Michael Williams, Senior Experience Strategist at CourtAvenue

Employee Experience & AI

The emergence of cutting-edge AI systems, including ChatGPT, Gemini, and Claude, which utilize large language models, has sparked a wave of articles about how organizations should leverage AI to elevate customer experience, streamline processes, generate content, and more. With the advanced natural language processing capabilities of LLMs, chatbots and virtual assistants, in particular, have seen a huge upgrade in utility. Once little more sophisticated than phone tree menus, new chatbots, and virtual assistants can interpret a wide range in quality of input from users and provide sophisticated and useful responses.

While much of the focus has been on chatbots and virtual assistants used in customer-facing contexts, organizations shouldn’t lose focus on the ways recent advances in AI can benefit their workforce.

Why organizations should be thinking about AI for employees

Workers today are inundated with menial tasks and distractions, keeping them from their actual work and draining productivity as well as overall job satisfaction. Microsoft recently released a report highlighting the roadblocks and frustrations employees face daily. The top five blockers employees mention in the Microsoft report are:

  1. Inefficient meetings

  2. Lacking clear goals

  3. Having too many meetings

  4. Feeling uninspired

  5. Not easily finding the information I need

AI powered tools can help by freeing up workers from losing half their day to hurdles preventing them from making progress on meaningful work. Anyone can spend 15-20 minutes looking for a file. Not everyone can take the data from that file and incorporate it into another document to tell a compelling story about a product’s performance, and most people would much rather spend their time doing the latter. It's not just about employee experience. In addition to improving job satisfaction and workforce productivity, organizations can benefit from the experience and lessons of deploying AI solutions internally. By developing AI applications as internal-facing tools, companies can gain valuable experience building, deploying, and testing AI solutions in a low-risk environment without chancing awkward customer-facing glitches or errors that could have reputational consequences. The wealth of knowledge and experience accrued can then continuously be used to improve or enhance the organization’s current or future customer-facing AI implementations.

AI in the workforce

There have been many helpful workforce-oriented chatbots over the years, like simple digital assistants helping with basic employee onboarding, HR support, and answering day-to-day questions about things like cafeteria menus/hours. While these chatbots are helpful, even the early AI-powered chatbots were quite limited. Developing effective chatbots required predicting and designing for all the possible things a user might ask the chatbot and how they might phrase those questions. With the robust capabilities offered by LLMs, chatbots and digital assistants are much more capable and require far less manual work trying to account for every possible input the user might try.

Below are some examples of how AI chatbots with LLM capabilities can support an organization’s workforce.

Onboarding support: employees can ask a digital onboarding assistant any question they could possibly think of about the organization they’ve just joined, and receive detailed answers in response, only rarely needing a human to step in. In the rare cases where a chatbot can’t answer, it can easily direct the employee to the person with the answer. In addition, the digital assistant could handle getting new employees access to needed applications and digital spaces, helping them fill out required forms, and alerting approvers.

The impact: The digital assistant frees up senior employees and leaders who otherwise spend valuable time picking up the slack from limited, out-of-date, or just plain ineffective onboarding decks and materials throughout the first several weeks or months of a new employee's onboarding.

Knowledge repository: imagine being able to access key details about projects, work teams, and files housed across your organization with a simple, naturally phrased question. No more hoping the person with the answer isn’t out on vacation or out to lunch (that is, if you even know who has the answer); this AI assistant is always available. Best of all, you don’t lose digital assistants to employee turnover, meaning organizations have an easy way to avoid losing critical project details or knowledge.

The impact: fewer “quick” meetings to ask questions about this or that project, less time tracking people and files down, and more time focusing on the work itself.

HR and Benefits Support: An AI chatbot or virtual assistant could go beyond serving as an interactive FAQ. It could provide detailed answers to complex questions about coverage, supporting employees in making the best coverage choices for their unique circumstances. It can also offer career advice, recommend career training, and provide other job-related support.

The impact: Employees won’t have to call an HR number or wait for a response to their email, two issues that can create friction and discourage employees from contacting HR unless the situation is dire. It also frees up HR employees from having to answer the same simple HR questions repeatedly. Lastly, employees who might otherwise feel shy about asking certain HR-related questions can get some basic information from the virtual assistant first.

How to get started

The advanced natural language capabilities of modern AI chatbots and virtual assistants have the potential to enhance employee experience—from streamlining onboarding to capturing organizational knowledge and providing HR support. By intelligently automating tasks and making information more accessible, AI can eliminate many of the constant distractions disrupting employee focus and productivity.

Interested in improving your workforce’s productivity and job satisfaction? Reaping the benefits of AI solutions for employee experience requires first understanding employee workflows to pinpoint high-impact opportunities. Like any experience project, organizations can only get the best results from a thorough understanding of the user (employees) and their problems. CourtAvenue has deep expertise in solving complex problems and delivering next level experiences for employees and customers alike, in addition to our experience building and deploying AI solutions. If you’re looking for how to get started with improving your employee experience, with or without AI, CourtAvenue can help.