Business Leadership Today

How AI Is Helping To Improve Employee Experience


Matt Tenney, Author of Inspire Greatness: How to Motivate Employees with a Simple, Repeatable, Scalable Process

For years now, human resources departments and recruitment firms have utilized automated application management systems in the recruiting process to help organizations quickly and efficiently identify qualified candidates in large pools of applicants. 

With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), many organizations are looking to automate other processes to increase productivity and efficiency and reduce costs.

Across various sectors and industries, AI technology is being integrated into organizational processes, one of which is managing the employee experience. The use of AI is enhancing efficiency in managing employee experience and elevating the overall quality of the employee journey.

One of the most significant ways AI is enhancing the employee journey and boosting efficiency in organizations is by facilitating the automation of some of the more routine and monotonous tasks that have to be done so that employees can focus their attention on more complex tasks.

AI is helping to improve the employee experience by fostering a positive digital employee experience. This includes streamlining the onboarding process, automating responses, analyzing feedback data, providing remote tech support, and assisting with the management of resources. 

This piece will delve into how AI is enhancing the employee experience by creating a better digital employee experience and making organizational processes more efficient in the process.

What Is AI?

AI is a discipline within computer science that focuses on the creation and study of intelligent machines that can emulate human tasks such as problem-solving, decision-making, reasoning, visual perception, speech recognition, and translation between languages. 

It is a broad term that includes various technologies like natural language processing, machine learning, and deep learning. AI can automate a wide range of tasks, from simple to complex. 

This includes streamlining data entry, assisting in software debugging, optimizing supply chain management, predicting future operational issues to enable proactive action, programming robots to perform manual tasks, and even using behavior analysis to personalize customer service. The scope of AI applications is vast and continues to expand as technology advances.

AI has found extensive applications across various sectors. Notable examples of AI applications include the recommendation systems used by platforms such as YouTube and Amazon, voice recognition systems such as Siri and Alexa, and web search engines such as Google Search.

It can even generate creative content:

  • Text: AI has the ability to produce diverse text content, including blog articles, coding scripts, and poetry. It can also craft marketing communications customized for particular audiences. 
  • Images: AI is capable of creating images from descriptions or prompts. For example, Getty Images employs AI to create model faces for their ad campaigns. 
  • Audio and Video: AI can produce audio and video content that resembles human output. It can compose music, provide voiceovers, and produce short films. 
  • Advertising Content: AI is utilized to create both visuals and ad copy for advertising material.

The use of AI-generated creative content has raised many ethical and legal concerns, particularly among artists and other content creators, with many arguing that AI-generated content lacks creativity, emotional depth, and quality and could potentially take jobs away from artists and writers. 

The process by which AI creates the content has also raised concerns about intellectual property infringement.

What Is Employee Experience?

Employee experience encompasses all the interactions that occur throughout an employee’s tenure. It includes the employee’s responsibilities, the work environment, the organizational culture, leadership, and the leaders’ dedication to their development, achievement, and welfare.

Employee experience is not only pivotal in fostering employee motivation, engagement, and retention, but it also has a profound connection with customer experience. The correlation between the two is so robust that many are proclaiming that employee experience is the new frontier of customer experience.

Employees who perceive their experience positively tend to exert more effort, take pride in their tasks, and contribute to a positive customer experience. 

Organizations that foster a positive employee experience see improvements in customer service and satisfaction, increased innovation, and profits that are 25% higher than those that don’t prioritize a positive employee experience.

What Is Digital Employee Experience?

Employee experience and digital employee experience are deeply interconnected. While employee experience provides a broad view of an employee’s journey within an organization, digital employee experience focuses on the digital aspect of the employee’s journey with an organization.

Digital employee experience is the sum of employees’ perceptions and emotions resulting from their use of digital tools in their work. 

The digital employee experience is shaped by the technological tools employees use in their jobs, such as applications, software, networks, and devices; the efficiency and user-friendliness of these tools; and how the tools impact how they connect with others in the workplace. 

Creating a positive digital employee experience requires that the systems and tools employees use on a daily basis are efficient, effective, and easy to use. 

These tools should save employees time, make their jobs more streamlined, and increase productivity, not create additional work for them, so it’s essential to implement these tools carefully to ensure that they are supporting a positive user experience for employees. 

How Is AI Being Used To Improve the Employee Experience? 

AI is helping to improve the employee experience by drastically improving the digital employee experience, including streamlining the onboarding process, automating responses, analyzing feedback data, providing remote tech support, and assisting with the management of resources.

Onboarding Process

The onboarding process is one of the first steps of an employee’s journey with an organization and sets the initial impression for new recruits. This encompasses conducting background checks, reference checks, drug tests, setting up payroll, handling requests for equipment and platform access, and administering necessary compliance training. 

Onboarding can be a tedious process, requiring the coordination of multiple systems, departments, and third parties. Any glitches in this process can potentially delay the new employee’s first day of work and start their employee journey off on the wrong foot.

Automating as much of the process as possible can streamline and simplify it. It makes it easier to track the employee’s progress through the process and reduces delays between steps in the process. 

This can benefit both large and small organizations by helping new hires get onboarded and ready to work in a timely manner and ensuring that each step is completed with minimal oversight needed. 

Automated Responses

Automated responses can be particularly useful in large organizations, where employees may frequently have questions about benefits and policies, sometimes outside of traditional working hours. 

This information can be difficult to track down in a pinch, as it could be dispersed across the organization’s intranet, tucked away on a shared drive, or buried in an employee handbook. 

This AI integration functions like a Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ) page but in a more conversational chat format so that it is responsive, and information is more easily accessible on the user end. Making this information easily accessible to employees at any time can be a great way to support a positive employee experience because it can save them time and reduce unnecessary stress. 

On the customer end, chatbot automation can also be a useful tool that helps organizations quickly address common customer questions and issues while freeing up employees’ time to focus on higher-level tasks. 

When employees are able to spend less time on repetitive and monotonous tasks, and more time on complex tasks, they can be more productive and experience greater job satisfaction. 

Feedback Analysis

AI can enhance the efficiency, precision, and depth of feedback analysis, resulting in less stress for employees and better customer satisfaction and business results.

AI can be used to perform automated analysis to help organizations streamline how they collect, analyze, visualize, and respond to feedback, which can be especially beneficial for large datasets where manual analysis could be laborious and result in mistakes.

Machine learning (a subset of AI) can be utilized to conduct predictive analysis and forecast upcoming trends using past feedback data, empowering organizations to foresee and tackle problems before they intensify or even occur in some cases.

AI technologies such as natural language processing have the ability to examine open-ended survey responses, which frequently contain a large amount of qualitative data. Natural language processing can pinpoint principal themes and sentiments in these responses, offering more profound insights than mere quantitative scores.

Remote Tech Support

With more people working remotely, AI can be an invaluable tool for improving the employee experience because it facilitates communication and collaboration between co-workers and across teams using various forms of support. 

It offers decision-making assistance in a timely manner, leading to improved results, and optimizes the performance of essential tools like video conferencing software. It can streamline scheduling and time management tasks and aid in efficient email management. AI-driven tools also safeguard remote workers by identifying and mitigating cyber threats. 

AI can provide the remote IT support employees need and ensure they aren’t being pulled away from their duties to troubleshoot tech issues. 

Whether it’s installing software, setting up microphones and cameras, or solving connectivity issues, remote workers encounter the same issues office workers do when it comes to tech, but they are often expected to fend for themselves (whether they have the skill set to solve the problem or not). 

AI can be a great way to supplement traditional IT support and ensure remote workers have the tools they need to work with autonomy. 

Resource Management

AI can have a significant impact on how well organizations manage and allocate their resources, including the most important of resources—humans.

Automating HR tasks, including benefits and payroll administration, generating new policies, job descriptions, and interview questions, and applicant management, can increase efficiency and provide HR staff with the bandwidth to focus on more complex tasks. 

Scheduling can be a complicated task, especially in remote and hybrid work environments. The process can become much less challenging and more efficient with AI assistance, causing fewer headaches for employees and their supervisors. 

Automated forecasting and scheduling determine future resource requirements and align them with optimal employee schedules, making time-off requests easier to process and incorporate into work schedules to ensure appropriate coverage by employees with the necessary skills. 

Impact of AI on the Employee Experience

As our understanding deepens about the crucial impact of employee experience on the long-term success of organizations, many leaders are beginning to focus more on managing the employee experience.

What we’re discovering is that in order to attain the favorable business results we aim for and to guarantee that we’re creating the requisite work conditions for our teams to realize these results, we must explore methods to amplify the positive effects on the employee experience.

The main ways organizations increase the employee experience and enhance it in positive ways are: 

  • Maintain effective communication
  • Create a feedback system
  • Offer flexibility
  • Provide opportunities for growth
  • Foster a positive work environment

An AI-enhanced work environment that supports a positive digital employee experience can help organizations do all these things more consistently, efficiently, and successfully.

Automating processes can reduce employee burnout, increase efficiency and productivity, decrease mistakes, improve time management, and help employees cut down on time spent doing repetitive tasks so that they can instead focus more attention on higher-level, more complex tasks and grow their skills. 

AI helps organizations serve customers better by automating mundane tasks and freeing up employees’ time. This boosts employees’ performance and overall job satisfaction, which can improve their interactions with customers, and free up their time to focus on less mundane customer interactions that require a human touch. 

These automations can enable employees to become more engaged with their work and less likely to disengage or quit, and they support a positive work environment, where communication is more meaningful, feedback is continuous and easier to respond to, there is greater flexibility in schedules and resource allocation, and employees can dedicate more time to growth and development.

Utilizing tools that improve the digital employee experience can also be an innovative approach to building cultural buy-in because it shows employees that the organization is adaptable, progressive, and willing to invest in tools that make their jobs easier and reduce their stress. 

While this is a topic that can be somewhat controversial and will persist in being controversial for years to come, AI is here to stay. And while many worry that it will replace jobs, it also has tremendous power to create jobs and improve the lives of humans. Leaders should contemplate how they can leverage technology to not only transform their organizations but also to enhance the lives of others.

Matt Tenney has been working to help organizations develop leaders who improve employee engagement and performance since 2012. He is the author of three leadership books, including the groundbreaking, highly acclaimed book Inspire Greatness: How to Motivate Employees with a Simple, Repeatable, Scalable Process.

Matt’s ideas have been featured in major media outlets and his clients include numerous national associations and Fortune 500 companies.

He is often invited to deliver keynote speeches at conferences and leadership meetings, and is known for delivering valuable, actionable insights in a way that is memorable and deeply inspiring.

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