HR Chatbots: Using AI to Engage Employees

Our world keeps moving online — and work is no exception. While it has its benefits, working remotely removes the opportunity to bump into each other in the hallway, have an impromptu chat, or even take colleagues out to lunch. Without frequent two-way conversations, it’s tough for managers to establish and maintain relationships with their employees, make meaningful changes, and encourage better performance.

Thankfully, the power of AI can help keep all employees connected and engaged through intelligent HR chatbots that give employees a way to voice their concerns at any time. When employees can express themselves anonymously whenever they need to, they’ll feel more engaged — and you’ll have access to real time feedback you can use to address critical issues at your organization.

Discover how AI and HR chatbots power the new engagement conversation.

Take a look at how HR chatbots can change your workplace and the best ways to start using them.

Why HR chatbots?

An HR chatbot harnesses the power of AI to converse with employees or prospective employees, driving the digital employee experience. They use natural language processing to converse with users via websites, apps, phones, and other messaging applications.

Chatbots work because so many people are already familiar with digital communication. Business Insider research indicates that the top four messaging apps have more monthly active users than the top four social networking apps, and over half of users between the ages of 18 and 55 in the U.S. have interacted with chatbots.

HR chatbots provide an always-on channel for employees to communicate with your organization. This empowers employees to provide valuable feedback, anonymously, at any time. HR chatbots make giving feedback an ongoing conversation, providing managers with the data they need to institute meaningful changes quickly.

How to improve the employee experience with HR chatbots

HR chatbots can dramatically improve employee performance and the bottom line — when used effectively. Here are two of the most impactful ways to use HR chatbots.

Collect and understand employee feedback

HR chatbots are a great way to proactively request feedback, using AI to scale human-to-human connection. Many enterprises still rely on the dreaded annual survey to obtain feedback from their employees. These surveys take a significant amount of time to analyze, so the results are no longer actionable by the time the process is complete.

Annual surveys must be replaced with realtime reactions and suggestions. A 24/7 chatbot offers employees opportunities to share their thoughts whenever it’s convenient for them. The best chatbots make soliciting feedback casual and intuitive, asking employees to communicate how they are feeling with a simple emoji. And whatever information employees share with chatbots is easily anonymized, so employees can share how they truly feel.

On the back end, machine learning capabilities turn regular feedback into personalized suggestions for each employee. Chatbots can measure employee engagement in terms of their role, personal development, perception of leadership and company strategy, and even their work-life balance. Managers can use chatbot guidance to develop plans of action that direct reports will be receptive to. Bots can also surface negative team dynamics that supervisors may not be aware of, and leaders can use chatbot data to inform how they confront these problems, whether that be through face-to-face discussions or organizing activities to increase collaboration and team bonding.

The best part is that HR chatbots can reveal whether or not the changes managers make actually improve employee engagement. When things aren’t working, managers can quickly adapt their approach instead of waiting for a whole year to go by.

Stay connected with remote employees

It’s no secret that HR professionals are struggling to engage employees who are now working from home. Remote employees can feel lonely and detached from the goings-on at your company, but HR chatbots help bridge the gap. Chatbots promote interaction by letting all employees connect with HR at any time and by asking thoughtful questions about how employees are feeling. You can make HR chatbots available on any channel, 24/7, so remote employees are never left isolated. Consider customizing your chatbot to pop up on your intranet or on messaging apps that employees use, like Slack or Teams, to further increase engagement.

Learn how AI is changing the workplace in fundamental ways.

Overcoming HR chatbot challenges

Of course, implementing an HR chatbot isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers. Confidentiality is just one of many issues that are sure to be on employees’ minds when they first use the chatbot. The good news is that HR teams know a thing or two about privacy. In fact, they deal with sensitive data all the time. Opt for a chatbot with built-in encryption and permissions systems to authorize specific individuals to view and act on confidential information.

HR teams might be worried that most bots can only help them so much. When a bot can’t assist an employee, it immediately routes the inquiry to a human, only creating more work for HR. That’s why you should look for an AI-based chatbot that learns over time. They’re programmed to learn employee preferences and patterns over time to provide data-driven recommendations. These suggestions empower both managers and employees alike.

Accessibility can be another issue with HR bots. If chatbots are only available during certain hours, employees will be less likely to respond to them. The best chatbots are accessible anytime, anywhere and are easy for anyone to use.

Open a 24/7 feedback channel with an HR chatbot

HR chatbots are a game-changer in the world of engagement. They serve as a much-needed outlet for employees and serve up additional insights to managers looking to understand what makes each member of their team tick.

The key to achieving these results is choosing the right engagement software. Achievers Listen is an end-to-end engagement platform that comes with a premier HR chatbot named Allie. Allie is designed with science in mind, delivering the same atmosphere employees might expect from a mentoring session. Allie learns from the responses she gets, asking more specific questions and giving more pointed feedback to employees’ managers over time. With state-of-the-art encryption methods, any information employees share with Allie is safe.

“Allie guides employees through more in-depth questions regarding their engagement levels— resulting in richer feedback. The responses of our employees will allow ECI to take more timely action on areas negatively impacting our employee engagement. Additionally, it will allow us to reinforce those actions that strengthen the engagement of our employees.” – Andrew Pryor, SVP of HR, ECI Software Solutions

Beyond Allie, Achievers Listen makes gathering and addressing employee feedback easy with pulse surveys, data analysis and reporting, and guidance for taking collaborative action in response to feedback. Find out how you can start serving your employees better by scheduling a free demo of Achievers Listen today.

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Achievers Employee Success Platform delivers proven employee recognition, continuous listening tools and timely coaching tips for organizations to give their people ownership of the employee experience and to drive organizational success. To learn more, visit www.achievers.com.

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