How we Leveraged AI to Hit the People Services Sweet Spot

By Jeff Rieb, Sr. Director - People Innovation And Jeremy Eaves, Sr. Director - People Services

Jeff Rieb, Sr. Director - People Innovation

DaVita means “to give life.” Our nearly 60,000 teammates (employees) provide quality health care services to more than 200,000 patients in 2,600 dialysis centers across the world. Our mission is to be the provider, partner, and employer of choice. To this end, we developed a multi-year People Strategy to unleash teammate potential, to unlock business results, and to create a special place to work where The DaVita Way is alive and well. This strategy involves People Services (HR), operations, and the learning and development team, among others. To help meet the needs of our teammates, we turned to validated marketing methodologies, and in 2018, we surveyed our teammate population using two tools:

• Voice of the Customer: Measured the importance of People Services programs and our effectiveness in delivering tools, services, and programs.

• Total Rewards Survey: A conjoint analysis to determine the value of different rewards based on trade-off decisions.

The insights were invaluable and drove us to focus our strategy in three key areas:

• The Talent and Leadership Pipeline: Proactively hiring and developing teammates. Ensuring we have the right people at the right time.

• The Teammate Experience: Creating a differentiated experience by optimizing every touchpoint with our teammates.

• Agile Operations: The “how” of delivering outstanding service to our teammates.

As we looked at how to provide the best possible teammate experience while unleashing teammate potential, we began exploring artificial intelligence (AI)solutions. We identified two opportunities where AI could provide value to the user:

1. The lack of thorough information coming from our teammates who were reporting potentially inappropriate conduct in the workplace. In HR, we were often initially missing critical information, and had to follow up to get the information needed for a thorough review of a workplace issue. This inefficient process led to longer investigations.

"For DaVita, AI in People Services has hit the sweet spot in that it not only provides a better experience for teammates (and soon our candidates), but also provides strong business benefits, allowing People Servicesteammates to spend more time on high-impact interactions"

2. Large number of highly repetitive openings, coupled with a high volume of applicants, the quality of the candidate experience, and the heavy administrative workload our recruiters faced. Additionally, our operators would like to see the time to fill new job openings reduced.

Jeremy Eaves, Sr. Director - People Services

In order to test our hypothesis, and see if AI was the right solution for our investigations opportunity, we selected a technology with a straightforward implementation. The AI solution was an impartial intake tool for all teammates to report workplace allegations involving inappropriate conduct at a time and place most convenient to them. The tool, a chatbot designed by social scientists, is designed to ask non-biased questions, allowing the questions to be asked plainly and in a non-confrontational way, thereby increasing the comfort level of the reporter. It also solicits enough information in the first interaction, giving our organization enough detail to assess and to scope how the issue is addressed going forward.

We also know that employees in any organization may be hesitant to report workplace allegations for fear of retaliation. This tool provides enhanced capabilities for us to look into anonymous reports. In the event we do not get enough information on the initial report, we are able to reach out to the reporting party and seek additional information while allowing them to keep their anonymity if they choose. This capability also allows us to close the loop with the anonymous reporting party, letting them know that their allegation was taken seriously, was investigated, and remediated, if warranted.

Teammates have always had several channels to report potential policy violations in our organization. We implemented this AI solution not as a replacement for existing reporting channels, but rather as an additional avenue for teammates to report potential inappropriate conduct teammates may see or experience at work. In a healthcare environment, patient care and safety is our first priority. Making an additional AI solution available to our teammates 24/7 provides another avenue for them to report potential policy violations at a time and a place convenient for them.

The benefits of this system are different at different levels of the organization.

• Teammate impact

• Manager impact

• Company impact

We are still in the early phases of implementation, but this additional tool has proven itself as a viable option for teammates to report concerns—our approach of providing teammates the right tool at the right time has been validated. What’s more important is that the level of detail the AI is collecting has the quality information we need to assess and scope our approach to the allegations to come to a conclusion in a timelier manner. In the event we don’t get enough information, we have found that teammates are more likely to continue a dialogue with us anonymously, rather than through other more traditional methods where teammates might elect to report anonymously.

We are excited to further our AI offerings to reduce time to hire, and we are in the process of implementing a chatbot in our applicant tracking system accessed through our careers site. This will help narrow the funnel and streamline candidate scheduling. In order to land candidates faster, DaVita needs to take advantage of the precious time potential candidates spend on our careers site and provide a clear path for how to become a teammate.

For DaVita, AI in People Services has hit the sweet spot in that it not only provides a better experience for teammates (and soon our candidates) , but also provides strong business benefits, allowing People Servicesteammates to spend more time on high-impact interactions.

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