Smart Workforce Summit: Why the new OCBC HR app is a hit with staff

Two senior OCBC executives share how the bank has incorporated various HR functions onto one platform.

The response from OCBC Bank employees for the bank's recently-launched artificial intelligence (AI)-equipped mobile HR application HR In Your Pocket has been overwhelming.

Since its launch in June this year, the pioneering app has received over 8,000 views and requests.

In fact, just within the first month alone, some 15% of staff had already signed up for the portal.

Praveen Raina, Head of Group Technology at the bank, says a key reason for the positive reaction is because the app is user-friendly and combines all the most important HR functions onto one platform.

“It needs to be a one-stop portal. We integrated most existing functions onto HR In Your Pocket for our employees,” says Raina.

“As long as there's friction, people will not use it. So we ensure it is easy to use.”

With the app, employees can submit reimbursement claims, leave applications, find out their compliance leave status, and even search profiles of colleagues from a distant part of the organisations.

Information is now readily and instantly available to all employees.

“It's all at their fingertips. They no longer have to go to various places to find the information they need,” says Raina.

But the most unique feature of the app is a chatbot called Buddy – a fully AI, machine-learning system and assistant that has the ability to answer more than a basic set of questions.

“The difference with buddy is if it doesn't know the answer, it goes back into the system to find the answer. This is important with employees because if i haven't taken compliance leave for example, buddy will go back into the system and check if the employee has taken it,” he says.

Another important detail about the app, Raina shares, is that the organisation consulted a group of millennial employees about what features they wanted on the app during the design process.

This was key because as digital natives, millennials tend to come up with the most innovative and applicable ideas.

But it was also pivotal that the platform did not only cater to the needs of younger staff. To ensure all generations of the organisation are in tune with the new system, ample promotion was needed.

“Some older colleagues might find it difficult to migrate to a mobile platform, so we have to engage in a lot of communication and education of the app's finest details,” says Raina.


For all the pictures from Day One of Smart Workforce Summit, see our gallery here.

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