Recently, we formally launched our ubiHR solution from private beta. While we were designing the roadmap and features, we spent much time interviewing the people who would purchase the product - HR managers and execs.
ubiHR is a machine-human that learns everything there is about being an employee at your company.
It knows all about your benefits, annual leave allowances, payroll particulars and anything else you need. It then turns this information into on-demand conversations, then basically, instead of employees asking your HR department these types of questions, they ask the chatbot. It answers immediately, with always up-to-date information. Most importantly, it means your HR team does not spend any more of their time answering the same questions over and over again.
During the interviews I mentioned, we held focus groups with employees, one to one and group interviews with HR managers and phone calls with members of c-suites. One resounding thing that came out of all this research?
Yes, you guessed it: meeting employee expectations is an ongoing and real challenge.
In the medium to large companies (a company with more than 100 employees), things naturally slow down as they mature. What generally happens is that companies scale and grow based on revenue, revenue through either new or recurring sales. Tens, hundreds and perhaps even thousands of employees get hired, and, often, one of the last departments to be considered and invested in is HR.
Most of the companies we talked to had between 1 to 2 HR employees for every 100 total employees. A couple we spoke with (one is now integrating ubiHR!) had just 8 HR employees for 6,500 total employees - busy job!
Now, call me old-fashioned, but if I were an employee at a company, I would want to feel like I am valued and listened to. I have an expectation that I am going to be looked after.
Would you believe, all the interviews and research we did showed an average wait time of three (yes 3!) days for any form of response from HR?
Do you think this is acceptable? Do you think the most valuable asset in a company should wait an average of three days to be acknowledged? I should not think this meets any employees expectation.
Let us now consider who these employees are. Full disclosure - this section is not based on evidence - just good old deduction and speculation.
Millennials (yuk, I hate that term) are, according to demographers and researchers, people born between the years 1976 to 2000 (the exact range varies depending on who's credited). Ultimately, it means every millennial is at an employable age.
Therefore, let's make a very basic assumption and say that 20.9% of a company's workforce is made up of millennials. I know, it will depend on industry, skill requirements of job roles and a trillion other things, but for this article, it will suffice.
But (I am finally getting to my point), when a millennial talks to a company, 72.1% of them think that company should respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What do you think those millennials expect from the company they work for?