Working environments are evolving and employers are having to work hard to keep up; navigating hybrid working, rising costs and technological advancements. Plus all the while trying to create a culture of productivity, whilst supporting work-life balance to avoid employee burnout.
Many organisations are taking pause to assess the efficiency of working processes to ensure their business is as productive and profitable as possible to ride out the current uncertain markets. Workplace from Meta describes how productivity isn’t the same as efficiency, but the two are so inextricably linked that oftentimes you can’t have one without the other. It’s essential to ensure the balance is right though. For example, you could have an extremely productive workforce (getting a lot done) that is also extremely inefficient (not getting the right things done).
As one Harvard Business Review article puts it, when businesses are focusing on workplace efficiency, their aim is “doing the same with less.” When many business leaders prioritise efficiency it usually means reduction in budget, people or resources. Whilst sometimes unavoidable, it can leave remaining employees expected to produce the same or better outcomes with less.
At The Bot Platform we believe that when looking to become more efficient, employers should be looking for ways to improve their current employees’ workflow and company business practices. More efficient work practices lead to a more productive workforce. After all, when employees are given better tools, they can work more efficiently so that productivity goes up.
We’ve identified 8 areas that our technology systems can help eliminate inefficiencies and streamline business processes, allowing your workplace to become more efficient.
1) Automating Repetitive Administration Processes
The need for better efficiency without sacrificing quality will lead to greater dependence on digital automation. By 2024, Gartner predicts that organisations will save 30% on operational costs by integrating task automation with existing processes.
The Open Enrollment season can be a headache for HR teams. The amount of manual work involved with distributing information and chasing employees ends up taking up huge amounts of time. The Bot Platform has helped Mariner Wealth’s HR team to leverage bots on Workplace to create a Benefits Open Enrollment bot that helped automate the process of communicating information on the benefits to staff and reminding them to sign up, which resulted in a 25% increase in benefit sign up time.
At Citizen’s Advice, old-school communication tactics were creating roadblocks in day-to-day operations for their staff members and volunteers. Before using The Bot Platform, the Citizens Advice team were spending lots of time on manual and repetitive tasks. New starters used to spend 30 minutes alone trying to figure out where they should begin on their first day, processes were confusing and there wasn’t a singular place staff could go to access information.
With bots, Citizens Advice are able to automate internal processes and content delivery, which is saving staff huge amounts of time but also being received incredibly well by users, with their first two bots getting over 90% positive feedback.
2) Onboarding New Starters
According to research by Glassdoor, organisations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and 49% of employees who go through effective onboarding report contributing to their team within the first week! There is a huge opportunity for companies of all sizes to better their onboarding process and have more efficient and productive employees as a result.
Our new starter Onboarding Bot allows new employees to get access to information quickly, easily, and in a centralised location, while allowing HR/Management to drip-feed specific training and information over time. The Bot creates seamless onboarding experiences that save hours of HR time.
3) Training Staff
74% of full-time employees and workers are open to learning new skills, with some even open to undergoing re-training on the job to remain employable. It’s one thing to implement training sessions or provide access to learning materials, but it’s essential to have the right systems in place to ensure the learning process is valuable; giving employees the skills to be more efficient in their roles.
Using bots on Workplace or Microsoft Teams, it’s possible to create engaging digital learning experiences that are mobile, on-demand and personalised for each staff member. Bot Platform customer Honest Burgers created Honest College, a personalized learning program that’s integrated directly into Workplace and can be easily accessed by all Honest Burgers’ staff, whether they be on desktop or mobile. The bot includes bite-sized training modules related to a range of topics, from those directly related to the various roles and responsibilities at Honest, through to training relevant to life outside of work, such as time and money management or mental or physical wellness. Training can be automatically assigned to staff based on certain attributes such as their location, experience or current position and has led to 150 waiters upskilling to become Chefs.
4) Security and Compliance
The UK Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, found that 4 in 10 businesses reported having any kind of cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months, yet fewer than a quarter of UK businesses (23%) have a formal cyber security strategy in place. There is a lack of understanding of what constitutes effective cyber risk management, which is compounded by a lack of expertise and perceived complexity of cyber security matters at board level.
Here at The Bot Platform we have our own internal Compliance Bot, ‘Captain Compliance’, which has been specifically created to communicate security updates and implement effective systems to help us tackle risk management. An integrated risk management system, like the Compliance Bot, will help your business to unify risk management processes and functions. Helping you achieve strategic alignment, greater efficiency, and actionable risk intelligence across the whole organisation.
5) Knowledge Access & Sharing
There’s no bigger drain on an employee’s time than endlessly searching for documents, files and resources that they need to do their job efficiently. Poorly organised meetings are also among the worst offenders for time-wasting; rather than encouraging innovation and being a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration, they are becoming a drain on productivity. A study from the online scheduling service Doodle found that they cost businesses in the US more than $339 billion dollars a year.
The Bot Platform customer, Ennismore built a bot called “Your Guide to…”, which acts as a digital handbook for the relevant business units including HR information, employee benefits, company values and information, FAQs and key things to know. The bot acts as a digital signposting tool that directs staff to more in-depth posts on Workplace, helping ensure quality control, removing their paper/carbon footprint, eliminating printing costs and ensuring staff can access everything they need to know from whichever device suits them best.
A French top tier football club also built an Ask The Boss bot that allows staff to ask anonymous questions to the CEO to answer during their monthly meeting. These questions are then read and prepared for accordingly before the call. This allows staff to have their voices heard, encourage greater knowledge sharing and idea creation, whilst also streamlining the meeting’s agenda and minimising time spent off-topic.
6) Improving Internal Communications
Team members — particularly front-line workers — feel empowered in their jobs when they feel connected to their company’s leadership. Gallup’s meta-analysis of employee engagement, found that businesses with good employee engagement had a 21% increase in productivity.
Great internal communications, news sharing and feedback systems are key to employee engagement. The Bot Platform’s ‘Company News and Announcements Bot’ is the perfect tool for businesses looking to improve workplace communications. As well as sending news out, you can also let staff share news back to central teams – creating a fully interactive and 2-way information delivery system, without the need for multiple, time-consuming briefing meetings.
Clarins’ ‘Important Announcements’ bot is used to broadcast company announcements from the Leadership Team and their Paris Headquarters. Employees are sent a broadcast message directly to their Work Chat inbox. The key objective of the ‘Important Announcement’ bot was to ensure employees received this important information in a more agile and direct way; the program has proven successful with links to news posts generating a 76% CTR.
7) Technology Integrations
According to a study published by HBR, workers toggle between different apps and software about 1200 times a day; this amounts to a sizable portion of time and a significant drain on employee focus. Combined with the recent statistic from HR News that 49% of the workforce would leave their job because of frustrations with technology. Tackling disruptive or outdated technology systems should be a priority for business owners.
We use apps for their convenience. They are supposed to be a welcome addition to the workscape that augments our capability to perform tasks. But we are in danger of letting technology overcomplicate our working lives. The Bot Platform was created to make technology work for us, enabling our interaction with the digital world. It should be as seamless and as helpful as possible. Digital assistants are a great way of managing a company’s apps, ensuring app clutter is at a minimum and facilitating frictionless toggling. A digital assistant can bring disjointed apps together into a user-friendly hub, greatly diminishing the toggle tax and enabling the smooth running of company operations.
Mariner Wealth was looking for an easy-to-use solution to help manage one of the largest IT department initiatives of the year. The Rollout bot helped the IT department improve communication around the project and the HD Standup bot sends a daily broadcast to everyone in the department. The bot then posts staff responses, giving the team insight into projects going on, any outstanding work to be completed, and any blockers that need to be addressed. What used to take 30 minutes of time every week for seven people (3.5 hours total) now takes just 2 minutes each day (14 minutes total) making the standup process 93% more effective.
8) Incident Reporting
Incident reporting is essential for helping any business understand what is going wrong or could go wrong regarding workplace safety. With these insights, an organisation can fix a health and safety issue before it becomes a bigger problem that can cause serious harm or damage to employees or property. Workplace safety is not something to be ignored, it’s estimated that 6.3 million working days are lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries according to the Labour Force Survey in 2019/20. However, reporting incidents can come with many challenges; who should be notified, what information do they need, how should it be followed up and ultimately how and when it should be resolved. Not obtaining the correct information from the start can make the whole process extremely inefficient. Streamlining the reporting process into one easily accessible system can help save dozens of wasted hours spent trying to obtain all the required information and ensure issues are resolved swiftly.
Bot Platform’s customer, Clarins has built a shop floor incident reporter to alert management to incidents quickly, so they can be handled and resolved as efficiently as possible. And whilst we’re not operating in the midst of a global pandemic anymore, Globe Telecom’s ‘Digital Usher for Disasters and Emergencies’, is another great example of centralised reporting on a mass scale. DUDE, as the Bot is affectionately known, was initially launched to help manage a complex national contact tracing system for its 8,000 employees. Using DUDE, staff were automatically sent daily reminders and questions. Based on staff responses, DUDE could then provide emergency support and almost immediately it was being used by 76% of staff.
So much of our work culture equates “busyness” with “efficiency”, but encouraging a culture that prizes “busyness” can reduce overall productivity. Rather than focus on how much time employees spend on a task, organisations should instead look to technology to help improve efficiency. Working with staff to help streamline and digitise unnecessary administrative processes or tasks, will help their work processes become more efficient and free their time to work productively for the business.
Do you want to work with The Bot Platform to become a more efficient work environment? Get in touch today!