How an Organization has Enhanced the Employee Experience using Smart Virtual Assistant for HR & Operations

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This is a blog about how a Chatbot or a Virtual Assistant transformed the employee experience within an organization

Old World

In the old world, our customer, an organization having more than 130,000 employees conducted its employee interactions via:
  • Microsoft Teams
  • 44 Offices – 230 HR Personnel
  • A Matured Web Portal and a Mobile App
Business challenges included huge costs incurred in employee management and an increasing attrition rate.

The Organization’s forward-looking management team chose to invest in IT and bring Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the game to resolve the current issues and improve productivity. In conjunction with Streebo & a leading NLP engine provider, they employed a Smart Chatbot for their HR Operations.

The Journey to the new world

Prior to the launch, Streebo team trained the chatbot on various back-end systems at the organization, including SAP HR, Oracle ERP and Popular HRMS systems such as Workday and showed it how to fetch information from various siloed systems in a secured and scalable manner. The Employee Assistance & HR Operations Chatbot can be powered by the leading NLP engines in the industry such as IBM Watson Assistant, Amazon Lex and/or Google Dialogflow. Streebo’s AI Powered Smart Chatbot was 99% accurate, meaning it would answer at least 99 out of 100 questions correctly.

The Smart Virtual Assistant for HR Operations was added to the workforce after a few rounds of evaluation. The Chatbot was pre-trained in various HR functions such as Add a New Employee, Raise/Track a Ticket, Employee Leave Balance, Apply for a Leave and Apply for Travel Expense Reimbursement, among others. The Smart Chatbot had in-built functionality to transfer to a Live Agent in case it was not able to answer any questions.

Bot Features

The Chatbot for HR Operations & Employee Assistance is powered by leading NLP engines from the likes of IBM, Amazon and Google. The Smart Chatbot for HR is omni-channel, meaning they can answer queries from across channels including web app (Employee Portal), mobile app (Employee App) and asynchronous messaging channels like Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, HCL Sametime, Slack and even SMS among others. AI Powered Virtual Assistants also support voice assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Siri.

By deploying the AI Chatbot, the Organization has expanded its outreach to new messaging channels and at the same time put in a smart & highly intelligent employee in place. The AI powered Smart Virtual Assistant for Employee Wellbeing now manages the first line of interaction and provides instant responses 24X7 across different channels. The blog below captures our customer’s journey in the new world after the Virtual Assistant was put in place.

Employee’s Experience in the new world

Let’s understand the employee experience in the new world with the help of a user’s (Vivian’s) journey in different scenarios:

Add New Employees through Web Portal

Vivian works in an HR department of an IT organization. She is tasked with updating the employee directory by uploading details of new recruits. So, she opens her laptop to access the intranet portal and launches the virtual assistant deployed by the company for employee assistance and HR operations.

Vivian wanted to add a new employee, so she typed, “I wnat to add a new emplyee” – note that even though she miss spelled the word, the powerful NLP engine powered chatbot is intelligent to understand the intent of the user. The chatbot proceeds and asks to enter a few details to add the new employees.

Vivian then fills in details like the name of the employee, designation, manager, and department and marks their status as Active. Bot replies with successful submission of the information. Similarly, she adds this data for other new recruits and heads out for a scheduled meeting.

Raise Travel Request on Chatbot for HR stationed on Employee Mobile App

During the meeting, Vivian is assigned a task to meet an HR partner agency to review the hiring process as part of half yearly review. She must make travel arrangements to visit the HR partner. After the meeting, she heads out for lunch. While waiting for her lunch order to be served, she decides to raise a ticket to book flight tickets.

She opens the mobile application and launches the virtual assistant to submit a travel request and types, “Je souhaite faire une demande de déplacement” (As this is a multi-lingual Chatbot, Vivian can converse in multiple languages and the Chatbot can understand the same.) The Chatbot understands and asks a few more questions to proceed. Vivian selects a department and then fills in details like a city of departure and arrival, travel date, mode of travel, time of departure and arrival, and gives a remark to submit the request.

The AI Powered Chatbot confirms the travel bookings and shares the details over her email. (e-mail integration)

Submit Reimbursement through Microsoft Teams

She returns from the review meeting and is back in the office the next day. Her manager sends her a message on Teams to submit review meeting observations by the next working day. Also, she recalls that she has to submit an application for expense reimbursement. She connects to the Virtual Assistant deployed on MS Teams to submit her expense reimbursement request. The AI Powered Smart Virtual Assistant asks for a few details to add an Expense Reimbursement.

The Smart Employee Assistant walks her step by step to submit details like region, department, approving manager name and expense category among other details. She enters these details and the Smart Chatbot for HR then completes submitting the expense reimbursement request on her behalf.

The Virtual Assistant notifies her that the reimbursement ticket has been successfully submitted and sends an email notification to Vivian.

Apply for a Leave on SMS

A few days later Vivian is on a weekend camping trip and not feeling well. She decides to take a day off. She calls her manager, but it goes unanswered, so she drops a message to her manager on SMS. She has limited or no internet connectivity but then she recalls that she can apply for leave using the SMS Chatbot for Employee, so she reaches out to the bot on SMS and types “I want to Apply for a leave for today and tomorrow” (Advanced training and entity recognition).

The AI Powered Chatbot for Employees asks to provide a few details like type of leave, start and end date of leave and at last bot asks the reason for leave application in order to apply for a leave. Before providing the reason, she decides to check the total leave balance and the chatbot shared that she has 10 leaves remaining.

The Smart Chatbot moves back to the original question and asks Vivian to enter her reason for applying a leave (Digression- The chatbot is intelligent and moves back to the original question to maintain conversational flow)
She enters the reason and the Chatbot informs her about the successful submission of the application. Next, she wants to check the status of the expense reimbursement request. The chatbot asks her to select the Ticket ID for which you want to check the status. Vivian then selects the appropriate ID and the chatbot shows the latest status of the expense request.
Just the way this chatbot changed the experience for Vivian, it has enhanced the employee experience including on-boarding for our client’s 130K+ employees. Having a smart HR Chatbot in place has helped reduced our client onboarding costs (4 basis points) and improved their employee experience (17 basis points).

Click here to learn more about IBM, AWS and Google AI Powered HR & Operations Chatbot for Employees.

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