Chatbots have evolved since their first iteration in 1994, now becoming an exciting new technology that can change how organisations manage their workforce. In larger organisations, when there are hundreds of employees, vendors, and candidates to communicate with, HR can become overwhelmed quickly with keeping track of messages, requests, and questions. Chatbots can be useful in simplifying communication processes in a number of functions, making sure that messages are informative, prompt, and accurate. Unlike humans, chatbots are available 24/7, accessible from anywhere, can analyse data to provide data-driven responses, will reply quickly in any situation, and are even cost-effective.
For example, chatbots can guide recent hires through a business’s standard orientation process. A chatbot is available at any time to answer new employees questions about company policies and procedures, and to help them with standard paperwork. This allows the new employee to settle in on their own time, without feeling nervous about asking coworkers for help. A chatbot offers an interactive yet confidential platform for employees to learn about their roles and engage with their companies. During this time, the chatbot can reduce HR’s administrative burden.
Using chatbots for employee self-service isn’t restricted to onboarding, either. They can serve as a portal, offering consistent and accurate information about leave, benefits, training opportunities, or other HR-related questions. HR can then follow-up the employee’s request with an established approach, already aware of the information the employee is seeking and the steps that should be taken next.
HR can use chatbots to provide staff with reminders for performance reviews, feedback sessions, and employee surveys. They can ensure that tasks are completed according to schedule, and even analyse the data collected during these processes. By automating these reminders and events, HR can improve the timeliness, effectiveness, and efficiency of their performance management, while also supporting company compliance and employee engagement.
Wysa is one example of an AI-guided chatbot, specialising in empathetic messaging to improve employee mental health and wellbeing. This software is a demonstration of how HR can employ a chatbot to better address employee self-care, facilitating those difficult conversations at work through an anonymous portal that is clinically safe and backed by wellness experts.
It’s important to remember that balance is needed when using bots to facilitate any conversation; technical limitations of chatbots can result in predefined responses that can feel lacking when addressing complex or emotional inquiries. When HR technology like chatbots is supplemented with a human touch, and the option for person-to-person communication is also made available, HR can more easily avoid employee frustration.
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