AI/ML at Workplace
This pandemic has taught us many things and one of them is remote working. On the one hand, Work from Home has some advantages like saving on travel time, able to work from anywhere but on the other hand, there is no alternative to social life. We as humans not just communicate with words but our communication includes words, facial expressions, body language, etc. Remote working has impacted corporate social life, impacted communication. All these things may lead to more anxiety, stress on people's minds. Remote working will be a norm even after the covid period, now many of the companies are looking to build hybrid models of working, this means HR needs much more sophisticated tools to support their employees in every aspect.
As we have stepped into 2021, it's important to invest more in technology-center for employee needs. The traditional approach of HR management was anyway getting ineffective even before covid, now with the new changes in the workplace driven by covid, HR space needs a complete rethink and requires investment in Data and Analytics.
This has been proven that a company operation is much more efficient and effective when the morale of the workforce is high, when the employee engagement with the work and overall company is high, when the air is positive & thoughts are optimistic. This has a profound impact on the overall growth of any company.
Achieving this is not easy for any HR, the challenges increase as the organization grows and the workforce becomes more and more diverse. The remote working is going to add another level of complexity to it. All the traditional methods of HR enrolment like periodic surveys, HR connect, escalation system, etc are becoming less and less effective.
So how do we address these?
When you start a company and have a small team of 10 members, it's easy to have personal connections with each of them, it's easy to build engagement and morale. It's easy to understand if someone is going through a rough period due to his/her personal or professional life. It's easy to understand individuals' problems and address them on time.
But when those 10 members team becomes 100k+ members, how to achieve the same level of engagement and how to provide the same level of support to every member of the company. This is a herculean task that can’t be solved by adding more HR resources or any of the traditional means. There is a clear need to invest in technology for employees, we need smarter HR who is driven by data and provides timely and proactive solutions to the employee. Some of the key benefits the HR bot brings to the tables are -
Trustless & Always Available:
A bot is more trustworthy than any human being, an employee is most likely to trust a bot more and be more comfortable to share his/her challenges with the work, feedback for the work, and any personal and professional problem that he/she is going through. This can help build trust and authenticity with the large and diverse workforce. Also, BOT can be available 24/7 with the employee to voice their concerns and suggestions.
Data Authenticity & People Analytics:
The interaction with the bot is very direct with the end employee, this means the feedback to the management can go in a very direct and transparent way. There is less scope of getting misrepresented as there is no human interaction in between. All this data can become a great source of analytics, these analytics can help drive the right decisions for the organization and the people. This would help boost employer-employee relationships.
Proactive & Timely support means better employee retention:
The Data gathered by a bot could help understand the challenges being faced by individuals and accordingly the right option can be presented to the employee. The idea is to identify and solve the problem before they reach the tipping point. Say someone is looking for a growth opportunity or looking for new challenging works, a potential role inside the organization can be suggested right there. If a team is overburdened and stressed for a long period, then management can provide alternatives to help solve some of these problems.
All these small steps can lead to a much better retention rate for top talent, this means you need to invest fewer HR efforts on new hiring and this also means you are saving overall cost as generally replacements cost more.
While technology plays a vital role in building a platform and providing insights, it's very important to have a strong employee relations strategy in place to act on these insights in a more meaningful way. The year 2021 is the time to give as much focus to employees as we give to a customer, this would help build a very productive and engaging work culture.