Why HR Isn’t Viewed as a Strategic Business Partner (and How to Fix That)

Posted by Stephanie Ventura on Oct 2, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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For too long, Human Resources has been considered just an administrative function, rather than a strategic player that impacts the company significantly. Organizations need HR to support the employee population, yet the department is relegated to distributing forms or answering the same questions day after day. Thankfully, new technology like artificial intelligence (AI) is allowing HR to shed this image. The most progressive teams are utilizing AI to position themselves as innovative thinkers who enable the success of the most important part of a business: the people. 

The Barriers

HR is famous for being “too busy doing” and lack the time to really focus on meaningful changes that would benefit the organization. Human Resources encompasses a wide variety of responsibilities from recruitment to learning and development, yet a majority of a generalist’s day is spent answering FAQs and directing employees to relevant resources. This constant reaction to inquiries leaves little time for proactive planning. Deploying a new HRIS system or implementing initiatives like a wellness program requires research and preparation. However, many HR teams are overwhelmed with an inbox full of requests to triage and as a result, cannot devote their attention to projects that greatly benefit the employee population. 

Many attribute resisting technological advances as a barrier that limits HR’s ability to become a strategic influence on its company. Understandably, Human Resources focuses on humans, not technology. But as people grow more accustomed to instant gratification and streamlined experiences in their personal life, expectations for the workplace rise. Picking up the employee handbook is too much to expect nowadays. It’s much easier for people to send a quick email or, more likely, an instant message to get the information they need in the quickest manner possible. To best serve employees, HR must become as agile as the people they support.

The bottom-line is not the only measure of a company’s success. Human Resources expert and VP of workplace consulting at Workplace Dynamics, Stephan Hagelauer, says, “the valuable HR partner in today’s business economy has figured out how to help impact top-line results,” and teams that can create a culture of engaged employees will always yield high performances. Of course, optimal employee performance is critical for a business’s success.

The Solution

Artificial intelligence solves many of the problems that stand in the way of HR becoming more proactive and strategic. Intelligent agents can automate the FAQs that flood the HR inbox, freeing teams from the rote tasks that take up more time than they should.

When the HR department is enhanced by AI, the intelligent agent uses conversational data to power a machine learning algorithm that automates the process of identifying HR issues that need a response. AI-powered agents are trained on-the-go and never forget an answer once one is saved. They also have the ability to share relevant information from existing knowledge bases to provide helpful answers for every employee. Initially, it may seem daunting to introduce a tool that distributes knowledge when prompted, but AI makes the process quick and painless no matter where the agent, or the knowledge, lives. 

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Strategic HR departments consider all the aspects of a business that contribute to its success. Embracing AI technology helps your HR team move into a proactive position in the business, able to think ahead instead of reacting to what is right in front of them. Employees must feel engaged and supported to perform at their best. AI handles the routine, monotonous work to keep employees informed and happy, and helps keep Human Resources focused on the human experience.

If you’d like to test-drive a Human Resources Intelligent Assistant powered by cutting-edge artificial intelligence, contact Talla today.

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Topics: AI, Artificial Intelligence, intelligent assistants, Human Resources