How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Humanize Your HR Department

When you think about artificial intelligence (AI), it’s not likely that you think of humanization. However, despite initial associations, more computerized technologies have a strong potential to help organizations across the globe feel more ‘human’.

A recent study by PWC found 63% of consumers believe AI will help solve complex problems that plague modern societies. In contrast, around 54% of those surveyed worry AI will reduce availability of jobs.

Only time will tell the full impact of AI technologies on society. However, within human resources, AI likely won’t replace jobs; instead, automated technology allows HR departments to become more impactful. Having better automation frees up time, allowing professionals to monitor employee details at a faster, accurate rate, while strengthening compliance, analytics, and data-driven decision making.

Increased Time for HR to Make a Larger Impact

As a result of a more streamlined process, HR professionals have more time to make a larger impact, helping to innovate, grow, and evolve company culture – which can result in stronger company profits.

Here are some of our favorite ways HR professionals can use time gained from AI technologies:

Boost Your Onboarding Efforts
Time gained from utilizing automated technology can allow you to re-examine the employee experience from team members’ first day on the job and onward. 76% of HR leaders say employee onboarding is currently underutilized in their organizations. To gain a competitive advantage, your team can focus on creating and implementing new onboarding strategies, which could impact employee retention. First impressions are important, as 69% of employees say they are more likely to stay with a company for at least three years – if they have a great onboarding experience. Employee turnover costs companies as much as 33% of an employees’ salary so the stakes are high and could lead to a large return-on-investment for your efforts.

Employee Incentive Programs
Spending time researching, evaluating, and developing employee incentive programs can also help extend employee retention. An annual or even semi-annual competitive analysis of your incentive programs could be impactful, as you evaluate everything from gym memberships, fitness vouchers – to other discounted perks.

Due to the current pandemic climate, you may want to rethink your current program and consider a more hybrid/digital-friendly approach. Maybe your company used to spend hundreds of dollars on coffee each quarter, but now, with most employees working from home, coffee spending is non-existent. If coffee is still in your budget, you could consider allocating that funding directly to employees through the distribution of individualized Starbucks e-gift cards. To further enhance employee productivity and performance, the gift cards could be incentivized for those who meet certain goals.

Promote Open Communication
For the overall employee experience, think about the culture surrounding your office communication. Encouraging employees to ‘speak up’ cultivates a more productive workplace, but sometimes it takes a strong examination of your culture. You could start by looking at the process surrounding how employee concerns are handled. Is your process streamlined and consistent for every employee? Also, are there methods in place for your HR department and/or legal department to follow up with concerns in a timely manner? Processes will prevent complaints from becoming dormant, which could prevent legal problems. The average employee lawsuit costs $250,000 and that doesn’t even account for the amount of time internal parties spend sorting out legal problems.

Build Leadership Training Programs
Seminars to teach better communication processes among your management teams could help with the overall employee experience. You could start small, maybe focusing on certain soft skills, for example, ‘active listening’ among your management. Regardless of the industry, some of the most tenured professionals often forget the basics of active listening, but a small course or email could serve as an easy reminder. There are dozens of other topics surrounding executive communication that could be discussed, including collaboration, empathy, flexibility, reliability, consistency – and even honesty.

Examine Existing Training
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Research & Markets forecast e-learning would reach $325 billion, tripling by 2025. During the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year, we did see a sudden increase in virtual trainings among companies. For example, Walmart partnered with Strivr to use Virtual Reality to prepare workers for Black Friday in store shopping. Also, Home Depot is now using a mobile app to train new hires when they are on the job.

Consider developing a hybrid training program. Look at existing training programs, how you’d like to revamp them, and which programs would make sense to have a hybrid version. The updates will allow for easy, remote, flexible access so team members can re-visit training topics when necessary.

Use Data to Express the Value of Relationships
To further showcase your HR department’s corporate value, consider creating surveys to gauge happiness and engagement levels across the organization. More in-depth surveys can be given on a yearly or semi-annual basis. For a quicker look, your organization might consider a ‘pulse’ style survey, which could measure results more frequently, on a quarterly or monthly basis, allowing you to plot more trends over time. Having more frequent survey results helps track improvements linked directly to recent changes you’ve made across the organization.

Overall, the possibilities are limitless for the creativity you can spark by using automated HR technology to free up some of your time. Not only will you feel more secure in the accuracy of your HR reporting, but you will also be able to report back to your CEO and other senior leadership on a wider array of results – both from your new reporting methods – and from the effects of a greater corporate culture, which will in turn impact a myriad of business results, including corporate finances and organizational growth.

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