How can machines help human resources build better company culture?
We’ve all heard recent stories about artificial intelligence coming after jobs and wiping out industries. While some are hopeful of this new breed of technological advancement that relies on machines doing our jobs better than us, there are some who fear the risks outweigh the benefits. Whichever side you lean, there’s one thing everyone seem to agree on — the inevitability of AI.
Disruption is not an option — but critical to survive
The classic HR challenges of retaining top talent and measuring the culture of an organisation have all been abstract and highly subjective so far, such as: “people in a company are statistically more likely to leave at certain milestones in their lifecycle”
With direct objective benefits far too few, several organisations have a majority of their resources and efforts devoted to core HR functions, leaving behind little to experiment and explore the esotericism of employee experience. It’s also hard to deliver objective results and outcomes — demystifying human psyche is not that easy!
To actually improve the employee experience, you need to understand how the employees are feeling at regular intervals. Let’s consider an example, shall we?
The 10,000+ people strong Acme Enterprises has retail stores all around the country. As with any retail company, Acme has to deal with a higher rate of attrition. An HR executive named Julie working at Acme recently came across a study that says “people in a company are statistically more likely to leave at certain milestones in their life cycle”. Determined to reduce talent attrition at her company by improving employee experience, Julie sets out to do something about it. Before she can figure out the problems with employee experience, she has huge challenges in front of her.
Considering regular check-ins each month:
- She needs to have 10,000 subjective conversations each month.
- She needs to have check-ins with employees located at remote locations.
- She needs to ensure employees share their concerns openly and truthfully without any fear of backlash.
- She needs to ensure ultimately action is taken upon the feedback shared by the employees.
This clearly seems like a mammoth task for poor Julie!
Enter AI and automation
For an AI powered conversational chatbot, which is capable of understanding emotion and having insightful conversations, all this can be done in a jiffy. While such a chatbot may never be able to replace Julie, it can work 24×7 tirelessly and be the perfect assistant enabling Julie to take the right decisions and meet the right people who need attention in her organisation.
Furthermore, AI and machine learning can be used to derive insights out of qualitative data and generate reports in real time. Sentiment Analysis is a breakthrough AI technology that can help HR understand accurately and timely how employees are feeling at scale.
In a video interview on YouTube, Dominos India CHRO, Biplob Banerjee shared his experience using chatbots in his organisation. According to him, “At a certain level of HR complexity, most of us arrive at a situation where there is tremendous information around us. The challenge is not the quantity but how you make meaning out of that.”
Dominos is one of the first 10 companies in India to use AI in HR and Biplob is successfully engaging employees in remote locations and defining a people strategy that is proactive in nature instead of reactive.
In a similar conversation, nearbuy (formerly Groupon India) CEO Ankur Warikoo who too has employed AI in his company for over a year now, shared three key metrics after plugging AI in nearbuy’s HR:
- 87% of the people interacted with the chatbot 2–6 times a year.
- Proactively surfaced 73 employees who needed attention.
- Achieved a 4.1 / 5 average mood score across the company.
AI in HR is already out there and proving its mettle in measuring an organisation’s culture in realtime. Since it can talk to several employees in an organisation on any day, it accurately highlights the trends and warning
signs on a macro level allowing CEOs and CHROs to do a continuous culture evaluation of their organisation.
What comes next? Replacing annual surveys
Pre-AI and automation, several organisations relied on the services of specialised companies to assess their culture. These culture audit firms did an annual survey to analyse the shortcomings of an organisation’s culture. Since the corrective measures to be implemented after the survey are huge, the companies then offered their consultancy services to help.
Often, the results of these annual surveys fail because of several cognitive biases and fallacies arising out of these surveys being a one-off thing. Some companies are not able to implement the findings of the surveys and the status quo remains unchanged till the next annual survey.
This is where AI in HR can assist CHROs with continuous culture evaluation and implementing course-correcting changes — one small step at a time, rendering annual surveys obsolete. Artificial intelligence can upgrade HR in ways never done before, effectively making organisations more people-centered and robust.
What bicycles are to legs, computer is to brain, and is what AI can be to HR.
InFeedo is one of the companies who are proponents of AI in HR and helping 60+ organisations like Dominos, GE & Nestlé successfully engage employees and build a proactive culture through their smart chatbot Amber.
Meet inFeedo, one of the bronze sponsors, at the Human Capital Forum 2018 taking place 2 – 3 May, 2018, at the Oberoi Hotel Dubai. To register your participation, click here.