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New Survey Reveals That HR Leaders Are Prioritizing AI to Improve the Employee Experience

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Espressive, in Collaboration with AWS, Sponsors Pulse Report on Strategies for HR Service Management

Espressive, the pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) for enterprise service management and a 2019 Gartner Cool Vendor, released the findings of a new Pulse Report focused on the top HR service management strategies and initiatives for 2019. The report revealed that increasing the efficiency of HR service management and improving the employee self-help experience will be critical for achieving the top three HR initiatives of 2019: increasing employee retention; improving employee satisfaction; and improving the new-hire onboarding experience. The report, sponsored by Espressive in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), surveyed senior HR decision makers across a wide variety of industries. With 59 percent of respondents already considering or actively adding virtual employee assistants (i.e., chatbots), it is evident that HR leaders are prioritizing AI to improve the employee experience.

“This past January, Espressive sponsored a similar report on IT service management and found that 62 percent of IT leaders were considering or actively adding virtual support agents,” said Pat Calhoun, CEO and founder of Espressive. “The new report, done just six months later, reveals that HR leaders have almost caught up with IT in their desire to leverage AI to improve the employee experience. The new report also revealed that 26 percent would need IT approval even if HR had funding, and another 24 percent said that funding would have to come from IT. With that in mind, organizations would benefit by implementing one solution that can be shared across the enterprise.”

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Employees are Challenged with Getting Help in the Workplace

Although many enterprises provide an intranet or self-service HR portal for answering questions, survey respondents indicated that only 45 percent of employees commonly search there. More frequently used methods for getting help include calling the help desk (72 percent) and emailing the help desk (64 percent). This is problematic when 34 percent say they have no formal tracking or assignment process and 27 percent use a shared inbox with multiple people potentially working on the same questions.

When asked for employees’ biggest complaints about getting answers from HR, the top complaint at 57 percent was that it is too hard to find the right answer when searching the HR portal. Another 53 percent of employees report that they can’t keep track of where to go for an answer. 48 percent say that when they reach HR by way of phone or email it takes too long to get a response.

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Giving Employees a Personalized Onboarding Experience is a Top Challenge

The report also revealed that new-hire onboarding is top of mind for HR leaders. The top onboarding challenge cited, providing a personalized onboarding experience, ranked 18 percentage points higher than the next challenge. The next three reported onboarding challenges were all related to process: getting hiring managers to kick off the process on time; creating and enforcing a business process framework across departments; and getting new hires to complete onboarding tasks.

“All of the challenges revealed in the new Pulse Report can be solved with automation and AI,” said Calhoun. “When employees have one place to go across the enterprise to not only receive answers from HR, but also from IT, Payroll, Workplace Resources, and more, their productivity goes up. And when the self-help experience is similar to what they have come to expect in their consumer lives, employee satisfaction and retention rise as well.”

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