Using AI to achieve a measurable increase in employee learning satisfaction
IBM HR transforms learning event management with AI assistant, cHaRlie
A student giving a presentation to the class during a seminar session and using a large monitor as a visual aid
Supporting thousands of learners

The Event Management team within IBM HR’s Enterprise Learning Operations and Administration (ELOA) group provides end-to-end support for internal IBM learning engagements that support the development of IBMers all over the word. “Our focus within HR Services is on event management—that is, optimizing the planning, scheduling and delivery of learning events that help upskill thousands of IBMers each year,” explains Adrienn Bokor, Strategy and Transformation Leader, HR Services, ELOA, at IBM. The team’s course offerings cover a broad range of topics, including Leading for Inclusion, Unleashing Innovation, and Increasing Manager Impact. In the first half of 2023 alone, the team delivered 8,000 events.

“Historically, the event promotion as well as enrollment and attendee tracking processes were highly complex and manual. When replicated across thousands of events each month, those manual processes understandably became error prone,” notes Hema Nanthini Selvam, Transformation Lead, HR Services, ELOA, at IBM. This is why the team chose to build an AI assistant powered by the IBM® watsonx Orchestrate solution.

Our vision, our end goal, is to make sure our event managers don’t get bogged down in very administrative, manual, redundant tasks. They really should be focusing their time and effort on building the relationship with their clients. Hema Nanthini Selvam Transformation Lead, HR Services, Enterprise Learning Operations and Administration IBM
Introducing a new AI-powered assistant: cHaRlie

“At first glance, tasks like attendance tracking are straightforward. But, when you take a closer look, you see that they are extremely time consuming for event managers: downloading the attendee report, reviewing it row by row to see when someone joined and when they left, logging this data in the appropriate tracker. This is simply not scalable across the thousands of events we manage each month,” explains Hema.

Using watsonx Orchestrate, Hema and her team built an AI assistant for event managers and they called it cHaRlie: Cognitive Human Resource Learning EM Assistant. CHaRlie assists event managers with a range of critical but repetitive, error-prone tasks such as monitoring class enrollment, alerting managers to events that require follow up due to low enrollment, managing customized event promotion, deploying pre-event communications and logging attendance of virtual classes.

15% NPS point increase YoY after implementing cHaRlie 91% improvement in the turnaround time for updating attendance rosters
Improving accuracy and employee satisfaction

In the first six months after it was launched in early 2023, cHaRlie had a meaningful impact on the event management team and its clients, IBM employees. The entire ELOA team has observed a 15% increase in employee satisfaction (as measured through net promoter score surveys post-event) after cHaRlie was implemented. Additionally, the team reached 100% accuracy in learner attendance capture and achieved at least a 91% improvement in the turnaround time on updating attendance rosters for completed virtual events.

“Our vision, our end goal, is to make sure our event managers don’t get bogged down in very administrative, manual, redundant tasks. They really should be focusing their time and effort on building the relationship with their clients. Creating this AI assistant, powered by watsonx Orchestrate, to take on those redundant tasks is a big step forward for us in realizing that vision,” says Selvam.

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About IBM HR Enterprise Learning Operations and Administration (ELOA)

The IBM HR ELOA team is responsible for managing and optimizing the learning experience for thousands of IBMers all over the world. The Event Management team within ELOA provides logistical support for event delivery across IBM Consulting and IBM Learning.

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Produced in the United States of America, December 2023.

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