Happy employees are more productive! Well-being at work is one of the top 3 priorities of employees in France (Malakoff Médéric study). Better communication, having a more modern image, more fluid exchanges, training, development, listening… human resources teams have so much to do! Fortunately, HR chatbots can take care of some of these tasks.
Let’s go back to the basics: a chatbot is artificial intelligence (AI) software capable of simulating a conversation with a user in natural language on different interfaces, such as messaging services, websites, mobile applications, etc.
But a human resources chatbot is more than a simple question and answer tool. An intelligent HR chatbot performs tasks and automates certain workflows. It understands the employee’s request, as in a conversation, and meets their expectations instantly. And thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, it learns and evolves throughout its life, becoming an increasingly efficient virtual assistant with each interaction.
The interest in HR chatbots is also due to their availability. They are always accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can handle requests at any time of the day, creating a real fluidity in the exchanges.
Today’s employees have new expectations and are much more demanding of human resources teams. They are used to getting everything done quickly and are very digitalized. They want prompt answers, available interlocutors, even when working from home, and above all, efficiency. No more waiting three days for an employer certificate!
In fact, for companies, internal communication or human resources have become almost like an internal customer relations department. When exchanges are fluid, information is accessible and processes are clear and efficient, the employee experience is positive. As a result, the company’s productivity is boosted and, above all, the company is more attractive to new talent.
An employee support chatbot makes it possible to keep this feeling of employee well-being alive on a daily basis. In an integrated and automated way, in the middle of routine use, a chatbot can engage in conversation to launch short satisfaction surveys, take the pulse of the company and find out what are or could be points of tension. It can also ask for an opinion or comment on the performance of a new tool, a point of the internal regulations, or feedback from employees on a training course. It is in this area of information feedback that human resources chatbots play a valuable role as facilitators.
Yes, a chatbot is not just a distributor of answers, an improved FAQ (frequently asked questions). It collects data on the needs of employees and responds to them with ever greater efficiency. And the recurrence of the same question, of the same pitfall encountered by many employees, can be a real warning signal for human resources departments. Thanks to the chatbot’s statistics, the head of Human Resources can observe, almost in real-time, communication deficits, and misunderstood or incomplete information and thus adapt its message to make it more transparent.
Some human resources chatbots can even act as a real helpdesk, whose mission would be to collect ideas and suggestions from employees. The various remarks are submitted to the chatbot, refined as they are converted, then stored and finally analyzed. In this way, the company improves its processes at the pace of its employees. The employee has the feeling of evolving in a climate of listening, understanding and consideration.
As true kings of data, chatbots process information quickly. They make it possible to perform detailed and precise analyses in record time. This allows companies to prevent a problem from persisting or getting worse. With all this information, managers can make better, more strategic decisions that are more acceptable to all staff.
Since human resources chatbots interact with employees on a daily basis, they are able to identify their needs in real-time. Beyond the time savings generated by the automation of responses, it makes it possible to better understand the levers to be used to help employees grow by offering them adapted training.
HR chatbots are a tool that enables the digitization of training processes, one of the essential steps in a company’s overall digital transformation. Employees now want mixed training: half online, half face-to-face. It’s less restrictive, more customized and faster to implement. There is no need to wait several months for a session with a training organization. Teaching can be triggered by a tutorial or e-learning almost instantly. The employee sends their request to the chatbot. If the chatbot detects a lack of knowledge on the part of the employee, it can offer them appropriate training to start immediately.
Even if sometimes a regular course with a teacher is required, the HR chatbot makes it possible to offer immediate training and meet the real needs of the employees first, before handing them over to the actual trainer. Thus, it is both the engine that raises the need and the channel that makes it possible to deliver the training! As such, the human resources chatbot is fully integrated into the educational process of a company.
And the employees evolve, progress, by getting out of the cumbersome traditional system: registration, waiting, classroom, teacher. Instead, they benefit directly from simple, adapted, innovative and practical training, accessing information at their own pace, where and when they want.
The numbers are clear: employees love chatbots. They love interacting with them and trust them to deliver reliable information. Oracle and Future Workplace’s annual AI (Artificial Intelligence) at Work report (Oct 2019) found that 64% of employees even trust an AI chatbot more than their manager.
Half of them use the employee support chatbot rather than asking their manager for advice. And compared to their direct supervisor, 26% of respondents believe that chatbots give more impartial answers, 29% believe that the chatbot solves their problems better and 26% find them better at managing a budget. This means that chatbots have a good image in companies… or managers a very bad one.
The majority of employees (65%) said they were optimistic, enthusiastic and grateful to have chatbots deployed in their company, and more than 1 in 4 employees said they found chatting with a chatbot rewarding.
And here again, the numbers don’t lie. A happy employee is 2 times less sick, 6 times less absent, 9 times more loyal, 31% more productive and 55% more creative (Harvard/MIT).
Hence the interest in giving a good impression to the new employee upon arrival. An employee support chatbot can take care of all the repetitive tasks inherent in onboarding a new recruit. It facilitates the arrival and onboarding of new employees by giving them easy access to all the information they need to understand the company’s operations. The assistant accompanies the newcomer so that they can quickly get settled in and feel at ease in the company.
The HR chatbot can also propose the name of one of the company’s employees to complete its information. This method promotes exchanges and communication within the organization and helps to build confidence in employees from their first days on the job.
As these figures show, giving employees cutting-edge, powerful digital tools, such as an HR chatbot, helps improve their positive perception of the company. Not only is their employee experience positive on a daily basis with ease of use and optimized access to information, but above all, it conveys a modern and digital image of the company.
Moreover, a survey conducted in 2016 for the Mobile Ecosystem magazine indicated that 74% of employees saw the chatbot as a tool to enhance the innovative image of a company or institution. This positive image reinforces employee satisfaction and boosts the organization’s attractiveness to young talent.
HR chatbots, software, SAAS, brand new premises, designer furniture – many criteria play a role in employee well-being. Of course, HR chatbots alone cannot be responsible for a positive employee experience and a caring corporate culture.
Nor should they exist in isolation or be seen solely as replacements for humans. They must be integrated into the company’s culture and processes, make life easier, remove what is boring and repetitive, and pass the baton to humans. Because we are talking about virtual assistants, not replacements.
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