HR Teams have been placed under an inordinate amount of pressure as a result of the pandemic, with much of their time being taken up with emergency planning, changes to working policies, and dealing with huge numbers of employee questions. All of this, although vital to ensure the continuity of business operations, means that they are not able to focus on the tasks that matter to them – the employee experience.
HR plays an essential role in keeping employees connected, and crucially in these challenging times, supported. Yet these pressures and constraints on their time means that providing this essential contact can be difficult.
In fact, a recent study conducted by Humley found 31% of UK full-time employees are struggling with a lack of connectivity and feeling of isolation from their organisations resulting in low morale and motivation.
AI technologies, such as Digital HR Assistants, could help HR Teams by freeing them up to address these challenges and provide better support employees.
Reducing the time pressure on HR and improving employee experiences
HR teams receive 100s if not 1000s of employee queries every day with the vast majority of these are related to similar topics. Types of communications HR Teams typically receive include but are not limited to annual leave requests, payroll, policy information, and even meeting room booking and timesheet updates.
Responding to these is not only time-consuming for the HR team but manually intensive, particularly at volume, leading to delays in responses and in some cases leads to misinformation if the employee seeks an answer from an unverified source.
Additionally, Employees may also be required either navigate complex systems such as HR or Sales platforms to find information or even worse, are reluctant to ask the questions in the first-place inhibiting productivity.
Therefore, providing employees with the ability to effectively ‘self-serve’ when and wherever they are is becoming a top priority for HR and technology leaders.
How technology can help
Digital HR Assistants enable employees to find the information they require and automate tasks 24/7 within a conversational interface – effectively providing them with the ability to ‘self-serve’. Minimizing the need to navigate complex systems and reducing the number of repetitive emails and associated tasks HR teams need to handle.
Not only do these platforms remove the repetitive admin work from HR Teams freeing them up to focus on more important actions, but they also enable organisations to communicate more effectively and consistently across their remote workforce – creating a unified and comprehensive support and engagement system.
This will be essential in ensuring that employees are informed and compliant but also connected regardless of their location, ensuring that they are productive, happy, and motivated.
But won’t HR become too transactional?
HR by its very nature is people-focused. With the need for making a human connection being intrinsic to the role and for supporting employees throughout their lifecycle. There is, therefore, a justifiable concern that AI will make HR too transactional – alienating HR Teams from employees and creating even greater isolation and unhappiness.
Contrary to this widely held belief, AI is not designed to replace “humans” within the HR function.
To dispel this myth, we must first understand the purpose of AI within a business application. Despite, what the movies and media have been portraying for decades, it does not eradicate Humans.
For example, technology applications such as Digital HR Assistants are great tools for providing employees with on-demand support and information, however, they do not replace interpersonal and empathetic traits that are intrinsic to the HR role.
This is why many applications are built with ‘Human in the Loop’.
This feature means more complex and sensitive queries that require the human touch are seamlessly handed over to a member of the HR Team. However, it is only through streamlining repetitive tasks and queries that HR Teams can be freed up to focus on these more important areas of employee support.
AI applications, therefore, should be used to augment HR teams not to replace them, extending their capabilities and reach by freeing them up from repetitive administration tasks to focus on building relationships with employees and developing support structures for the workforce.
In these challenging times, it is more important than ever that HR Teams can connect with employees to ensure they are supported. Through combining technology and human support, HR Teams will be able to ensure the well-being and future success of their organisations and people.
To find out more about how technology can help empower HR Teams, get in touch today.