November 22, 2019

Here’s how virtual assistants are improving the employee experience

Providing a digitally-enabled, personalized employee experience is key to attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent. Here’s how companies can use virtual assistants to differentiate themselves in a tight labour market.

The world’s most successful brands provide tailored experiences for their customers throughout every touchpoint. These organizations realize that this builds brand loyalty and in turn, contributes significantly to their bottom line. Today, employees expect similar experiences from their employer as the ones they receive from their favorite brands.

In a competitive labour market, employers will need to do more to differentiate themselves among a sea of competitors to acquire top talent. One way to accomplish this is by providing a competitive employee experience (EX) that’s personalized, connected, and tailored to meet the needs of a diverse workforce – similar to that of the consumer experience.

Virtual assistants and voice technology have become pervasive in our personal lives. As consumers, we’ve become comfortable with adding to our grocery lists, checking the weather, or calling someone via voice commands on our phones. The widespread adoption is testament to how these tools can contribute to productivity and efficiency in our day-to-day activities.

The use of AI powered conversational platforms at home has led to an increasing need for technologies that provide these types of experiences for employees at work. Now, these technologies are extending beyond the borders of the home and are growing in adoption in the workplace. According to Gartner research, 25% of digital workers will use virtual employee assistants (VEAs) daily by 2021. To shed light on how significant this change is, in 2019, less than 2% of workers used virtual assistants in the workplace.  

It’s commonly understood that these technologies can increase productivity and efficiency, however, virtual assistants also provide a vast opportunity to help attract and retain top talent. In short, by providing an EX that meets the changing needs and expectations of the workforce, companies will be able to differentiate themselves from heavy competition in a tightening job market.

And yet, organizations aren’t yet fully taking advantage of this burgeoning technology.

Enriching the employee experience with virtual assistants

Consumer experiences are quickly setting new standards for the workplace and advancements in voice technology has made it increasingly easier for employers to deliver on these expectations. In fact, Gartner predicts that VEAs have the potential to enrich the EX in almost every industry and will be used by a growing number of organizations over the next three years. The insurance and financial services industry in particular is showing strong interest in piloting VEAs internally.

In the retail industry, employers have significant opportunity to help their frontline workers manage their schedules on-the-go without having to use a mouse and keyboard. This helps reduce shift coverage gaps as employees are able to make changes to their schedules wherever they are, whenever they want.  

For employers, conversational platforms also help reduce the time to train new employees on how to use internal applications; employees can quickly complete tasks with a simple voice or chat command. Additionally, this technology empowers employees to have greater control in managing their work-life activities, allowing them to tell the software what they want to do – similar to having a personal assistant – which ultimately helps increase engagement.

Download the guide, Consumerizing the employee experience to learn more about how your organization can provide a personalized, tailored experience for employees.

Attract and retain top talent with an innovative digital experience

Aside from streamlining administrative tasks and assisting employees in switching shifts and managing schedules, leading organizations are also leveraging voice technology internally to accomplish a much larger goal: to build a competitive employee experience.

A recent global talent survey found a correlation between providing a strong digital experience and a company’s likelihood to retain and attract talent. The survey revealed that 73% of respondents agree that the flexibility of tools they might need to use for work would influence their decision to apply to or accept a position. This means candidates are looking at the bigger picture when choosing their next employer and often consider whether a company is using outdated practices and technology. Further, Gallup claims that an engaging employee experience validates the brand image that attracts people and sustains their engagement long after being onboarded.

As employee expectations shift and transform, employers must continuously assess how they’re meeting the needs of the changing workforce. Providing innovative digital experiences for employees will be a critical differentiator for companies looking to attract and retain top talent in today’s changing job market.

Learn how Ceridian's Dayforce Assistant can help organizations deliver a digitally-enabled, personalized employee experience.

Chris Phan

Chris Phan, Associate Product Owner at Ceridian, creates the product strategy vision and roadmap for Dayforce Assistant. As a conversational tech enthusiast, Chris helps prepare customers for the changing world of work by building innovative employee experiences.

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