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Driving Conversational HR with the New SAP SuccessFactors Slack Bot

January 31, 2017 by Dave Ragones

Take a moment to think about your daily interactions – emails, calls, texts – and you’ll quickly realize that technology has revolutionized communication.

There is nothing groundbreaking about that statement, but we all know technology keeps advancing, so what’s next and what does it mean for us in the HR technology field? Conversations. Imagine if interacting with SuccessFactors was like having a conversation with your HR Business Partner. You would not need to go to a web browser or tap on a mobile app. Instead, you would interact with an SAP SuccessFactors bot in your favorite messaging application. Not a physical robot that may come to mind first. I’m talking about chatbots. HR software is on the verge of a chatbot revolution, ushering in “conversational HR” where processes are streamlined, efficiency is maximized, and communication and engagement is improved.

What exactly are chatbots? They are interactive software programs embedded within messaging apps that imitate conversations with a real person and often rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Chatbots are revolutionizing how enterprise solutions work, making them simple, intuitive and engaging.

Chatbots are revolutionizing how enterprise solutions work

That’s why I’m delighted to be part of the Slack for Enterprise launch event today in San Francisco, announcing the SAP SuccessFactors Slack bot as part of a new portfolio of SAP bot applications designed for Slack. With this new partnership, SAP shares Slack’s vision of the power of conversational interfaces for enterprises.

We at SAP SuccessFactors are committed to continuous innovation. In early 2016 we launched Continuous Performance Management (CPM) as part of the SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals solution, and we continue to add more features and functionality that meet the needs of customers. CPM is meant to solve many of the frequently cited issues of performance management initiatives by facilitating ongoing check-ins between employees and managers to ensure activities, accomplishments and goals stay on track throughout the year. With continuous performance management, managers have a simple way to provide continuous feedback and coaching to drive ongoing improvements in performance. At the same time, employees stay motivated and engaged to perform at their best.

SAP shares Slack’s vision of the power of conversational interfaces for enterprises

We are constantly looking to enhance the user experience and engagement with our HCM solutions, which led to the collaboration with Slack to create a new bot so employees and managers can interact with the continuous performance management capabilities without taking a break from their day-to-day conversations on Slack. Now in beta, the SAP SuccessFactors Slack bot is intelligent and helps users with a number of continuous performance management tasks:

  • Create an Activity: As a manager and employee are having their daily conversations, the manager may suggest an activity to the employee. The employee can now create this activity from Slack using the SAP SuccessFactors Slack bot. The bot will walk them through the process and will ask for all the needed inputs like activity name, status, which goal the activity needs to be assigned to, etc. It also notifies the manager via Slack that the employee created a new activity.
  • Add Feedback to the Activity: The manager can add feedback to the activity.
  • Review Activities: The employee can review their activities within Slack and can add an update to the activity or mark it as complete.
  • Create an Achievement: When the employee updates an activity as complete, they are asked if they would like to mark it as an achievement.
  • Add Feedback to the Achievement: When the employee create an achievement, their manager is notified via Slack and can provide additional feedback.

The SAP SuccessFactors Slack bot is meant to standardize, simplify, and automate HR transactions such as performance and goals tracking so people can free up time to be more strategic. It helps bridge the communication gap employees and managers often feel by allowing them to conduct HR processes within the Slack application. People communicate on Slack every day – enabling them to manage their workforce performance within Slack is effective, intuitive and just a lot more fun. We will continue to release new use cases across the SuccessFactors portfolio beyond the initial continuous performance management functionality, so be on the lookout for more exciting news to come this year!

If you are a SuccessFactors customer interested in participating in our Beta, tweet with the hashtag #SFSFSlackBeta and our team will be in touch.

Dave Ragones is group vice president of Product Management at SAP SuccessFactors

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