Arjun Shankar *
When companies use algorithms and modern HR-tech to measure smiles at work, it leads to better employee engagement and higher productivity
What’s the biggest people challenge that even some of the best corporations in the world face? Talent acquisition and retention is perpetually a top agenda item. We all know how employee engagement, happiness and sense of ownership are directly proportional to people productivity at work and that’s why employee satisfaction remains a priority for all businesses.
Tools of the Future
It’s hard to gauge what’s happening on the floor in distributed offices without comprehensive real-time data from as many sources as possible. Besides, it’s best to respond to a situation as soon as it occurs and not 12 months down the line. That’s what some of the predictive intelligence and HR bots have begun to do. They raise an immediate red flag on concerns to allow organisations to focus their efforts. AI tools can help in improving the employee experience in the areas of development, training, collaboration and teamwork.
Investing in People
When you have machines to do such analysis and process automation, it leaves the HR more time to focus on individual connects and drafting innovative methods to boost employee productivity. There is literature that AI rules out unconscious bias in promotions and reviews, it empowers the HR and managers to identify skills gap and match the training requirement for the employee. These include soft skills, basic and advanced up-skilling. Also, when a manager points out a pattern of non-performance in his team member, Machine Learning can display effective solutions that have worked for other teams as well. This data-fuelled solution can be mapped with the individual’s personality and learning curve to determine best suited methodologies. Also, when learning gets fun, engaging, multi-sensory, and goal-oriented with AI based content, gamification and virtual reality – as a part of the daily job, not a separate task –; learning is effective, and the employee engagement automatically soars.
AI can recommend teams for employees based on their personality and skill sets where they can work together and collaborate effectively. In order to be more productive, the workforce of the future will be liquid teams with commonly shared business plans and AI will be a core enabler for this transformation, providing learning opportunities and career growth models for all. Employee potential is a dynamic thing. Talent is more likely to continue to be productive when they feel they used their strengths more often at a workplace that enables them to grow.
Rewards and Recognition
One of the primary human requirements is the need to be recognized and appreciated. Employees will stay only if they feel more fulfilled at work if their strengths are used more often and their effort is appreciated.
NIIT, for instance, has deployed AI-powered HR chat bots positioned as the CEO’s Virtual Assistant, which engages in proactive digital chats with the employees at pre-defined intervals, most often during important milestones in their career. It acts as a gauge of the daily sentiments of the employees and provides a mood score and a score on key drivers that impact their experience at the workplace. It also unearths concerns to be addressed.
Events like Town Halls, Awards Events, Annual Days and Rewards, and Recognition programs are important to boost employee morale and keep performance focused and engagement levels high. Tenured staff at NIIT is also recognized with well-deserved honours for their contributions in their journey with the organization on the company’s Foundation Day.
A valuable measure of a good workforce is employee satisfaction. AI and new technologies coupled with traditional HR expertise is set to transform the employee experience by bringing in new levers of engagement, collaboration, information sharing, learning and up skilling.
* Arjun Shankar, Chief Corporate Management Services Officer, NIIT Limited