The modern corporate world strikes a stark contrast to the workplace of 20 years ago. Beyond the tearing down of cubicle walls and the obliteration of the nine-to-five workday, the changes in the way companies meet staffing needs, and the way we work have been nothing short of revolutionary.
At each turn in the evolution of the workplace, advances in technology have both pushed and enabled these changes. There isn’t any better example of the shift that has occurred in the workplace than comparing the bulky desktop computer that occupied office desks for decades to the modern smartphone, an always connected, supercomputer that fits in your pocket. The magnitude of change is undeniable and it is no surprise that these changes in technology have completely altered how employees expect to communicate, connect and stay informed in the workplace.
Today’s employees want easy, seamless experiences in the office. To them, requesting time off or checking their company’s maternity leave policy should be just as easy as ordering an Uber and using Venmo. Within seconds, consumers can find the answer to just about anything. But when it comes to life at the office, even with the advances in technology in recent years, employee requests or questions can take days or sometimes weeks to answer.
We asked more than 350 HR leaders at last year’s HR Tech Conference and Expo how their employees find information on HR policies. While nearly half (47%) admitted employees want easier access to information, only 12% of respondents said it’s easy for employees to find the information they need. While a common scenario throughout the enterprise, employees are speaking up and pushing their organizations to look at other options that would enable them to get the answers they need no matter where they are or the time of day.
The path to the future that will enable companies to meet employees’ needs is an integrated HR Service Delivery (HRSD) approach. One of the many tools enabled by HRSD is chatbots. In fact, two-thirds of respondents to our survey believe their employees are very comfortable using chatbots. We have Siri and Alexa to thank for that. With the majority of respondents (92%) agreeing that chatbots will be important in directing employees to find information, it’s clear that this technology represents an important step in enabling employees to access the information they need when they need it. There may be nothing more valuable to an employee than accessing information without having to go through hoops.
Given the increasingly “on demand” nature of staffing solutions, tools like chatbots that connect users to an organization’s data are key to avoiding common pitfalls when working with temporary and new employees. Chatbots are an exciting solution to a common pain point, but before implementing intelligent technologies, there are other things to consider.
A more recent trend among large employers, Gartner market guide, is for them to “approach service comprehensively, by organizing it around the totality of employees’ needs rather than by department.” HR influencer Josh Bersin calls this this a ‘system of productivity’ that helps employees to get their work done. Chatbots and other new intelligent technologies are not standalone solutions but rather, part of a larger HRSD strategy to enable these new technologies and improve the employee service experience. Through careful planning and consideration of new intelligent technologies combined with HRSD strategies, companies will be in a unique position to provide a superior employee service experience in the coming years.