After a relentless two years, HR teams are exhausted. A recent report found that 98% of HR decision makers said the pandemic had transformed their role, with 70% saying this had been one of the most challenging years of their career. People management platform, Lattice, found that 42% of HR professionals say their team faced an overwhelming number of projects and responsibilities while 41% are understaffed.
The issues continue to pile up. The demands on HR teams increase. But with limited people and hours in the day, what’s the solution?
Thankfully, technology is here to provide a much needed helping hand in the form of digital assistants that can automate the manual work that takes up huge amounts of HR team’s time, and streamline processes to provide better, more instant and accessible HR tools for staff – whether they be office based, field agents or front-line workers.
Here are 5 ways digital assistants can help HR teams:
1. Better onboarding for new starters
With The Great Resignation comes an ever greater need to hire and onboard people to fill vacant positions. Quality onboarding can not only create more engaged and productive employees, but also help lengthen retention and loyalty too. For example, 53% of HR professionals say employee engagement increases when onboarding is improved, and 69% of employees are likely to stay with a company for 3+ years if they experience great onboarding.
Clearly there is a real need for quality onboarding, and yet 76% of HR leaders say employee onboarding practices are underutilized at their organization.
An automated onboarding assistant can easily provide a consistent and quality onboarding experience while also automatically answering all those commonly asked questions employees have when they start a new job. Plus, you can also easily check in with new starters over time with new starter surveys that ensure employees are feeling good and allow them to suggest onboarding improvements for the future.
2. Training and upskilling staff
Staff training is also a major focus for HR teams, and for good reason – 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.
Better trained staff not only create better performing staff, but also more engaged and loyal employees. It’s a huge missed opportunity then that nearly 59% of employees claim they had no workplace training at all, and most of their skills were self-taught.
This is another area where bots and digital assistants can help – whether it be automated reminders that let new and existing staff know about learning opportunities that are available, or even gathering feedback on the types of training materials that staff would like to have more access to.
Learning and development isn’t just about the obvious work based skills either. UK restaurant chain, Honest Burgers, created “Honest College” – a personalized training tool that not only upskilled staff on topics directly related to their job, but also helped them improve with areas outside of work – such as financial literacy and money management.
If your company uses Microsoft Teams then make sure you check out our free training assistant too! Similarly, digital assistants and bots have the potential to greatly improve functions like payroll systems by streamlining processes and reducing errors. For example, visitor management software can automate the process of tracking employee attendance, ensuring that accurate records are kept and reducing the need for manual data entry.
3. Appreciating and rewarding employees
According to Harvard Business Review, 72% of businesses agree that recognition impacts engagement positively, while Deloitte found that employee productivity and performance are 14% higher in organizations with recognition programs than in those without them. Furthermore, 44% of employees switch jobs because of not getting adequate recognition for their efforts while 63% of employees who feel recognized are unlikely to look for a new job.
If employers want an easy way to combat The Great Resignation – it starts with saying thanks. And not just from managers, but creating public ways for peers to thank each other.
Globe Telecom, one of the biggest telecommunications companies in Asia Pacific, created a digital assistant called Wanda to help supercharge their corporate recognition efforts. Wanda received thousands of appreciations in the first few weeks, and a 900% increase in recognition year on year.
4. Gather feedback and ideas
Gathering feedback and encouraging staff to share their ideas is another critical part of a healthy workplace. 64% of HR leaders say an always-on feedback tool is essential to an engagement listening program, but only 20% have this kind of tool in place – and the feeling is mutual, with 58% of employees wishing their company conducted employee engagement surveys more frequently.
Similarly, only 45% of frontline staff share their ideas with senior team members, 25% of employees have had an idea but never told anyone and a further 38% have shared their idea only for it to be ignored.
Digital assistants can not only provide a reliable and automated mechanic for sending out regular pulse surveys, but also allow staff to easily share their feedback or ideas with central teams whenever they have them – whether they’re using a computer in an office or a mobile phone in a store.
5. Promoting employee wellness initiatives
According to Wellable’s Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report, mental health is at the top of everyone’s minds with 9 out of 10 employers planning to invest more in this area. The impact of the last 2 years has been significant, with 78% of employees saying the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health, and 76% indicating that companies should be doing more.
Wellness initiatives such as active listening, empathetic leadership, revisiting company values and providing access to wellness programs and resources can all have a positive impact on staff – both inside and outside of work. Bots and Digital Assistants can be a great way of driving awareness of these initiatives and ensuring they’re accessible whenever staff need them – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
At The Bot Platform we’ve been helping HR teams from around the world build a better employee experience while also saving their staff time, freeing up resources and allowing them to focus manual hours on the areas that matter most.