Pandemic brought on many changes, not just in our home life but also in our work life. With remote work being our reality, employee engagement becomes a little tricky.
Even though remote work has come as a blessing by giving the flexibility to work from anywhere, the system started to show cracks by diminishing lines between personal and professional life. The endless scheduled meetings are even in the usual off-hours or unavailable because of more personal commitments or just plain home chores.
But not all bad news, the HR team became the focal point for making remote work our reality. Before the pandemic, HRs basically worked in a siloed process to improve employee experience during onboarding, engage employees in the company’s physical engagement activities, and resolve the employee’s doubt. Hiring candidates who were looking for remote work or living nearby and able to commute quickly was the priority.
But with the pandemic, the HR team became crucial for arranging remote work for all new and old employees and also for ensuring a positive onboarding process for new employees. But for that, even they had to rethink and bring in tools like chatbots virtual platforms for enabling remote work for the entire organization and still be able to stay connected.
Covid has made everyone rethink what the future of work looks like. But one positive change that the pandemic got for us is that it acted as a catalyst for the adoption of artificial intelligence technology like virtual assistants for not just customer engagement but also for employee engagement. The latest research shows that 13% of HR teams are already using some form of virtual assistants for employee engagement, 21% are in the process of getting a chatbot to improve their employee productivity, and 75% of HRs are in the decision phase for employing a chatbot.
In this blog, we will explore how HR chatbots can help improve employee engagement and productivity. But to understand that, we should be aware of the problems or challenges involved in remote working. Also, what an HR chatbot is, so let’s first look at that.
What is an HR Chatbot?
An HR Chatbot enables, among other technological features AI, document cognition and natural language processing for conversing with employees and providing them with any company document that they may need like the company’s policy, holiday list, etc.
Now with remote work, we have seen that sometimes it can take a while to resolve some queries by relying on emails or direct messages, especially if it is related to remuneration, team events, or event organizing a one-on-one session with the team lead or manager. Then why not automate the whole process with an HR chatbot?
Why is an HR chatbot crucial for employee engagement?
Now that work from home has become our reality, they need a centralized tool for all work. Hoping from one app to another to search for some information is firstly very tiresome but also time-consuming. An HR chatbot integrated with the messaging platform like Slack, Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, workspace, etc., can help employees get all information and stay connected with their colleagues from the same platform. The employees already using remote engagement could help them with the same without the hustle of switching applications.
Moreover, if you automate the onboarding process, you save a lot of time that goes in manual tasks.It can provide them with the necessary documents, information about the team and project and even help them book one on one seasons with teammates or group meets, and all this with the personalized conversation with the HR virtual assistant. By providing a personalized experience, HR virtual assistants even alleviate a positive employee experience and work environment, which in turn improves employee productivity and retention.
Most importantly, chatbots take out the mundane and repetitive HR and employee conversations like queries on benefits, holiday lists, remuneration, payslip, etc. Employees can simply engage with the HR virtual assistant and get the answer to their queries from anywhere and anytime. HRs can then focus on more important tasks and unique or complicated queries that need special attention. You can also use Perkbox.com which has an excellent resource on launching an employee assistance program that enables you to help your staff with personal or workplace issues that might be impacting their performance, wellbeing, and mental or physical health.
5 Ways HR Chatbots improve employee engagement and productivity
HR chatbots have the potential to impact many key areas of HR functions. From automating recruitment, onboarding, providing answers to the employees, and making the company’s knowledge base readily available over the messaging platform they already use for engaging with their colleagues or for staying connected with the company while working remotely.
#1. Document Cognition for knowledge sharing
Most of the time, employees ask questions that are repetitive and can be automated with the aid of a chatbot. Some of the types of repetitive queries that can be automated by the chatbot are:
- Holiday list
- Remuneration question
- Leave Balance
- Password resets
- Competitive insights
- Company’s goals
- Company’s product deck, etc.
Instead of waiting on HR, employees can just chat with a virtual assistant on their preferred messaging platform and get their queries resolved. For instance, they can share their preferred appreciation gift for hard work or team-building ideas. You can even create FAQs on the chatbot so that employees don’t have to hassle a lot to search for repetitive queries.
Apart from this, by enabling document cognition for your chatbot, you can even empower your employee to simply chat with the hr virtual assistant and get the documents they need from the bot.
All that the employees have to do is log in to the company’s messaging platform. Instead of messaging other colleagues and HR for information, just chat with the virtual assistant and get documents or reply to their queries in a jiffy.
#2. Gather employee feedback and gather eNPS data
Another amazing way you can leverage a chatbot is as a survey bot. Automatically and easily gather info like employee net promoter score through the company’s messaging platform like Slack, Teams, or react and use this data to improve the work environment. Employees can simply chat with the bot on their messaging platform and give their responses based on the cards that you provide and, through bot orchestration, pass this information to the backend bot for eNPS calculation.
Note: eNPS is the measure of employee satisfaction and experience. It is based on NPS, and a score above 50 is considered good.
HR chatbots make the whole feedback process into an easy conversation, like the one you would have with your friends. It basically provides you and the company CXOs with information for improving work culture quickly.
#3. Automate onboarding with an HR chatbot
The onboarding process has a lot of repetitive activities and conversations. Thus, giving a lot of scope for automating the onboarding tasks.
One of the best ways iis to get the new hire logged in to the company’s messaging platform like Slack. Then Slack or your messaging platform can act as an all-in information provider and a medium to connect with other teammates and colleagues. The new hire does not have to switch from app to app to initiate onboarding, get company and project information, or even connect with other teammates.
The new hire can just log in to the company’s messaging platform and start chatting with the HR virtual assistant for:
- providing his documents,
- getting company’s data,
- Project data
- Competitive intelligence
- booking meetings with the team manager and other teammates,
- apply for an ID card, etc
#4. Company’s update and wishes
Another task that acts as an ad-hoc in HR’s life is sending out company updates or even organizing employee birthday celebrations, especially when we are all working remotely.
Rather than tracking employee birthdays on siloed sheets and databases, you can ask your employees to add this data during onboarding or logging in the bit and post that the bot will remind you of upcoming birthdays and events and send automated wishes to the employees.
The bot can, on the back end, even connect with the vendors on your request to send the company’s birthday wishes and gifts to the employees.
The chatbot can even take birthday wishes from the entire office and then share them with the employee.
You can even use the chatbot to send any new company updates or new events that you are organizing to the company to ensure maximum employee engagement.
#5. Personalized self-serve experience 24/7/365 days
Providing a personalized self-serve knowledge base is one of the most obvious ways an HR chatbot improves employee experience and productivity.
A chatbot provides a personalized, almost human chat experience to your employees for providing any company or personal experience. And this they can leverage from anywhere and from any device – 24/7/365 days. Employees don’t have to rely on other colleagues or HR for basic or complicated information. They can simply chat with the bot on the messaging platform and get the insights or documents they are looking for.
You can automate almost all repetitive and mundane conversations and tasks using a chatbot. And the pandemic has shown us the viability and promise conversational AI technology has. And not just for customer engagement but also for connecting employees in an organization. HR virtual assistants provide an always-on platform for engaging, conversing, researching, showing their grievances, or for just searching a document.