Workplace inclusion: could bots be part of the solution?

Workplace inclusion is at the heart of CSR policies and increasingly held to high standards. Inclusion should be a key part of any business’ global strategy in order to be better valued longer term by employees and customers alike. People often think of bots’ skills as being diametrically opposed to human qualities. However in this particular case, implementing a bot can actually help companies move towards a more egalitarian and unprejudiced workplace.

Developing a neutral approach to requests

The notions of equal opportunities and accessibility are regularly called into question at work. A study* revealed that 57% of French people strongly believe that equality in the workplace does not exist, which comes as an alarming assessment. To overcome this challenge, some companies have chosen to include conversational bots in their strategy to act as neutral agents. These selfcare tools – callbotschatbots, and voicebots – handle requests from employees, customers or applicants in the most objective way possible. They are instantly available, regardless of the user’s request, vocabulary, appearance or background. Bots are never judgmental. They are programmed to understand natural language (including colloquialisms, SMS, or spelling and grammar mistakes) and answer each request without bias or value judgement. The fact that they handle each request equally does not compromise the quality of their service. For example, recruitment bots enable companies to manage CVs in a completely impartial manner, based only on the skills required for the job.

Promoting digital accessibility for everyone

Bots are visible, easy to use and compliant with French accessibility RGAA guidelines. They can even go one step further with a voice feature, which is particularly inclusive for people with disabilities or anyone who is not at ease with digital tools.

Bots are available 24/7 and provide customers and employees with direct, consistent and standardised support. If the bot doesn’t understand a request, they can suggest an alternative or rephrase the question and, if necessary, transfer the user to a live agent. Bots handle the bulk of incoming requests, so physical agents can spend more time on cases that require specific treatment and provide personalised and more inclusive support.

Making users more autonomous

In addition to handling information in an inclusive way, bots also encourage users to be autonomous. For example, a recruitment bot can help applicants manage and monitor part of the process themselves, enabling recruiters to focus on processing their application.

Another example is after-sales bots. They can use fault codes to help customers solve their problems quickly without an operator’s intervention. These tools make an employee’s day-to-day less repetitive, which increases satisfaction and well-being at work. In many cases, bots also improve the company’s image in employees and customers’ eyes. According to a study**, 73% of HR professionals believe that implementing a company chatbot is an asset for the employer brand.

Bots help employees focus on higher added-value tasks, which in turn makes them feel more valued. This continually improving and inclusive technology focuses on each individual and treats everyone equally. 

*Study conducted by Qapa (Adecco) for Equal Opportunity Day
**4th edition of the barometer of the use of chatbots in HR