Bots Can Improve Employee Self-service

Bots can improve employee self-service.  In fact, that's probably the best place to introduce Robotics to HR Service Delivery.

A  recent post on this blog described how HR Representatives working in Shared Service Centers should be encouraged by the arrival of Robotics, or “Bots” instead of fearing that Bots will replace them.  Two reason for this, based on data collected at the SSON 21st HR Shared Services & Outsourcing Summit in May, 2017 are:

  1. Automation is expanding HR’s Scope of Services more than it’s reducing HR headcount.
  2. Automation is increasing the need for knowledge-based workers in HR.

Bots Can Improve Employee Self-service.

Self service is where more employees will want to go first.  But let’s face it – not all organizations have a fully-optimize employee portal.  Having spent the past two weeks at Workday Rising in Chicago and HR Shared Services Summit in Orlando, I had an opportunity to speak with a lot of HR executives tasked with Transformation initiatives.

Many of those conversations lead to discussions around the role and effectiveness of the employee self-service portals.  And the majority of those executives volunteered that these portals are doing all that they could be.

Said one HR Director of Operations, “Yes, we have an employee self-service portal – if you want to call it that.”

The reasons given for the sub-par portals range from outdated and incomplete knowledge base content, to a lack of integration to other employee-facing systems.   But regardless of the reason, most organizations can stand to improve their self-service portals, and the employee experience it delivers.

Bots Can Improve Employee Self-service. 

In a recent article “Bots Are Here to (Self-) Serve You”, Denis Pombriant states, “Bots let us work on an exceptions-only basis; we don’t have to put people in the majority of situations that can be adequately handled by bots, which frees up agents to work with the thornier problems.”

Since Bots are good at handling the normal, mundane, predictable and repeatable tasks, humans get to work on the more challenging stuff.  And if you’re hiring the right people to staff your HR Service Center, offering more challenging work will reduce turnover.

When customers and employees go to self service, they’re usually going there to ask questions, and get accurate answers.  Or, to execute a routine transactions.  According to many HR executives, that’s currently not happening as well as it should.

And for those Employee Portals that are already firing on all cylinders, the Bots can still improve the overall Portal experience, by taking over some tasks that employees have taken for granted as a necessary part of the experience.

While the Bots are Busy in Self-service, Humans Will Be Needed in Tier One.

Therefore, there’s a whole lot of work for Bots to do in Self-service, before they move into Tier One.  And that’s good news for the HR Service Center agents, and the employees they serve.

So, while the Bots are creating a better self-service experience 24/7, HR agents can sleep well at night, knowing there will be plenty of interesting and challenging work in the morning.