employee management, businesses have identified analytics and AI as the keys to success. In one of the reports, IBM writes, “AI enables HR organisations to deliver new insights and services at scale without ballooning headcount or cost.” The report also noted that AI is an umbrella term that encompasses areas such as machine learning and cognitive computing.
To understand how this umbrella optimises HR functions, we spoke with Santanu Banerjee, CHRO of Bajaj Allianz Life. During the interaction, he also cast light on how Bajaj Allianz is using AI and data analytics to ease out the manual functions of their HR professionals and enable a better strategic approach.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
How do you look at AI hand-in-hand with data analytics making a difference in the HR functions in the coming years?
Implementation of AI in human resources function can optimise employee efficiency, reduce human bias, and help build a more cohesive workplace. Data analytics, together with differentiated AI models can offer deep macro and micro insights to drive business outcomes and the ‘People’ agenda. Investing in AI and data analytics to augment HR processes will help companies attract and retain quality talent, facilitate engagement and enable data-driven decision-making.
An article published by IBM states, “AI can enable HR to become more efficient with its funding.” Do you agree with this? Why?
As all functions, HR has also evolved tremendously over the years.
Every aspect of the function is now either completely or partially automated, and digitised within the organisational ecosystem… to the extent that 3 of our critical HR processes at Bajaj Allianz Life now run on Robotic process Automation without human intervention.
AI in the HR function will lead to a more personalised, customised, real-time and agile experience for the employees.
Whether it is by embedding AI across the employee’s journey or on payroll management or any other aspect of the function, AI will enable automation, with significant improvement in employee experience, retention rate and engagement index.
What new doors can AI and analytics open for the HR professionals, which otherwise would remain unexplored?
Advanced tech and digital solutions like AI and analytics can help HR unlock new opportunities for improving efficiencies in multiple areas, such as:
- Personalised nudges and proactive triggers to employees at various touchpoints including learning
- Predictive analytics for better employee retention & real time performance interventions.
- Real-time continuous employee listening & sentiment analysis through AI bots
- Robotic Process Automation of routine repeat HR processes
- Customised learning and upskilling journey for better succession.
Does AI have the capability to help with skills mapping within an organisation? If yes, how? If not, why?
Yes, I believe that AI has the capability to help with skills mapping within an organisation. With implementation of Learning Experience Platforms, AI based customised learning journeys for employees have helped build an agile workforce.
Several HR managers are now collaborating with functional team leaders across the enterprise and adopting AI to assess the employee performance trajectory and build agile performance interventions.
Additionally, AI can be used to provide customised learning and upskilling programs to help employees develop in structured roles as per the talent management and succession-planning framework.
What is the status of Bajaj Allianz Life in terms of adopting AI for the HR functions?
As an organisation focusing on customer centricity, Bajaj Allianz Life strongly believes that happy employees can make happy customers. Even before the pandemic, we were strong on our digital transformation journey for our employees. We have been quick to adopt AI and bring the required agility in our HR processes across various stages of an employee lifecycle:
- Introduced RPA (robotic process automation) for simplifying processes related to payroll, grievances, separation, leaves, etc.
- Leveraged WhatsApp – our AI-based conversational bot (iSolve) is used for all important company announcements, information broadcast, and employee query management
- Recently launched AI-enabled learning platform called INSTALEARN 2.0, for facilitating customised learning journeys of employees matching their skill sets
- Application of predictive index-based assessment to hire candidates above a threshold quality score
In addition, we are also exploring analytics and AI in key processes such as predictive analytics for talent retention, AI-based employee listening, recruitment and performance management, etc. to name a few. Such initiatives are enabling Bajaj Allianz Life to become an agile, future-ready organisation with advanced HR-tech capabilities.