From Tactical to Strategic: HR Solutions That Drive Business Value

Work smarter, not harder by unlocking high value work, addressing skills gaps, and delivering a connected experience.

The last few years have challenged organizations across industries in new ways, marked by a global pandemic, the proliferation of remote and hybrid work, the great resignation and quiet quitting. Now, macroeconomic headwinds are forcing companies to hit the brakes on hiring or, sadly, make the difficult decision to downsize their workforce.

But there’s a silver lining. 

The radical changes over the last few years have opened the door to new opportunities for agility, new ways of working, and a boom in technology to make work better for everyone.

HR is no longer seen as an overhead cost, but as a strategic lever for the business. In fact, many of the HR leaders I talk with daily are thinking two steps ahead. They’re asking if they can create a great employee experience while driving business value. They’re looking for ways to free up employees’ time to focus on high-value, impactful work. And they’re learning to do more with less by optimizing the solutions, resources, and people they have.

This transformative approach to work is within reach for every organization. And while it may require some initial investment in technology and process implementation, the long-term benefits outweigh the costs.

Automation Mitigates the Mundane

Juggling a short-staffed team and an ever-increasing workload is no easy feat. Employees are busier than ever, but they still need to help the business grow. Unfortunately, manual daily tasks like submitting a help desk ticket take unnecessary time. And let’s not forget about hardworking HR teams who find themselves bogged down by transactional requests that could easily be handled by chatbots or other self-service tools.

If companies can free employees from the mundane, the impact on productivity is astounding.

Technology, including generative AI, can help.

Automation can deflect many transactional requests HR teams receive on a day-to-day basis so teams can focus on high-value work, like improving training programs and employee engagement strategies. This not only benefits the employee experience, but it can also save companies thousands of hours and millions of dollars.

Don’t just take my word for it. One bank saved $30 million annually by deflecting transactional HR requests while a logistics company in the U.S. has seen an 80% increase in agent productivity through automation. And the impact of automation is industry-agnostic. According to our recent analysis using data from commissioned Forrester Consulting TEI studies, decreasing the ‘cost to serve’ function of HR saved a composite company representative of interviewed customers $150,000 for every 1,000 employees.1

Automation can also improve the manager experience, surfacing recommended actions for managers to proactively connect with employees. This helps hold managers accountable for regular check-ins with employees, which can be easy to let slip when faced with their own competing projects and deadlines. It also ensures teams have what they need to meet individual and company goals.

The adoption of generative AI is accelerating automation, driving new levels of productivity.

Of course, teams need to use generative AI responsibly, but when done right, it can give organizations a competitive advantage. Embedded into a chatbot, for example, generative AI can deliver more direct, relevant, and conversational responses. Generative AI can also help HR teams be more productive, summarizing cases so agents get the critical information they need quickly, saving valuable time and speeding resolutions.

When I think about how automation will impact jobs, I don’t think about it replacing people. I see it as an assistant, minimizing the mundane so employees, managers, and HR teams alike can focus on the work that matters most.

AI Assists Workforce Management, Growth, and Development

According to SHRM, 76% of employees say they are more likely to stay with a company that offers continuous learning and development. At the same time, leaders know they need to understand the skills their workforce has and needs to be successful today and in the future. Understanding the skills supply chain helps organizations be smarter about who and how they hire and helps upskill and reskill to position the company for long-term success.

AI is fundamentally changing how many organizations think about hiring and growing talent, with a focus on skills.

AI, including generative AI, can help organizations find employees with the right skills for a certain project or role so they can appropriately redeploy talent. It can also pinpoint upskilling and reskilling opportunities for individuals.

An AI-powered skills intelligence system strategically guides employees and managers through career plans, development goals, and learning resources. And it can predict and customize learning and development courses and activities based on an employee’s current skills, the skills they want to build, and the skills the company needs.

Platforms Connect the Entire Employee Experience

As companies have shifted to hybrid work, they’ve embraced the idea of a modern intranet – a connected, personalized, and intelligent employee portal to find information, company resources and communication, and get help.

This is a departure from the siloed and disconnected portals and intranets of the past, which limited the speed employees found and received information as well as the insights companies could gather about the effectiveness of the portal or areas of improvement.

The introduction of the centralized, intelligent employee experience platform is helping companies improve engagement and productivity. Employees can now go to one place for help (whether it’s an IT request, an HR request, a workplace request, or a legal request), they can self-serve to solve problems quickly, and they can easily find information, like company holidays, trainings, and other resources.

While the last few years have forced companies to rethink the meaning of work, necessity is the mother of invention. Companies are reimagining work – and the technology that powers it – and it’s benefiting them big time.

That’s why when an HR leader asks me if they should prioritize saving money or improving the employee experience, I say “why choose?” With the right people, processes, and technology in place, it’s possible to do both.

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