Many forward-thinking companies are turning to AI to tackle the problem of employee engagement. Source: Shutterstock

Many forward-thinking companies are turning to AI to tackle the problem of employee engagement. Source: Shutterstock

Can AI help organizations better engage with their employees?

BUSINESSES in the digital economy are constantly figuring out ways to enhance operational efficiency and boost productivity to gain a competitive edge.

However, at the same time, they are forced to deal with the harsh reality that the majority of their employees are unengaged and severely lacking in motivation.

Recent research by analytics firm Gallup found that up to 51 percent of workers do not feel engaged at work, something which the firm has referred to as ’employee engagement crisis’.

A highly engaged workforce is capable of improving company profitability up by 21 percent, while also having a significant effect on employee retention. The study asserted that highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave the company.

Many companies struggle when it comes to fostering employee engagement, despite making it a strategic priority. Hence, some forward-thinking organizations have turned to a more advanced solution: artificial intelligence (AI).

Finger on the real-time ‘pulse’

Though we are in 2019, and many businesses acknowledge the need for agility and nimbleness to respond to changes in the market, they do not take the same approach when it comes to engaging with their most valuable asset, the human workforce.

HR departments everywhere still depend on ‘pulse’ engagement surveys that are conducted quarterly or annually. These surveys are not only old-fashioned but also extremely lengthy and mundane. As a result, they rarely yield any accurate insights.

Further, these surveys also rely on scaled responses which are highly subjective and open to interpretation.

Besides, the length of time it takes to analyze these surveys also make the result dated, and not truly indicative of the actual state of affairs.

AI, on the other hand, could help businesses gauge employee engagement in real-time.

The maturity of the technology is at an all-time high, and companies could leverage its natural language processing (NLP) and sentiment analysis capabilities to gain deep insights on employee morale and engagement.

A robust AI-powered platform would be able to anonymously track the type of language used in e-mail correspondence or emojis used in company chats among employees, and run sentiment analyses to give a real-time engagement snapshot.

Beyond that, AI also has the potential to evaluate biometric data such as fingerprints, retinal scan, and similar data for a more accurate assessment.

With real-time data, HR teams are empowered to intervene quickly with personalized corrective actions and recommendations, which is virtually impossible with lengthy, annual surveys.

In conclusion, employee engagement is a tough nut to crack for most companies, especially using conventional methods. AI-powered platforms could quickly solve employee engagement issues and enhance workforce productivity.