How conversational AI streamlines remote workforce management
The shift towards a remote workplace has been gathering pace for several years now, and the Covid-19 pandemic only served to accelerate that. While viewed by many as a stopgap measure, the benefits of working remotely soon became evident and most companies don’t plan to move back to the office anytime soon. One of the challenges of remote workforce management has, of course, been staying connected. And while human connection continues to be a priority, technology is bridging gaps more effectively than ever, as evident with the rise of conversational AI.
Today, a conversational AI platform goes far beyond the ‘chatbot’ to provide a holistic experience that truly feels like a conversation. Its use is already commonplace in customer service and online sales – however, it also has powerful applications in the HR context. For a team now working in isolation from their homes, conversational AI can provide the much-needed link to the office and its resources whenever someone needs it. Here are some of the ways in which it is supporting the HR function.
- Smoother onboarding – Without the usual induction experience at the office, new hires can find it harder to adjust to the remote workplace. Conversational AI can take them through the initial formalities, explain the rules through interactive tutorials, set up their login credentials, introduce them to other team members and provide handy remote workplace tips as needed. It can, moreover, do so in a natural, friendly manner that mimics a human guide or workplace buddy.
- 24×7 availability – Conversational AI can step in when the team manager or HR executive isn’t available, particularly after office hours. Plus, most solutions are compatible across browsers and channels, which means that remote teams can get immediate answers on whichever channel they are currently using.
- Resolving routine queries – With a smart conversational AI platform, employees can get rapid responses to questions regarding leave policy, bonus payout, and other routine matters. This not only relieves the pressure on the help desk team but also frees up employees faster so they can get on with the task at hand.
- Streamlined learning and development – Conversational AI enables employees to learn things at their own pace. Through structured modules, learning milestones, and adaptive testing, a conversational AI platform facilitates tailored self-education that assists with weak areas while providing new challenges for areas of strength. It also enables learning pathways to help employees build expertise and work towards a skill level or a certification.
- Streamlined workplace assessment – Collecting employee feedback is a big part of HR planning, especially in a remote scenario that is being tested by many companies for the first time. A conversational AI solution can simplify the process through automated surveys, thus eliminating the need for multiple calls and follow-ups. It can also present the data in neat charts with highlighted patterns and numbers, making HR’s job easier.
- Intelligent assistance – Without the option to walk over to the HR assistant’s cubicle for a chat, remote workforces need reliable support beyond rote answers or an FAQ section. A conversational AI platform can pick up on nuances, offer specific solutions, respond to follow-up questions and suggest additional resources – all on-demand. This keeps the flow of business going and can even enhance the quality of work by pointing out the right resources when they are needed the most.
How to make the most of conversational AI for a remote team
A tool is only as good as the people who use it. Effective remote workforce management will undoubtedly rely on technology – however, the technology itself needs to be understood and accepted by the end-user. Here are some best practices for HR to keep in mind when it comes to deploying a conversational AI solution for their remote team.
- Determine the scope of the platform – The choice of platform will depend on what the HR function hopes to accomplish with it. Some may wish to use it as a 24×7 query solver, while others might want to integrate more complex functions like L&D or employee analytics. Organizational structure is also a factor – smaller teams will likely have different needs from larger teams with more intricate structures. Having a clear picture upfront helps to shortlist AI platforms with the right capacities.
- Evaluate multiple options – There are several AI platforms on the market to suit different needs, and it is essential to test each one to find the best fit. This includes trying out the demo version as well as talking to current users for their feedback.
- Invest in creating structured answers – Any AI solution will learn from the bank of information fed to it. Therefore, going through the existing content repository and addressing any gaps or errors in advance is crucial. By structuring the information into categories and laying out links and similarities among them, the AI can grasp patterns faster and provide more effective responses to employee queries.
- Create an atmosphere of acceptance – One of the best remote workplace tips for any company is to keep everyone updated on what’s happening. HR can host a seminar or an informal discussion on the benefits of conversational AI and answer any questions that may come up. Once the platform is launched, there can be a designated training period where everyone adjusts to using it for daily tasks. By helping team members ease into it, they feel more included and are likelier to respond positively to using the platform.
As the world moves past the pandemic, HR teams are looking to build long-term workplace policies that can weather future storms. Done right, conversational AI platforms can simplify the workload of remote team management and create a stronger sense of connection, making it a must-have for HR.
As a digital shopping assistant, AskSid is poised to disrupt the online retail industry with its proprietary Retail AI Brain, a unique knowledge repository converting raw brand data into tweet-sized Q&As, product tags, intents, and utterances. This powers impactful shopping experiences and drives conversions across chatbots and voice bots, while simultaneously extracting deep customer insights, helping brands uncover new business opportunities.
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