Since the pandemic transformed the work culture, employees have never been happier, more productive, and more satisfied with their work. They seem to be enjoying the new remote and hybrid work model, mainly because it offers them the much-needed flexibility they have always wanted. However, the current work model has its fair share of disadvantages, with employee engagement being the most pressing.
While working remotely, employees don’t feel as engaged with their respective teams as they do when working in the office or hybrid work model. Zoom meetings and video conferences intend to fill this gap, but there’s only so much they can do, mainly because they don’t offer an in-person experience. There are also predictions about the metaverse making employee engagement a breeze by delivering immersive experiences, but we know it will take some time before becoming a reality.
So, with employee engagement coupled with team collaboration posing troubles for organisations, HRs and employers may feel helpless and need instant solutions to their organisational problems.
Requesting every employee to return to the office will likely lead to higher turnover since more and more employees now prefer work from home or hybrid work opportunities to work-from-office jobs. Offering higher wages and giving them a raise will most likely significantly impact employers’ bottom line. So, organisations seem to be in a tight spot currently. But as they say, there’s always a silver lining around the dark clouds. For HRs and employers, the silver lining is AI-driven virtual assistants.
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AI virtual assistants are the new normal
Many companies worldwide have been relying on chatbots for customer support for quite a few years now. But unlike chatbots that work on pre-set conversations and answers to queries, virtual assistants interact with humans more human-like.
Virtual assistants rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to extract information and complex data from conversations and process the gathered data to provide better, more personalised, and more accurate solutions to queries. They use the past data and experience, just like humans, to make better recommendations, decisions, and predictions. Some virtual assistants can even start a conversation using their vast library of experiences and examples processed at lighting-bolt speed.
How AI virtual assistants are reshaping the world of HR
Virtual assistants provide solutions to a host of organisational problems. With their implementation, organisations can allow their employees the flexibility they want and reduce employee turnover to a great extent.
Let’s see a few cases of virtual assistants for HR:
Making the onboarding process a breeze: The first day on the job can be exciting as well as taxing. Going through piles of paperwork and company policy documents can consume a lot of time and drain employees mentally. A virtual assistant can make this slow and taxing onboarding process a breeze, introduce employees to its HRMS and other portals and guide them through non-disclosure documents, tax forms, and other policies. Not only does it help employees have an easy time, but it also frees up HRs and allows them to do other things to make new employees feel engaged.
Helping employees with benefits enrollment: Although crucial, benefits enrollment can be frustrating and confusing for employees. They often struggle to understand the process and spend hours filling up the benefit forms. This is where employee virtual assistants can be of great help. They can collect the required details from employees and shoulder their burden, saving them from the hectic form-filling process.
Bridging the gap between HR and employees: Since employees started working from home, communication has been a significant hurdle. HR can’t communicate with the employees working from home as effectively as possible. Likewise, employees can’t convey their messages to the HR department in real-time. But for a company to operate productively and grow, communication must flow freely across all teams. This is where virtual assistants come to the rescue, acting as a bridge between employees and the HR department.
Employees can seek answers to their queries through the HR virtual assistant, and if not satisfied, they can request the assistant to connect them with the concerned HR person in real-time. This way, these assistants do an excellent job of establishing clear communication between employees and HR.
Training and assessments done right
Gone are the days when training through PowerPoint, handbooks, manuals, and the internet were a thing. Today, these tools hardly work and often overload the employees, preventing them from retaining as much information as they should.
Employee virtual assistants can ensure every employee undergoing training gets the most out of the process. They can provide employees with bite-sized information in an easy-to-under, digestible format. They can also carry out employee assessments, evaluate employee knowledge and behaviour, and provide feedback based on the evaluation to both employees and the management.
Employee surveys are made easier
HR and higher management often struggle to gather data on what employees feel about the company’s culture, what they would like to change, what they feel deters their performance, etc. Carrying one-on-one meetings doesn’t help either, since most employees can’t be straightforward and share their honest opinions. This is where HR virtual assistants can help.
Virtual assistants can ask employees to share their feedback on the company’s policies and culture, suggestions, and problems, whether anonymously or publicly, and submit the data to the HR team. Hence, they take instant actions to make employees feel more connected and engaged. These assistants also free up the HR team to focus on activities that boost employee morale and confidence, driving optimised results.
The bottom line
While AI virtual assistants and chatbots can’t replace human HRs, they can provide HR with much-helpful data to create and implement a strategy that keeps everyone connected and engaged. Perhaps, that is why more and more organisations are leveraging virtual assistants to keep their business running smoothly. If you think your employees aren’t as engaged and productive as they should be, consider turning to AI virtual assistants today.
Reference: AI Virtual Assistants in HR: Opening the Door for Employee Engagement |Muddu Sudhakar | 16 Mar 2022
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