The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down, leaving many businesses grappling to adjust to a new normal that is constantly changing. Specifically, extended lockdowns are forcing businesses to implement a long term work-from-home model. In fact, leading tech giants are heading this revolution with most of them allowing their employees to work from home for the rest of 2020 while others are implementing various solutions to ensure limited capacity in their offices. In the case of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, the CEO, informed his employees that they can continue working from home “forever”.
As weeks turned into months, it is clear that the adoption of a work-from-home model hasn’t been as seamless as expected for most companies. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, spanning from the lack of collaboration tools to inefficient processes and poor training. HR and IT teams are overburdened with managing requests pouring in from employees working across geographies and time zones.
Given that the effects of the pandemic will continue to impact businesses for a long while to come, HR and other business leaders are realizing the need to invest time and resources into digital transformation and implement solutions that can increase productivity. It’s no surprise that HR digital assistants which were already on the CHRO radar prior to the pandemic, have now become a top priority.
Let’s discuss a few ways companies are leveraging virtual assistants to not only support their remote workforce but also improve HR team productivity during these uncertain times.
In the wake of the current crisis, employees will have a variety of concerns regarding the new work-from-home policies, for which they typically turn to the HR department. Addressing these questions takes the HR team’s time away from completing more productive or complex tasks. A digital HR assistant, however, can ensure that your employees are given accurate and thorough answers in real-time. The employees would just have to input their questions in natural language and have their concerns addressed directly, rather than navigating multiple screens or interfaces.
Moreover, with a digital HR assistant, employees will no longer have to wait for a human assistant to get to their question/request and respond back to them and instead get instant responses 24/7. In the event that these questions are too complex for the virtual assistant to answer, the conversation can be transferred to an HR agent.
Chatbots are essential not only because they answer FAQs of employees, but also for their ability to conduct human-like conversations – something very desirable when people are isolated and going through difficult times.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Acuvate is helping customers leverage Power Virtual Agents to deploy customized Crisis FAQ bots to support their remote workforce and answer questions related to work-from-home policies, travel advisories, emergency contact information etc.
The importance of communication during remote working can’t be overstated. Given their availability across different channels and devices, chatbots are a must-have in your crisis communication suite. HR leaders can leverage crisis communication chatbots to
With social distancing protocols in place, a digital HR assistant can play a major role in ensuring seamless and effortless recruitment and onboarding processes by automating major parts of the process. For instance, businesses can leverage them to filter resumes, track applicants, and schedule online interviews across multiple messaging channels. They can also drive virtual onboarding by enabling remote access to relevant training policies, and materials. You can also automate onboarding processes like filling forms.
HR teams can leverage chatbots to track employee well-being by doing regular health status checks. They can also use bots to send safety, disease prevention, social distancing and remote working tips
In fact, Global Telecom, a Filipino telecommunications company, has implemented a chatbot named Digital Usher for Disasters and Emergencies (DUDE) to keep the management updated on its employee’s health and well-being. The chatbot does daily health status checks for its 8000+ employees.
“The insights that we have been receiving from DUDE really give us a good picture of where our employees are at,” said Nico Bambao, Director for Globe’s Employee Experience Team. “When we ask them if they are unwell, they don’t just reply with their symptoms, they tell us if they’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or even feeling lonely or depressed.” (Learn More)
Training playbooks, performance support materials, capability assessments and other learning and development activities can all be carried out within a virtual environment. A virtual assistant can perform these programs autonomously without much involvement from the HR team.
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how work gets done in an organization. It’s propelling businesses towards an increasingly remote workforce. Consequently, in order to ensure robust internal communications, employee engagement and simplified HR workflows, adopting HR digital assistants is becoming imperative for organizations. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please feel free to get in touch with one of our chatbot consultants for a personalized consultation. You may also be interested in our chatbot builder platform (BotCore) for further insights.