Employee engagement is crucial to the success and growth of any organization. A happy workforce delivers optimum performance, improves innovation, increases productivity, and impacts the bottom line. It’s no surprise that a delightful employee experiencedirectly impacts employee retention. However, the challenges facing business and HR leaders today extend beyond recruiting and finding top talent, it’s also about keeping current employees engaged.
Today, 71% of business leaders recognize the overall impact of employee engagement on performance, and ultimately on their organization’s success and survival. But the same study also found a glaring disconnect – only 24% feel their employees are highly engaged. Gallup’s recent findings suggest a much harsher reality: 85% of employees are disengaged from work.
Today, building an engaged employee workforce often involves the addition of new technologies. Companies need to implement radical changes to improve employee engagement scores. Business leaders need to shift from traditional employee experience strategies and adopt new approaches to meet employee demands.
Breaking down the impact of employee (dis)engagement
What impact do happier employees have on your bottom line? According to Gallup, enterprises with high employee engagement scores enjoy a 23% increase in profitability.
On top of becoming more profitable, companies with engaged workers also see improvements in other areas. Recent figures have found that enterprises with a fully engaged workforce are 17% more productive, close 20% more sales and have 10% higher customer ratings. Absenteeism is also reduced by as much as 41%.
In contrast, disengaged employees in the U.S. are costing organizations $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary. Zoom out to the big picture, the U.S. economy also takes a big hit – $350 billion per year due to lost productivity.
Companies with poor and ineffective engagement efforts struggle to retain employees. In fact, these enterprises push away 37% of their workers. Aside from lowering retention scores, these companies see their acquisition costs further increase.
Clearly, it’s time for a change. But who, or what, will lead the transformation?
Conversational AI gains ground as engagement tool
Despite rapid advances in technology, only 16% of businesses currently leverage technology to track employee engagement.
Of the technologies deployed by organizations to improve employee engagement, artificial intelligence (AI) only ranks 6th at 12.90%. The top 5 leading employee engagement applications are:
1. Surveys (70.97%),
2. Social platforms (46.77%)
3. Career pathing (45.16%)
4. Video (22.58%)
5. Career experience marketplace (16.13%).
But AI’s role in employee engagement is becoming more pronounced. Conversational AI, in particular, is seen as one of the most promising technologies to drive employee engagement upwards.
Before the introduction of AI, methodologies adopted by companies to increase employee engagement failed to deliver desired results. Executives and HR leaders have long been critical of workplace surveys, board-room committees, data analysis and half-baked concepts that rarely develop into real solutions. The advent of AI saw organizations start to really tackle the challenges of employee engagement head-on.
5 ways conversational AI drives employee engagement
Conversational AI can increase employee engagement through natural language processing, advanced sentiment analysis, and machine learning. Along with other allied AI innovations, conversational AI equips HR teams with insights into employee sentiments and behavior.
With a thorough and deep analysis of internal communications, interactions and activities, conversational AI allows enterprises to create and promote a culture of belonging, as well as identify opportunities for growth for their employees and recognize and address potential red flags before they become big problems.
1. Fast and lean information sharing
One of the greatest barriers to employee productivity, particularly in large and decentralized organizations, is the overwhelming amount of information and documentation. In most situations, employees struggle to locate relevant information needed for a specific task while working.
Conversational AI, powered by natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), makes it easier for employees to find the information they need. AI-powered agents are able to interpret the needs of employees and learn language patterns over time. This will enable companies to become more agile as workers will effortlessly access information, becoming more productive at work.
2. Enhanced team collaboration
Employee information gathered by AI agents can be used to build teams based on individual skills, behavior and goals. Through ML and predictive data analysis, AI can find members who fit and complement each other, therefore driving engagement by putting them in a work environment that’s conducive to cohesion, communication and collaboration.
3. Rapid two-way feedback
Conversational AI agents can help provide employees with fast, instant feedback in the workplace. Today’s employees desire immediate gratification. With conversational AI, companies are able to deliver instant feedback, giving employees relevant information in seconds.
Through personalized conversational AI interfaces, HR departments can quickly collect anonymous feedback from their employees. This helps employees express their sentiments or submit suggestions on how to improve the workplace conditions and culture. With a direct line to HR and top management, employees feel appreciated and as a result, more engaged.
4. Focused learning and development
According to PwC Tech Survey 2022, employee learning/development/upskilling (28%) and key talent retention (27%) are among the biggest challenges organizations face today. From an employee engagement perspective, these are two areas where conversational AI can have the potential to make a vast impact.
By analyzing employee communication along with performance data analytics, conversational AI can help HR and management teams discover learning and development opportunities for their employees. Insights from conversational and performance data allow management to create training programs that are wholly aligned with an employee’s goal, personality and learning quotient. Employees feel valued and appreciated when management exhibits interest in exploring their potential. Ultimately, this pushes employee engagement to higher levels.
5. Accelerated intervention in workplace issues
Conversational AI solutions help HR teams monitor workplace satisfaction and performance scores. Real-time analysis of employee communication lets management teams conduct sentiment analysis and measure the state of mind of their workers.
With such insights, along with predictive analysis, organizations can pinpoint engagement issues and take the necessary steps to address and resolve them, thereby reducing the attrition rate and boosting employee productivity.
Create a delightful employee experience today
Conversational AI will be a crucial technology in the modern workplace environment, especially as an engagement tool. From the employee’s perspective, conversational AI drives engagement by improving their access to information, enhancing communication and collaboration with teams, and providing them a convenient way to deliver feedback.
With our automated HR solution powered by conversational AI, business leaders now have access to valuable, high-quality insights that help them implement effective actions and programs to improve employee engagement. HR and management teams become more understanding of worker behavior and make timely decisions that elevate employee engagement higher.
Ready to engage, empower and retain a highly motivated workforce? Request a demo from one of our conversational AI experts to get started.