AI's role in improving employee retention

How companies recruit, engage and retain talent with AI


Employers will shell out $680bn in turnover costs by 2020. This concerning prediction was published by the Work Institute, together with the 2018 Retention Report, which revealed the 50 most common reasons employees decide to leave their jobs.

Among reasons such as compensation and benefits, general well-being and manager behavior, most frequently cited were work-life balance and career development, or lack of both.

Seven of the top 10 reasons why people quit their jobs are preventable. By combining big data and machine learning (ML) with a human touch, some interesting new applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in HR may hold a key to reducing employee turnover for good. Below we present ways in which AI can help to improve employee retention rates.

AI Is helping HR solve the talent crisis

Identifying and training the right talent is crucial for employee success. The problem is that as few as 56% of CEOs and chief human resource officers (CHROs) believe in the effectiveness of their organizations' current talent programs. Employees themselves agree and in alarming numbers – 83% of them want a new job, but only 53% of them are ready to quit and start job hunting all over again.

But AI is already helping HR teams streamline and reduce screening times, thus accelerating the talent acquisition process without compromising on talent quality.

The role of technology in this process is threefold:

  • AI chatbots boost candidate engagement through fast and helpful interactions.
  • AI algorithms recommend next steps to recruiters and automate what they can.
  • AI analysis provides candidate insight and generates acquisition reports.

More fulfilling employee experiences

Although the right person for the job is more likely to adapt to the company's culture and stay with the team for years to come, employee experience is still vital. The more fulfilling it is, the better. There's really no end to what AI can do on this front. Most notably, as we'll see in a little while, smart technology can improve development, engagement and collaboration.

The power of AI-based engagement

As many as 70% of employees are not engaged at work. Even more shocking is that 89% of employers cannot be more wrong when coming up with reasons why employees leave. Most of them think people quit for more money.

We've mentioned a few of the reasons for employee turnover before, so we looked at stats to provide us with something different – a solution that will make people stay.

It's all about engagement, says the Corporate Leadership Council. According to its survey, which included more than 50,000 employees at 59 global organizations, highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies.

AI is a powerful engagement booster – it can help organizations understand who their employees are and what they are expecting from their companies:

  • AI-based data analysis can tell organizations why people leave the company.
  • Sentiment analysis can explain the motivations and behaviors of employees.

Using biometrics, text analysis and natural language processing (NLP), advanced sentiment analysis can identify why certain employees get disengaged, demotivated and bored at work.

Having determined the root cause of a problem, AI can then provide data-based recommendations on actions to boost employee engagement levels and retain them for good.

Addressing employees' pain points

Of course, AI can provide personalized engagement recommendations in real time, thus enabling HR teams to act fast and prevent a productivity drop before it happens.

But that's not all. The implications of real-time reporting go beyond everyday engagement and productivity. In terms of the overall experience, AI can help organizations hear their employees' concerns.

Indirectly, through sentiment analysis, HR teams can track satisfaction levels in their employees and address their pain points long before the first red flag appears.

Another approach would be more direct – employees would use AI chatbots to voice their concerns and leave feedback anonymously, without any fear of future repercussions.

Enriching the overall work experience

There's another thing AI chatbots can do to improve the work experience. One of the top reasons why people leave their jobs, according to an International Data Corporation report, is because they are spending too much time on mundane tasks. Employees need to feel that they are doing something meaningful and they want to apply their skills to creative tasks. AI chatbots can help companies answer this demand.

Digital assistants are designed for monotonous tasks like crunching numbers and data entry. They can perform them without ever getting bored, tired and burnt out.

AI helps achieve the work-life balance

AI can also help employees achieve a better work-life balance. This can be accomplished by detecting individual needs and peak productivity hours using sentiment analysis and KPI tracking and custom-tailoring schedules based on these insights.

But AI can also help HR and team managers establish great self-scheduling practices and automate time-off request processing, thus saving time for an entire organization.

Identifying opportunities for growth

No opportunity to grow in a preferred job or career remains the number one reason why people leave their companies. And there's so much that AI can do about that:

  • Assess the quality of employee work performance.
  • Make recommendations on next steps to train employees.
  • Alert managers when an employee might be ready for a new challenge.
  • Tailor data-fueled personalized learning paths and career plans.
  • Provide real-time guidance in training programs.

Cutting-edge LMS software solutions and employee training tools are already relying on AI to provide personalized learning and development paths based on individual needs.

In conclusion

AI boasts analytical supremacy that can be used for meta-analysis as well – to help companies identify what they are doing right and what can be improved. Through these and other exciting applications, AI could help HR build a continuous flow of insight and learn everything about what makes people leave and what makes them stay.

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