Build intelligent workflows to inspire and enable your workforce

What are intelligent workflows?

Workflows are simply how things get done in an organization. But intelligent workflows are predictive, automated, agile and transparent. They combine your people's expertise with the power of data and the application of exponential technologies like AI and automation to help you digitally transform and deliver greater value to employees and customers alike.

How can intelligent workflows be applied in HR?

As the pace of change accelerates, organizations must harness innovative technologies to take a people-centric approach to HR. Intelligent workflows help empower remote workforces, identify and fill skills gaps, and improve the employee experience.

How can intelligent workflows in HR...

Empower a remote workforce?
Reskill and upskill the workforce?
Improve employee experiences?

Today's workforce has faced an unprecedented degree of disruption, to say the least. While some work functions may return to what we recall as being "normal," others have been irrevocably changed. We will work differently now, and it will be necessary to incorporate resilience and adaptability into your workforce. Intelligent workflows can offer tools that help workers build a culture that adapts well to change.

HR leaders can build that culture by:

  • rethinking roles and workflows to accommodate agility and flexibility.
  • reviewing how to collect and protect employee data so that it stays safe — creating policies and practices that can flexibly accommodate change.
  • reimagining how the workforce is defined and prepared for resiliency in both technical capabilities and personal and professional support.

of organizations, due to recent market disruption, have had to accelerate empowering their remote workforce

Source: "Intelligent Workflows for Talent Management" IBM MD&I, 2020.

Skills development is not a one-size-fits-all tactic that can be applied to any enterprise. Rather, it's a collection of actions, refined for each organization, which can be powered by AI and automation:

Make it personal. As consumers, we expect personalization from our interactions. As employees, we expect the same from work. AI enables personalization at work by defining the skills needed to succeed and then charting a personalized learning path employees can follow.

Be transparent. Companies need a transparent and automated way to engage with employees to grow their skills and show their proficiency. Through automation that assesses and measures skills, employees can self-direct their learning and career path.

Build an ecosystem. Closing skills gaps requires an agile organization where learning and skill transfer becomes viral from peer to peer and between internal and external partners.

85 million

jobs could go unfilled by 2030 because there aren't enough skilled workers to fill them. This isn't a worker shortage. It's a shortage of workers with the right skills.

Source: Yannick Binvel et al. "Future of Work: The Global Talent Crunch." Korn Ferry, 2018. (PDF, 7.6 MB)

Enterprises have long understood the need to engage their customers with meaningful experiences. Now, many are applying those same ideas to the employee experience.

It's necessary for employees to navigate interactions between themselves and their employer. Those range from the highly personalized experience of onboarding as a new hire to the more transactional, such as how to get paid or updating an address after a move.

AI and automation can address more routine employee support functions by providing accurate answers and digital pathways to solving common problems. Cognitive chatbots and self-service portals can solve many employee concerns.

HR teams are then able to better focus their time on human-centric concerns such as on-boarding and career path planning — making those human touchpoints more impactful and efficient for the employee and for the HR professional.


of organizations that lead in digital transformation emphasize human-centric design for new talent strategies and fast-tracking investments in talent management

Source: "Intelligent Workflows for Talent Management" IBM MD&I, 2020.

Why invest in intelligent workflows to inspire and enable your workforce?

Intelligent workflows help reimagine the experience employees have with their managers, their peers, their HR department and even with their work. They provide integrated and streamlined processes where there were once silos and static processes. Employees are not only more engaged, but more productive and left with more time for value-add activities.

There is a direct correlation between an improved employee experience and an improved customer experience. If you want to have a brilliant customer experience, great sales and a growing customer base, then you must first look after your workforce. In fact, organizations that score in the top 25% on employee experience report more than double the return on sales compared to organizations in the bottom quartile.

Source: "The financial impact of a positive employee experience." IBM and Globoforce, 2018.

In addition to improving employee engagement and productivity, intelligent workflows for HR can help make the move from predictions based on outdated data to actions based on real-time insight. Greater visibility into HR data allows organizations to respond quickly to the changing needs of the workforce and of the business.

With an integrated orchestration of processes, data-driven value and embedded exponential technologies, intelligent workflows create the business capacity to deliver exceptional outcomes.

Source: "Intelligent Workflows for Talent Management" IBM MD&I, 2020.

Top 4 expected outcomes of intelligent workflows for talent initiatives


improved productivity


more efficient workforce


improved employee experience


higher skilled workforce


of organizations currently or plan to invest in intelligent workflows for talent management in the next 12 months