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AI in HR: When Employee Experience Takes Center Stage An AI-powered conversational chatbot capable of comprehending human emotions, the following things can be done in a jiffy

By Tanmaya Jain

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"Hi, I am Sasha, XYZ's smart assistant! I am here to spend a couple of minutes with you to understand how your last 2 years have been at the organisation.

The feedback you share will help us identify and address specific factors negatively affecting organizational culture and make your journey pleasant within the company.

Don't worry. I'll keep this conversation completely confidential with access provided to only a select few in my team.

Shall we begin?

Just a few years ago, the very notion of a bot that's self-aware and empathetic conversing with a human being was the stuff of science fiction. In 2019, this interaction no longer resides in theory but illustrates what has become one of the simplest, most effective ways to connect with employees, particularly in organizations where the HRBP: employee ratio can range from 1:300 to 1:1000.

In fact, a study done by Gartner confirms that organizations globally are replacing age-old annual surveys with real-time analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) driven recommendation engines to better understand the voice of the employee.

With Evolution

As the workforce evolves, so must the employee engagement models. For the human resources (HR) function in any organization, this means having a finger on the pulse of the workforce, connecting with employees frequently across channels in a manner that feels personal. A task that will seem next to impossible for a handful of HRBPs. But for an AI-powered conversational chatbot capable of comprehending human emotions, this can be done in a jiffy. Working tirelessly 24x7, it can be the perfect assistant to HR, helping them make data-driven decisions and focus their time and resources where it is actually required.

These factors are crucial for an employee's long term association with the organisation, especially as disengagement slowly compounds to a $600 billion problem for employers according to latest reports. With annual surveys still in the picture, 40per cent of HR's time is spent tracking, collecting and analyzing employee feedback with only 15.3per cent of their time spent on engagement overall.

A Revolution

AI coupled with automation can play a key role in reducing the manual effort required to collect qualitative data, derive insights, and generate reports in real-time. Sentiment analysis is a breakthrough AI technology that can help HR understand accurately and timely how employees are feeling at different scales.

AI can "learn" how a certain group of people work by observing them and can replicate the same set of behaviour. Chatbots form the interface for people to interact with the AI.

Considering that most workers may not always feel comfortable opening up to their managers or "representatives of the organization,' they need a neutral platform on which they can voice their opinions, and in turn, help HR take corrective action to shape organizational culture.

Deloitte's 2018 Global Human Capital Trends Report sheds some light in this regard. 24per cent of their respondents are using AI and robotics to perform the routine tasks. 42per cent believe AI will be deployed in the organisation in three to five years. Moreover, NLP enabled chatbots can help measure sentiments behind each employee interaction. Making interactions relatable, likeable, and fostering respect has positively shown employees open up to bots about their problems at work. The sentiments hidden behind every such interaction can reveal startling leading trends. Employees who choose to behave abusively toward an AI-driven chatbot are likely to treat co-workers the same way. Even if an employee avoids interacting with an engagement bot, it might be indicative of a deeper issue.

While AI cannot be a replacement for humans, it is merely an extension — a helping hand to leaders and the organization overall to gain better insight into their own decisions and understanding.

Tanmaya Jain

CEO and Founder of inFeedo

Tanmaya Jain is the CEO and Founder of inFeedo. Started in 2013, inFeedo is a SaaS-based predictive people analytics company that develops and deploys employee engagement solutions for the HR function, and is currently focussed on their flagship product, Amber, an AI enabled chatbot.
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