How To Increase Team Productivity with a Digital Assistant Tips

Published Wed 12 Jun 2019

HR managers work tirelessly to unlock more team progress, end the “busyness” culture and use technology to make smarter decisions. Read our top tips to discover how giving every employee their own intelligent assistant can help HR to achieve their goals and increase productivity.

1. Eliminate Busyness culture by focusing on value

In a nutshell, busyness culture is spending your entire day attending meetings, checking emails and exchanging messages without spending enough time on working towards one’s own goals and targets. It’s a well documented phenomenon that almost every industry struggles with. To mitigate this, TrainingIndustry.com recommends encouraging employees to be mindful about how they use their time – for example, by asking themselves simple questions before committing time to something: “Should I check my email now or go to that meeting?”, or “Which is more valuable: working on my three goals or spending a couple of hours in a meeting?” By considering the value of spending time on a specific task or activity, employees are more likely to use their time more effectively.

However, even in companies where HR practices more mindful task selectiveness, there are  challenges around one of the biggest sources of distraction: the very technology created to increase productivity. As it turns out, it oftentimes can have the opposite effect.

2. Use Technology to make smarter and quicker decisions

Training Industry points out that in today’s world, information is moving at lightning speed - there is much too much information available to all ranks of a business to ever be used efficiently. So in the light of automation it becomes increasingly important to focus on leading people to get work done, and focus on what kind of work employees do that sparks a sense of meaningfulness.

One of the biggest wastes of employee productivity are the time it takes users to traverse numerous applications to complete even simple assignments as well as the number of distractions dealt by email and chat software.

3. AI to help filter information overload

In the 1990s many managers had personal assistants that dealt with the menial, mundane, repetitive or otherwise distracting jobs that highly experienced staff didn’t have time for. The PC revolution was responsible for secretarial and personal assistant roles to become niche occupations by adding an immense amount of productivity and utility to the toolset of managers.

Yet three decades of continuous wage growth later, companies are starting to again look for ways to offload simple tasks from their highly skilled workers.

Chart: Average hourly wage in the US, more than doubled since 1990

This is where products like Digital Assistant come into play: At the basic level it’s a simple to use chatbot that sits nestled inside existing business software like Slack or Microsoft Teams. But it is also connected to all existing business data, from on-premises databases to cloud services like Office365, Dropbox or GSuite.

Sitting as a proverbial ‘man in the middle’ this Digital Assistant understands the natural language of the user. It uses this to retrieve specific data quickly and accurately, present it to the user and fulfill their requests, i.e. to start filling out a form – all without requiring you to ever leave the conversation.

Why is this important for HR managers? Since HR and communications are always focused on streamlining the number of communication channels in the organization, this could be a powerful tool to aggregate multiple applications and processes by means of a common interface. Having a more concise communications line-up is linked to more productive workforce and lower attrition.

An intelligent Digital Assistant islike an artificial reincarnation of the typical 1990s personal assistant and it builds a corner stone of many digital workplaces. Companies that use Intelligent Digital Assistants see up to a 17% increase in workplace satisfaction and a 15% increase in work/life balance – in today’s competitive HR landscape a not to be underestimated unique hiring proposition to attract the best candidates.

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