Businesses and employees are always looking for ways to improve operations, services and productivity.
One area that often poses challenges to doing this is internal processes. Whether working in the public, private or third sector, organisations have vast amounts of data stored within their systems. If an employee needs to access this information, it can take a lot of time to find the specific details they’re looking for. At the same time, departments have to take time to answer questions or supply the information staff need, taking up their time as well.
This is particularly prevalent when it comes to HR systems. Staff often have to navigate through complex policy documents to find answers to questions about things like pay, healthcare or paternity leave. This then has a knock on effect on people teams as they need to answer questions and find relevant information that employees can’t. All this costs valuable time, and by extension money, to staff, teams and organisations as a whole.
But the emergence of large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT presents an exciting opportunity to revolutionise business processes. There has been a lot of hype and concerns about these tools. But now businesses and employees are learning how to use these tools safely and reliably.
We’re already starting to see how LLMs could improve the functionality and efficiency of HR processes. For example, these tools can now digest vast swathes of data, such as policy documents, and then quickly extract and summarise the information from them in a digestible format. This means that if a member of staff had a question about any policy they were unsure of, they could ask the HR chatbot, which could respond with the information from the relevant policy document. All without relying on a human or someone having to write a long list of FAQs to guide them. This would lead to the employee needing to spend less time going through policy documents, giving them more time to take on their primary role.
At the same time, HR departments would be able to spend less time responding to staff questions as the answers would be available from the chatbot. They could then instead focus more time on strategic and company wide objectives.
It’s not just efficiency that embracing LLMs could improve for HR departments. These tools can also allow staff to ask questions they feel uncomfortable about privately and with more confidence.
For instance, imagine an employee had a personal health condition that they wanted to find out if they can take sick leave for. They may not want to share the issue with a team member or for word to get out about it amongst the business. If there was a chatbot in place that allowed them to ask about this anonymously, they could find out the information they need in a way they feel comfortable. It could also help them in the long-term with their condition. This is because they may be quicker to request medical leave as they can get the information they need straight away.
Also, by reviewing the anonymised data collected from employee interactions with the chatbot, HR teams could gain a deeper understanding of their workforce’s needs, concerns, and pain points. These insights could then inform greater data-driven decision-making processes. They would enable organisations to address common challenges, identify trends, and enhance employee satisfaction and engagement.
As LLMs continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, the possibilities for their integration within business processes could be limitless. I’ve used HR processes here as an example, but it could apply to a range of business areas, from website navigation through to staff training. By leveraging this rapidly evolving technology, organisations can and will empower their employees, giving them better access to information, streamlining operations, and creating greater efficiency.