The last 18 months have been turbulent for everyone
We’ve seen big changes in the way we work and interact with the people around us. For businesses, HR teams have played a fundamental role in helping employees navigate these changes, despite facing numerous challenges themselves. A primary example of this is how they communicate with employees and enable them to work efficiently regardless of their location.
In a traditional office environment, this would rely on face-to-face communications, physical touchpoints such as notice boards, emails, and telephone calls. However, with hybrid working becoming the norm, it’s not as easy and convenient to find the information that employees need, especially with internal teams such as HR, IT, and accounts inundated with emails and requests for support. This creates delays and inhibits productivity for employees and the departments.
At the start of the lockdown in March 2020, many organizations were forced to quickly adapt the systems and communication processes they already had in place to support the new remote workforce. These adaptations ranged from more frequent video calls and emails among other solutions; however, many were quick fixes and, as organizations are now finding, not sustainable for long-term use. So, what can organizations and HR teams do to build resilience into their processes and communication channels to support the new world of hybrid working?
Building resilience and empowering employees with technology
Recent maturity in intelligent automation technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA) & conversational AI, has made HR automation more user-friendly and accessible to employees. These technologies can help to connect a workforce more effectively with systems and their organization and deliver time savings to HR teams through automation of repetitive and manually intensive tasks.
The benefits of RPA have been felt across organizations and departments from invoice processing to supporting IT teams with provisioning; however, it is not until recently that this technology has started to transform HR processes.
RPA can be deployed to support HR teams with a myriad of labor-intensive and often paper-based processes, automating tasks such as data entry and approvals. Delivering significant efficiencies, improving the accuracy of data, improving productivity, and freeing up teams to focus on more critical and strategic tasks.
Conversational AI is also starting to be used by HR Teams as a solution to enable employees and candidates to connect with an organization’s process and find information more effectively. Delivering on-demand support across more digital channels and helping to facilitate a more remote workforce.
Unlike chatbots, which are largely scripted and outcome-based, conversational AI assistants utilize AI technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning to understand the true sentiment of user interactions, delivering more engaging and meaningful interactions. Additionally, integrations with RPA bots within conversational assistants can enable employees to not only request information but also perform actions such as requesting holidays. All within the channels they actually use, such as MS Teams or Slack, and regardless of their location, reducing the need for multiple contact points and access to systems — improving experiences and enhancing engagement.
Technology in Action
An example of how this combination of intelligent automation technologies can be applied to transform HR processes is demonstrated by Blue Prism and technology partner, Humley’s employee onboarding assistant. The assistant generates significant efficiencies for HR teams and improves employee experiences through automating the process of capturing new starter information.
Blue Prism and Humley’s solution eliminates the need for multiple paper forms, emails and data entry.
We are generating an average 30% time saving for HR teams, freeing them to focus more time on the people over processes, improving compliance and employee satisfaction."Adam Harrold, CEO of Humley
In conclusion, though the last year has taught us that nothing is certain, it is likely is that the way employees communicate and get things done will become increasingly digital and remote. Through implementing and working with technologies such as RPA and conversational AI, organizations can build some resilience into their process through connecting people regardless of their location, time of day, system, or source of information.
You can find out more about Blue Prism’s employee onboarding solutions here.