HR is generally not known to be the front runner for adopting new technologies. However HR can’t remain isolated from the digital revolution which is gripping the overall business. Outside of the organization technologies powered by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning are already impacting our lives in a big way. From getting our personalized playlist of songs on Spotify each morning to getting hotel recommendations by Makemytrip just when we want to plan our travel, technology is spoiling us for choice, personalization and convenience.
“Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are making interaction with technology as easy as interaction with humans. HR needs to adapt to this new world order where technology and people need to coexist hand-to-hand”
Until recently, the primary benefits of HR technology were to improve efficiency and drive cost-savings by automating repetitive tasks. Today, above technologies can enable HR teams to solve critical business challenges, drive exponential performance improvements and even impact larger business outcomes and profitability. AI is fueling HR’s transition from administrative to strategic to mission critical.It can help transform HR in the following ways:
Personalization of HR
One size fits all approach of HR is fast becoming obsolete. Now AI in HR presents us an amazing opportunity to personalize HR keeping in mind unique requirements of employees. If our business is ready to treat each customer uniquely why can’t HR treat each employee uniquely?
Best in Class Employee Experience
The narrative in HR is fast shifting from employee engagement to employee experience. AI in HR can provide state of the art employee experience across the employee lifecycle, from onboarding to exit.Intent here is to make all the employee transactions extremely seamless and delightful for employees. For example is it possible to provide a virtual assistant, like Siri, to employees who can help them to do jobs like blocking meeting rooms, fixing up meeting, applying for leaves etc.? The answer is probably a ‘YES’.
Data based Decision Making
There is huge amount of data about each employee available in the organization. Natural Language Generation (NLG), powered by AI, has the ability to transform data into data-driven text automatically, which makes it a valuable asset for HR teams across industries. Also can we draw insights from the available data and make predictions about employee attrition, retention, engagement level, learning needs etc.?
As we enter into May, many organizations would have finished their annual performance management cycles and will be preparing for the next year. This may be the right time for them to step back and contemplate the ways in which they can leverage the above mentioned benefits of using AI & ML in Performance Management System (PMS).
Most forward looking organizations are doing away with rigidities of performance ratings and going in the direction of providing real time feedback to employees, instead. Also they are moving from away from the annual PMS cycle to half year or in some cases quarterly PMS cycles so that they can align the rhythm of PMS with the rhythm of the business. AI in PMS can be effectively used to leverage some of these trends.
Real Time Feedback
There are machines available in the market which can create a feedback write-up based on the key word triggers. This helps the Managers to save time and make the process of giving and receiving feedback more light weight. Also some companies are able to convert written qualitative feedback into numeric performance rating with the help of Natural Language Programming and Deep Learning algorithms. This implies that Managers over the year have to only give honest feedback to employees and it will get converted into performance rating on its own at the end of the performance cycle. How cool can that be!
Multiple chat bots are available in the market which can engage with the employees and the managers to fix up time, provide clarifications and nudge them to create mutually beneficial goals. Also these chat bots can trigger to employees and managers to modify/update the goals in case of any change in the business priorities. It can help make the process very agile.
Interestingly PMS is one area of HR where there is abundant availability of data, and it can be effectively leveraged using AI & ML for data driven evaluation of each employee, and also the organization.
For most employees, the problem is they don’t realize what skills they’re missing in order to advance to higher-paying positions, Josh Bersin says, based on the research he recently conducted with LinkedIn. “AI absolutely will start helping with that,” he predicts.Two innovative startups, Fuel50 and Gloat, are developing promising AI in this area. Both use algorithms to analyze successful career paths within a company, determine where there’s demand for more skills and offer personalized recommendations to employees to advance their careers.
AI & ML can help the organizations to provide personalized compensation to employees keeping in mind their unique requirements and life stage. Advanced machines are capable of recommending the personalized compensation structure based on the employee’s persona and other related details. One size fits all approach is clearly not the answer in this case.
Unfortunately many incentive programs do not yield favorable results, in fact, some even demotivate the employees. Organizational data can be effectively leveraged using AI & ML to accurately predict the success of various incentive programs. After few iterations the machine becomes reasonably intelligent to predict the kind of incentive program which will have the highest probability of success in the given business context.
Recognition platforms powered by AI & ML are used to provide more social and personalized experience of recognition to employees. Also these platforms trigger the employees to appreciate one another based on the anonymized analysis of various employee interactions on e-mails, Slack etc.
Therefore in a nutshell, there is a huge opportunity for HR to leverage the power of AI & ML to solve for some of the most pressing people challenges in the areas of Performance Management. HR can no longer afford to be a laggard in adopting these transformational technologies, neither can HR afford to isolate itself from what’s happening in the rest of the organization. Thus AI & ML have immense potential to transform PMS into an ‘Artificially Intelligent PMS’.