Employee engagement is one of the top priorities of HR departments across organizations. In a highly competitive labor market where the skill gap continues to widen, employee engagement strategies can be the key to achieve HR metrics. Raising the level of engagement has proven to reduce staff turnover, improve productivity and efficiency, thereby having a compounding effect on customer retention, and profit margins.

AI-enabled employee assistants can play a pivotal role by engaging employees in myriad ways. The use of employee assistants in the workplace is growing. By 2021, according to Gartner, 25% of digital workers will use a Virtual Employee Assistant (VEA) on a daily basis. This will be up from less than 2% in 2019.

The employee assistants can improve several of the HR processes throughout the employee life cycle making the employee experience more personal, immediate and most importantly simple. They offer a high degree of freedom through self-service and the employees can ask questions any time of the day through an interface of their choice like web, mobile or even IM services like Slack. The system is highly configurable and can be used for different types of HR use-cases like on-boarding, benefits enrollment, understanding policies, surveys, training, assessments, and lastly exits.

Also Read: How digital assistants can improve employee engagement in contact centers saving $100,000 annually

On-boarding - The first day on the job can be quite boring, sifting through a pile of paperwork and reading policy documents. In most workplaces, the on-boarding process is antiquated and slow. An on-boarding assistant can guide employees through various forms like tax forms or non-disclosure agreements, introducing them to HRMS and other internal portals. Walk them through the company policies and FAQ and answer any question precisely without ambiguity.

Benefits enrollment - Benefits enrollment can be one of the most confusing and frustrating of all the HR processes. Employees spend hours trying to understand the process and fill in the required information. Employee assistants can collect details regarding benefits such as insurance coverage, dependent eligibility criteria, etc.

Training and Assessments - Training through Powerpoints, manuals, handbooks and intranet can lead to information overload for employees and they do not really retain much information. They are often bored through the process, paying little attention to the content. Digital assistants can streamline the access of information by offering bite-sized information in a digestible format. The training session can be engaging and the knowledge can be tested using conversational assessments that provide real-time feedback to the employee and management.

Employee surveys - Organizations need to have constant feedback from employees to gauge employee morale and issues. Employee assistant enabled survey solution enables organizations to move away from the traditional complex surveys to conversational surveys. The customizable survey can gather feedback intuitively through the chat interface.

Performance Review - Evaluate the performance of the employees by employing tools for continuous evaluations, annual evaluation or 360-degree feedback. Employee assistants help with the instant exchange of feedback between the management and the employees along with providing performance insights making it easier to conduct fact-based performance reviews.

Exits - Assistants can help in the exit process of the employee and ensure a smooth transition with periodic checks with the employee and the manager at different stages of the exit process. This ensures compliance and automation of the exit formalities. Provides transparency to the management including an overview of the handover process.

Sometimes, new employees might feel insecure or embarrassed admitting they are still not up to speed with something. Having a helpful assistant to answer their question can empower new hires and make them feel comfortable and in turn more motivated.

Corporates need to get smart about how they retain and motivate employees. As workforce demographics continue to get more distributed and accustomed to mobile communication, enterprises must embrace AI-enabled employee assistants to streamline their HR processes.

Read Next: A quick guide on how Digital Assistants work