Jigesh Saheba

My article, Why HR Policies Should Drive Modern HR Systems, examined the role of HR policies written in plain language and how they can drive productivity and improve user experience. This article explores how generative artificial intelligence (AI) can leverage the policy-based foundation and evolve systems from mere record keepers to trustworthy agents, enabling unprecedented self-serviceability, higher automation, and enhanced user experience.

Hello, computer!

We’ve all seen sci-fi movies and television shows depicting futuristic computer technology where interacting with a computer is as natural as talking to another human being. Human-computer interaction evolved quickly from cryptic commands to graphical interfaces to a friendlier chat and voice interface using everyday language. Today’s modern systems are better able to understand user intent in natural language, execute preset instructions and retrieve curated content.

Generative AI will likely change how we interact with computers forever. One of the most impressive feats of generative AI technology is the universal appeal regardless of the topic and the user’s level of expertise. The beauty of the large language model (LLM), which ChatGPT and other systems use, is its ability to recognize relationships and dependencies between words, sentences, and paragraphs, learn patterns, extract intent from plain language, create new content, and mimic human interactions. It can analyze data, aid decision-making, generate new content and facilitate actions via one-on-one conversations in natural language.

HR leaders and practitioners have a lot of responsibilities, including keeping track of the latest rules and regulations impacting the workplace. While many HR systems can track provincial and federal rules, understanding these complex rules and becoming familiar with these systems can still require extensive training for newer practitioners to be productive at their jobs.

Generative AI can revolutionize how we build and use HR systems today.

It can:

  • Understand a user’s intent through natural language
  • Identify objectives and provide relevant information to complete
  • Map tasks to application actions and guide users through a sequence of steps
  • Take action and automate work
  • Assist users in making informed decisions by presenting relevant and timely insights and analytics
  • Nudge users toward best practices to drive better outcomes

Here are three examples where it could dramatically improve productivity and user experience:

1. Digital assistant

AI-powered digital assistants are emerging in many fields to assist human users in their everyday tasks. Leveraging large language models with chat interfaces, digital assistants can talk with humans naturally to explain work, identify tasks, and act on them. In HR, AI-powered digital assistants have the potential to do the following in a conversational interface:

  • Provide insights in time to act, such as alerting when a new minimum wage rate will be effective
  • Assist with writing job descriptions, offer letters or creating custom analytics dashboards
  • Replying to a question and providing recommended resolutions, such as approaches for employment law compliance

2. Approving timesheets

What if you could automate your work without requiring the help of expert coders? Generative AI shows promise in computer-code generation when given simple instructions in plain English. HR systems can use this technology and allow users to create automation in jobs simply by stating what needs to happen.

Let’s take the example of managers approving timesheets every week. The manager could state the automation intent, such as “automatically approve timesheets requiring my approval when actual hours on the timesheets are within 10 percent of planned hours for the week. Otherwise, notify me via email with the employee’s name, actual hours and planned hours.” With appropriate guardrails in place, properly trained HR systems with a policy-based foundation could auto-generate and execute the computer code necessary to automate this task.

3. Onboarding new hires

New-hire onboarding is a great opportunity to prepare an employee to work for your organization as well as train them on the systems you use. It is often the first impression that employees get about what it is like to work for your organization. It’s important to make this process as seamless as possible, to not only lessen the burden on existing employees, but also have new employees start working more efficiently, and more engaged, right from the get-go. For example, a generative AI-powered HR assistant has the potential to improve the onboarding experience by:

  • Becoming an expert resource, by translating and summarizing HR policies
  • Generating a personalized onboarding journey with step-by-step instructions that educate employees and assist with the completion of tasks with high accuracy and reliability,
  • Guiding new hires through benefits selections by offering recommendations and options based on family and personal needs, and
  • Helping HR practitioners manage the process better by providing people with analytics and insights into the onboarding process beyond traditional, predefined metrics.

HR systems can use this technology to offer a better experience, increase HR productivity, and allow humans to focus on matters requiring a human touch. Policy-based systems with AI-powered digital assistants offer an excellent opportunity for intelligent, flexible, and evolving systems to meet users’ needs.

Choosing the right technology partner

While there are a number of AI-enabled HR solutions available, it’s important to go with a vendor you can trust to help you manage security and privacy risks. ADP employs proven design principles and governance practices to help you protect client data and follow privacy rules.

ADP’s deep HR expertise and decades of experience with clients of varying sizes in every industry allow us to adopt revolutionary technology like generative AI at scale, safely and create value for our clients. 

Learn more in this on-demand webcast

How AI is Reshaping the World of Work: Insights and Strategies to Consider

Automation fuelled by traditional and generative AI is helping transform organizations and work itself. While powering positive advancements, AI applications are still a relatively new concept and due diligence is required to deploy them properly. It is essential that businesses consider privacy, legal and ethical issues when adopting AI, especially as regulators consider new rules to address the societal impact.

This webcast covers critical insights and best practices on what organizations need to consider. Launch anytime.

This article originally appeared on SPARK powered by ADP.

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