Employee retention rates are not what they used to be. With employees staying on the job for an average of four years, early retirement and “quiet resignations” of older workers taking hold in some organizations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, it’s more important than ever to know exactly how employees feel about working for a company. company.
HR needs a way to understand employee concerns, spot red flags, identify signs of burnout, identify indicators of job dissatisfaction, and prevent employees from jumping ship to competitors.
This is where sentiment analysis comes in as part of artificial intelligence (AI) in HR. Gaining insight into employee sentiment helps HR and management assess job completion and better reconnect with employees.
“The sentiment analysis capabilities of AI can be extremely valuable in helping HR teams gauge how employees are feeling at any given point in time,” said Sameer Maskey, founder and CEO of Fusemachines, an AI talent platform in New York City.
For example, HR teams can conduct comprehensive surveys to understand how employees feel about their workload and growth trajectory, company culture, their teams and managers, and even certain global events that can polarize workplace conversations. These surveys can also ask questions to understand employees’ perceptions of how the company responded to their feedback and concerns. AI can then turn these disparate data sets into insights. Likewise, by comparing the data with historical inputs within the organization as well as industry data, AI systems can predict resignation rates, burnout, and the general state of employee satisfaction.
“AI systems can also be trained to recognize words or phrases expressing displeasure — whether in emails, workgroup chats, or public employee forums — and raise red flags accordingly,” Maskey said. “Using these insights, HR teams can stay ahead and launch initiatives that boost employee morale and engagement.”
Not only can AI sentiment analysis quickly process large volumes of unstructured and structured data to gain a comprehensive understanding of prevailing trends across an organization, but it can also be leveraged at the individual level to gain insight into the psychological state of individual employees. This allows management to better connect with employees.
Training and skill development are other areas where sentiment analysis can add value. For example, AI can help HR teams better understand which departments have the greatest need for growth and learning. Armed with this data, HR teams can plan and implement more targeted and effective reskilling, training and upskilling programs. It also allows them to keep their finger on the pulse of areas such as career growth or stagnation, and flag valuable employees who could benefit from larger challenges or broader reach.
“Since AI can help predict quit rates, HR departments can easily track which skill sets will inevitably be most in demand during a given period,” Muskie said. “Management and HR can use sentiment analysis to get a head start on an organization’s employee engagement and satisfaction.”
Such insights can be used to prioritize employee initiatives, such as learning or engagement activities. These predictive capabilities provide the opportunity to plan for employee turnover in advance and gain a better understanding of hot issues within the organization.
Sentiment analysis can also reveal how a company is perceived both internally and externally. According to Mercer’s 2022 Global Talent Trends Study, approximately 80% of C-level executives believe it is critical for their companies to be more open and connect easily.
Ilya Bonic, head of strategy and careers president at Mercer, said: “Companies that fail to listen to their employees and other stakeholders and…fail to adapt permanently will lose out on raising capital, attracting and retaining talent, and remaining relevant. capacity.” “The organizations concerned remain silent on their positions and make it a priority to develop good standards of work that reflect the values of stakeholders in a changing world.”
The report suggests several ways organizations can foster relevance. These include:
- Adapt to changing values of customers, employees and investors.
- Collaborate with employees: “People don’t want to work for companies anymore, they want to work with companies,” Bonic said.
- Achieving overall well-being: Reward employees for their efforts, initiate initiatives to minimize burnout, reskill, develop careers, and promote mental health.
“Employees are more stressed than ever,” Bonic said. “Companies can do more to deliver holistic and inclusive wellbeing strategies that meet the needs of a multigenerational and diverse workforce.”
Drew Robb is a Clearwater, Florida-based freelance writer specializing in IT and business.