Jun 6, 2019, 08:00am
Greg Kihlstrom Forbes Councils
Forbes Agency Council CommunityVoice
Ensuring your employees are engaged and performing well is critical to your organization’s success. The ways to achieve this have evolved over the years to the point where there is a large gap in how different companies measure, assess and determine the health of the employee experience.
While many organizations still use outdated methods like annual employee reviews or engagement surveys, more forward-thinking organizations are tapping into tools that provide more frequent and more valuable information. Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping more and more of these organizations every day.
In addition to its value in external-facing customer experiences, AI can play an important role in how employees interact, receive notifications or even perform critical tasks. I have worked extensively with organizations on many external-facing methods of improving the customer experience, and am now working with companies to address this with internal audiences. Many of them have a large or geographically diverse workforce where it can be difficult to have a personal touch with every employee’s experience. This is where AI can play a big role. Think of this as being similar to designing a customer journey, except it’s now focused on internal employee audiences.
Let’s look at a few ways AI can enhance the employee experience by breaking it down into three categories:
A key benefit of AI is its ability to crunch large amounts of data to find important insights. AI and machine learning-based applications have helped organizations more than any other development in making use of the vast amount of information we’ve received from the “big data” push several years back.
And while a lot of these insights have been used to learn more about customers in order to drive more sales, a lot can be done to create more productive and happier employees as well.
An example of how AI can help get better insights is the way some organizations are tying together multiple communication and feedback systems and applying natural language processing (NLP) to them. This could help to more quickly and easily assess employee sentiment.
So, by using a tool that’s able to analyze the types of language (e.g., phrases, emojis and even how they sign their emails) employees are using in their communications, an AI-powered tool can begin to understand trends of teams over time.
AI is incredibly helpful in automating repetitive tasks which employees may find tedious, or which there may be a greater chance of human error. This is a case where artificial intelligence can replace human workers in a good way. Because while people are great at many things, there are certain types of work that machines can simply do better.
Some examples of automation performed by AI can include finding ways to enhance or orchestrate how information or processes work. Much like customer journey orchestration works with external customers, companies can automate how information flows from one system to another internally as well. This means that AI can help companies make sure information is seen quicker, and things like employee feedback are able to be utilized more easily.
How do you solve the exponential challenge of giving all of your customers a personalized experience? Another thing that artificial does well is to take your data, match it with individual employee’s preferences or other contextual information and create a personalized experience.
Artificial intelligence can help personalize the experience for employees in a number of ways. This can be done by grouping them into segments at very large companies or offering very specific communications and messaging if needed. Instead of only segmenting by department or title, more intelligent (and interesting) processing can be done based on communication preferences or interests.
Think of how you could find employees that have certain characteristics that might make them a match for leadership opportunities. Or if you could find complementary skillsets amongst your team to put together new working groups. This becomes incredibly important with a workforce that is increasingly geographically diverse, with both work-from-home policies becoming more common, as well as teams that are spread across cities and countries. AI can help with all of this.
Using AI to improve your company’s employee experience enables you to utilize technology in a way that is meaningful and measurable to this critical part of your business. With good insights, the ability to automate previously cumbersome processes and a focus on making the employee experience more personal, artificial intelligence can serve your business — and your employees — well.