Guest blog by Tarek Kamil, CEO and Founder of Cerkl and posted on HRCurator.com on 1 February 2024.
AI is embracing our everyday working lives. One incredible benefit is it can have a powerful impact on employee engagement and retention.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the workplace globally. This generation version, which is known as Generative AI or GenAI, has seen a significant rise of use in AI tools used to enhance internal communications and employee engagement. As a result, companies have been able to optimize their employee retention strategies.
The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier, a McKinsey report published mid-2023, states that GenAI has the potential to add $2.6-$4.4 trillion annually in productivity value globally across various industries. This figure could double if generative AI was embedded into software used for tasks not studied in the research. Apart from the monetary impact, generative AI tools have other benefits including improving employee experience and enhancing customer satisfaction.
McKinsey also predicts that generative AI could accelerate higher productivity growth.
“Generative AI is poised to unleash the next wave of productivity.” McKinsey
Understanding GenAI in the Workplace
The buzz around artificial intelligence has made its way from the tech sphere to the workplace. The newest generation of AI — GenAI — is marching into the workplace and promising to revolutionize employee engagement and retention. The transformative capabilities of GenAI can dramatically increase employee engagement, ultimately improving employee retention. For example, an award-winning health care system increased employee engagement by 164% in just one year by combining a powerful audience manager and AI-powered content delivery.
But what exactly is GenAI? And how does it work in the workplace?
GenAI refers to AI technologies that are capable of learning and evolving independently through deep learning and machine learning mechanisms. This latest wave of AI takes a wide variety of inputs and can adapt to different situations and environments. This proves its worth for creating better strategies aimed at engaging employees.
For instance, GenAI can automate repetitive tasks, freeing up employees’ time and enabling them to focus on critical, higher-level tasks. This not only enhances efficiency, but also fosters a sense of purpose and satisfaction among employees. These are, of course, key contributors to engagement and retention. Furthermore, through predictive analytics, GenAI can identify employee pain points, forecast turnover rates, and guide management to take proactive steps in tackling these issues. This positively impacts employee engagement and retention.
Additionally, GenAI plays a crucial role in facilitating a company culture of psychological safety. In essence, GenAI can provide unbiased, data-driven insights about employee sentiment and satisfaction, which can lead to more open, non-stigmatized discussions about workplace challenges.
How to Use GenAI in the Workplace
Here are a few applications of GenAI in the workplace:
Automating repetitive tasks
Analyzing and predicting employee turnover
Fostering a psychologically safe company culture
Providing data-driven insights about employee sentiment
Furthermore, an employee engagement platform with OpenAI chatGPT integration can provide intelligent solutions to keep teams motivated and engaged, leading to improved employee retention rates.
Given the potential benefits of GenAI, it isn’t surprising that organizations are eager to adopt and exploit it. However, seamless integration requires aligning GenAI with business strategy. It also entails ensuring infrastructure support as well as the willingness of employees to embrace this new, sometimes intimidating, technology.
AI Tools for Internal Communications
Communication is the backbone of an interactive and inclusive work environment, and it profoundly impacts employee engagement and retention. AI has substantial implications here as well with tools designed to streamline, optimize, and personalize internal communications, boosting the employee experience and therefore engagement.
AI-powered tools leverage the potential of machine learning and natural language processing to measure how effectively employees are engaged. They can also be used to collect feedback, and analyze data in real-time. This enables organizations to gain in-depth understanding and insights into employee sentiments, concerns, ideas, and contributions. The understanding, in turn, allows them to respond promptly and assertively — an excellent strategy for improving employee retention.
AI can also be used for personalizing communication, making employees feel valued and engaged. AI-based email tools, for instance, can automate and personalize mail drafts based on the recipient’s behavior and preferences, ensuring that each employee receives the information they find most relevant. Similarly, chatbots can assist in delivering instant responses to employee queries, reducing wait times and increasing engagement.
Moreover, GenAI can enhance the onboarding process, which is one of the first opportunities to engage employees effectively. An AI-based onboarding process can entail personalized training modules tailored to meet the learning style and pace of each new hire, thus fostering a sense of belonging from the start and improving their retention chances.
Measuring employee engagement
Collecting feedback and analyzing data
Enhancing the onboarding process
However, a crucial consideration when deploying AI for internal communications is to strike a balance between automation and human touch. While AI can take over many communication aspects, the undeniably critical human element of interaction should not be compromised. Avoid inundating employees with automated messages. Instead, use AI to supplement human communication, making it more efficient and impactful.
The Role of Internal Communications in Employee Engagement
One of the key aspects of improving employee engagement and retention in an organization revolves around effective communication. Internal communication is an essential tool for creating a positive company culture. It serves as a platform for management to capture employee feedback and disseminate information, leading to a more engaged and motivated workforce.
One vital function of internal communication is to clarify the roles and responsibilities of everyone in a team. Improved understanding of their roles can help enhance employee engagement by showing how their individual contributions impact the broader goals of the organization. This not only increases job satisfaction but also leads the way for a more efficient and productive work environment.
Moreover, a proper flow of information can create an atmosphere of transparency, which is vital if you are going to engage employees effectively. Transparent communication fosters trust in the management team, leading to higher levels of employee satisfaction, in this way improving employee retention.
Internal communication is also a direct avenue for employee recognition, one of the critical pillars of employee engagement. Recognizing employees for their work and achievements makes them feel valued, again improving engagement and retention.
Ultimately, regular communication can be an effective way to measure employee engagement. Employee surveys and pulse surveys can provide a real-time snapshot of how employees are feeling about their work, the company culture, and their overall employee experience. These insights can help adjust your strategy for better outcomes.
Internal communications, therefore, play a crucial role in ensuring employees are engaged, satisfied, and committed to their roles. Establishing a clear and open flow of communication fosters trust, encourages transparency, and leads to higher engagement levels, ultimately improving employee retention.
Enhancing Employee Retention Through GenAI
GenAI has taken center stage in redefining the workplace environment in an era characterized by groundbreaking technological innovations. Although it may seem counterintuitive, AI can significantly enhance employee engagement and even boost retention rates.
One way GenAI has streamlined internal communication and increased employee engagement is through OpenAI ChatGPT integration. This AI tool can deflect routine questions, allowing the human resources team to concentrate on more complex, high-value tasks. By taking over mundane tasks, GenAI allows employees to focus on their core roles, leading to improved job satisfaction and engagement.
AI can also enhance the onboarding process, paving the way for increasing both engagement and retention. Automated onboarding tools can provide new hires with a comprehensive introduction to their roles and the company culture. Live interactive sessions and AI-guided courses make the onboarding process more engaging and personalized, leading to happier, more experienced employees, and decreased employee turnover.
Moreover, GenAI has tools that can measure employee engagement in real-time. These include AI-powered engagement platforms, employee sentiment analysis tools, and pulse survey tools. These many tools can capture pain points, provide valuable insights, and foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
Furthermore, GenAI can provide a personalized approach to employee retention strategies. AI can analyze a wealth of data to predict which employees are likely to leave the company and which retention strategies work best for different individuals. This leads to a more effective retention strategy and a more engaged workforce.
Embracing GenAI is thus vital in enhancing employee retention in today’s digital age. From streamlining communication and onboarding processes to personalizing retention strategies, AI plays a significant role in promoting employee engagement. By acting on the insights derived from AI tools, organizations can foster a culture of engagement and collaboration, ultimately leading to improved retention rates.
Tarek Kamil is CEO and Founder of Cerkl, an AI-powered platform that elevates internal communications. As a passionate tech enthusiast and entrepreneur, Tarek strives to create innovative solutions that positively impact the digital world. With a passion for blending technology and creativity, he aims to inspire and make a difference through his ventures.
What is employee engagement and employee retention?
Engagement refers to the emotional commitment and involvement employees have towards their work. Retention, on the other hand, involves strategies to retain talented and valuable staff within an organization. Both minimize staff turnover.
What are the key factors that contribute to employee engagement and retention?
Key factors include a positive work culture, effective communication, opportunities for professional development, and recognition of employees. Factors that influence retention include competitive compensation, work-life balance, career advancement opportunities, and a supportive work environment.
Why is engagement important for retention?
Engagement is crucial for retention because engaged employees are more likely to be satisfied, motivated, and committed to their roles and job functions. This effectively reduces turnover rates and helps to foster a stable workforce.
What has the biggest impact on employee engagement?
Leadership and management practices, including clear communication, supportive leadership, and opportunities for skill development all have a significant impact on engagement.