With many employees now finding themselves working from home most of the time, traditional methods of communication are becoming less effective. This in combination with multiple and complex systems and the plethora of emails HR and Support teams are receiving daily, is making it increasingly difficult for employees to find the information they need to support their role.
The way employees are communicating with their organisations is therefore changing and Conversational AI Assistants are helping to facilitate this change.
Changing Communication Channels
Over the last year platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams have been increasingly relied upon by employees and managers alike to communicate regardless of their location. The tool’s ability to provide instant connection and responses, as well as integrations with shared workspaces and video calls makes them the ideal communication channel for many employees.
Additionally, the instant nature of applications such as Facebook Workplace echoes the development of many popular social media platforms, making them immediately translatable for younger employees within the workplace.
A recent survey conducted by Humley exploring employee communications trends in 2021, found that 33% of employees from the Gen Z bracket preferred collaboration and instant-messaging tools over more traditional channels such as email. It is certainly, clear that the reliance on these collaboration platforms will continue to grow and perhaps even surpass emails and calls as we move towards a more hybrid model of working.
Conversational Assistants could help organisations manage the rise in demand and adoption of these communication platforms through deploying directly to them. Conversational Assistants enable businesses to provide instant responses to queries and requests such as ‘How much annual leave do I have left?’ or ‘What is the company policy on COVID-19?’, interacting with employees in the same way as an HR and Finance administrator might.
By deploying Conversational Assistant to channels such as Slack, businesses can enable functional teams (HR, Finance, etc.) to transition away from emails and calls and communicate with employees in the channels they actually use, increasing not only workforce productivity but also engagement and satisfaction.
We live in an on-demand culture and our personal lives and are used to having information at our fingertips – from being able to get 24/7 customer support to instant web browser resources, yet in a workplace, this is often not the case.
To find vital information employees are required to navigate complex systems and documents or send multiple emails which can be subject to delays in responses, resulting in frustration. Humley’s survey also found that 42% of employees surveyed struggled to find the information they need and a further 31% experience delays in email responses leading to lack of clarity, productivity, and ultimately low morale.
Conversational AI Assistants enable employees to communicate and find information whenever they need it, with no reliance on email responses or call-backs. For example, platforms such as Humley’s deliver meaningful responses in an average of 2 seconds. This means not only instant user satisfaction but also that functional teams such as HR can deliver an average 30% time saving to their day through reducing the number of email requests needing to be processed.
Additionally, Conversational Assistants such as Humley’s, also come with pre-built integrations to internal business systems (HRIS, Payroll, Finance, CRM, Sales), which means that not only can employees and managers securely access information contained within them but can also perform tasks such as updating customer records or booking holiday. Again, saving employees significant time, improving productivity, and reducing the pressure on functional teams – freeing them up to focus on more rewarding and business-critical tasks.
More Open Conversations About Wellbeing
A recent Humley Survey exploring the impact of COVID-19 on employee wellbeing found that 69% had been moderately to severely impacted by the change to remote working. With the change to more permanent remote working and reliance on digital channels of communication, it can be difficult for organisations to gauge the wellbeing of employees. This is particularly true as often we do not know that we are not OK and as result will not communicate this.
Conversational AI Assistants could be deployed by HR Teams to provide additional support for employee’s well-being by enabling them to seek advice without the need to speak to a person. This is crucial because of the stigma surrounding mental health, meaning that many people are still reluctant to discuss their wellbeing for fear of shame or judgment. Conversational Assistants, therefore, not only allow employees to remain anonymous, but also provide the right information and advice whenever they need it.
Additionally, the utilisation of Natural Language Processing (NLP) within Conversational Assistants means that they can understand and identify employee sentiment within conversations and be used to flag concerns, prompting human intervention.
For example, this could be as simple as repeated negativity identified in employee responses, which triggers a notification sent to the appropriate team leader with a recommendation to check-in. Or more complex analysis of interactions and conversation trends which help HR Teams to identify potential mental health and stress-related issues before they arise. Leading to more meaningful interactions about employee wellbeing and improving motivation and morale as a result.
The tremendous challenges of the last year and the evolution of digital channels have meant that how employees communicate with an organisation has changed. Conversational AI Assistants are part of this shift in the landscape and could enable businesses to facilitate more effective and productive employee communications, improving engagement and experiences as well as ensuring long-term success.
To find out more about how Conversational AI Assistants could transform your employee communications, get in touch today.