Have you ever heard the saying, “happy wife, happy life”? Well, it rings true in the workplace as well!
Happy employees tend to go the extra mile, doing more for their companies and its customers. After all, the people who make up the workforce are the same people who make up smaller communities called homes. They are filled with emotions, desires, ambitions, and needs. So it’s not surprising that some philosophies that apply at home apply in the workplace as well.
In this article, we will discuss a technology that was made for at-home use and went on to find effective application in the workplace. The impact of this technology on employee performance and satisfaction is unquestionable, so let’s take a closer look.
Employees don’t like to be treated like robots
Today’s workforce demands more—more flexibility, more empowerment in their jobs, and more rewarding work experiences. These goals can be achieved when people work together in teams and use their imaginations and creativity to innovate and solve problems. It’s a fact that not all office workers feel satisfied with their roles. Consider what’s being demanded of call center agents in their line of work. Working individually, they must follow scripted steps when helping customers. They must restrain their emotions so that they never get in the way of delivering their robotic performances. If anybody is trying to figure out why there are very high turnover rates in this job category, look no further. Workers are not satisfied, period. What’s required of people in this job role is frustrating—not rewarding, and not satisfying. Human beings who are asked to work and behave like robots have a hard time sticking with this role. On top of this, agency is taken away as the employee is restricted to very few actions, no matter what she is dealing with on the phone.
Repetitive and monotonous tasks are not only undesirable, they also fill up a good portion of the workday. How often have you heard a coworker complain about drowning in busywork?. Wouldn’t it be great if these mundane tasks could be automated to free up employees’ valuable time and energy?. Let’s not forget that the real value of the human workforce is their ability to think and use their creativity to come up with great ideas and solve big problems. Using people like robots is a losing proposition. The workforce remains unhappy and the resulting output is not good by any standard.
Business automation and the creation of digital workplaces aims to address this issue by relieving people of tasks that waste valuable time and energy and delegating them to automation, robots, software, etc. Office workers who have more time to think, bond with their peers, and work together are more satisfied and loyal to their employers and tend to go the extra mile to take care of customers.
The concept of digital transformation incorporates digital infrastructure and tools, including hardware and software applications in business operations and processes. One of the newest tools emerging from this advancement in artificial intelligence and machine learning is the Virtual Employee Assistant.
Virtual Employee Assistants
VEAs (Virtual Employee Assistants) can do at work what Alexa does for you at home. VEA is a business application that performs tasks on behalf of employees who make requests in the easiest possible format, called “Natural Conversation.” In other words, employees can “talk” to VEAs in human language and give them commands.
Instead of logging into an application, navigating through a series of menu options, and typing rigid commands, a sales manager can “talk” to a VEA and make commands using simple conversation. For example, the manager may request that the VEA prepare a sales report for a certain customer demographic in a specific date range, then email it to the related sales team members. She may go on to instruct the VEA to set up a meeting at a specific time and invite certain team members while attaching an agenda.
Machines learn to interact with people
In the era of conversational platforms, the mentality is shifting from expecting the workforce to learn how to interact with machines to expecting machines to learn to interact with people. The workforce can then do their work utilizing a powerful intermediary that has access to all software applications, data repositories, and communication systems. Imagine how much time would be saved daily by freeing up the workforce from having to do mundane and brainless activities.
VEAs interact with employees by exchanging messages and understand the intention of employees using Natural Language Understanding. People do not have to communicate with VEAs using computer commands. Instead, they can express their wishes in unstructured human language. Text-to-speech takes this to another level and provides the ability to simply “talk” to the VEA using voice commands without being at a screen and using a keyboard. Therefore, it allows people to do work on the go and get things done while riding a bike, hopping on a train, or sipping their coffee at a coffee shop. This is taking what we call the “workplace” into a whole new dimension. One that today’s workforce demands.
Meet Sharon. Sharon is a smart administrative assistant who loves to be productive and effective. Sharon has a brain full of great ideas and loves her company, always looking for ways to excel and win. Sharon is always grasping for more time as tedious tasks eat up most of her day. Sharon is not alone. All of her colleagues are suffering from the same thing.
Now, imagine Sharon delegating most of her monotonous daily tasks to a VEA using simple commands. These activities can even be automated and the results delivered as programmed without missing a beat, all day every day. What could Sharon and the company do with all that extra free time? The possibilities are endless.
VEAs augment workforce abilities, giving them powerful wings to fly higher and conquer new horizons. This is how a company can make a huge leap forward—by spending their time on what they do best, not wasting it on the nonsense.
Imagine how helpful this technology could be during the COVID-19 crisis. When human teams are stretched thin, having access to Virtual Employee Assistants can be a powerful asset.
Do you value your employees’ creativity? Odds are, your workforce is eager to use their skills in more creative ways than busywork allows. When you free up their time using technology like VEAs, you’re giving your business the chance to grow using the brainpower and skills for which you hired your employees in the first place! What can you and your employees accomplish in this new upgraded reality? The sky’s the limit!
Take the next step and schedule a free consultation with a Zebyl expert to explore what VEAs can do for you and your business.