Anyone who has ever started a new job, particularly at a large organization, knows how daunting learning the ropes can be. And even long-term employees often have questions about policies, procedures, or practices, that they’ve never dealt with.
Obviously, productivity suffers if employees are spending time looking for answers to basic or frequently-asked questions. And, even if an employee can identify the one employee or handful of employees who probably have the information they’re after, those people may not be available, and their time is probably valuable, as well. Enter: artificial intelligence (AI).
An App for That!
In a recent article for Inc., Kevin J. Ryan covered tech start-up Spoke, founded by ex-Google employees Jay Srinivasan, David Kaneda, and Pratyus Patnaik. Spoke is a software firm that uses artificial intelligence to attempt to make employees’ lives easier by learning information about the company and answering workers’ questions using a chatbot.
For new employees, writes Ryan, that could mean a searchable home for tax forms, benefits info, org charts, and employee handbooks. For the whole staff, it could mean a bot that knows everything from the guest Wi-Fi password to how to input travel expenses to the company policy on rolling over sick days from year to year.
Start with the Basics and ‘Learn’ Over Time
Ryan writes that when companies initially install Spoke or other AI software, they can program it to answer a dozen or so of the most frequently asked questions and then let the AI software learn more on its own based on the feedback provided by employees regarding the success of an interaction.
AI may be years away from taking jobs away from large segments of the population. But software like Spoke demonstrates how organizations can use AI in very practical ways to make an organization more efficient and effective. It’s particularly appropriate for filling information gaps related to low-level tasks.