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Strategies and approaches that will boost your employees' performance and satisfaction alongside an RPA implementation.

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Your workforce with RPA — How to maximize the potential of both

Modernizing a workplace is not done through introducing new technology but rather through empowering your workforce with it. The shift to digital transformation requires a lot of workforce oriented changes.

 Companies that implement automation but fail to develop an ecosystem of both human and virtual resources will be missing out on efficiency and engagement opportunities.

What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is an automation tool that emulates repetitive tasks and actions that otherwise would be left to the employee. RPA bots alleviate burnout and allow employees to focus on more important tasks, knowing that the repetitive work is done faster and without errors. Any department can benefit from the automation of monotonous work. HR can use RPA for processes such as service delivery or on-boarding. Administrative functions become much more efficient, leaving your employees with time and capabilities to foster relations and build team engagement. RPA can bring a general shift from a culture of temporary projects to specialized teams working in tandem using their core skills.

Preparing a workplace for RPA

Since RPA naturally impacts the division of responsibilities, certain structures and roles should be implemented to make this division clear. After a successful RPA implementation, your employees will no longer be required to perform repetitive duties like operating sales orders, processing invoices or logging and documenting. Human skills will become much more valuable. Creativity, social intelligence and out of the box thinking will be useful for both management and regular employees alike. It is important to find a venue where these skills can be used. A team leader who utilizes RPA functionality will need to have technical skills to manage both the human workforce and the virtual one. It is necessary to develop a long term plan that will lead to a successful talent strategy. 

To fully reap the benefits of RPA, you must also consider its impact beyond the processes it handles. The improved quality of data and the significant reduction of errors can empower your workforce to achieve more meaningful results. RPA can increase the value of your workforce by allowing them to further develop their core skills and freeing them from mundane tasks.

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Managing a workforce after an RPA implementation

To properly embrace a culture of innovation and technology while addressing any doubts and concerns your workforce may have, you need to implement a new set of norms. This requires the right leadership. You need to diligently address resistance and close any skill gaps that may resurface. The Deloitte 2018 Global RPA Survey shows that only 3% of respondents faced some resistance to RPA post implementation, and none of them reported the resistance to be significant. The small resistance can be easily mitigated. Employees that participate in the RPA implementation will have to confront significant change, which is normal and expected. Your employees need to understand how RPA will contribute to their roles. You should put in place a sound transition plan for them that removes confusion and speeds up the introduction and use of this new set of tools. 

As soon as the implementation settles in your organization, it would be best to ensure that employees have successfully transitioned to their RPA backed roles and feel comfortable in the new environment. Gather and study any and all feedback you receive to address any issues early and work towards continued improvement. 

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RPA has the power to redefine employee engagement if you take the necessary care that this transition requires. Instead of losing employees or replacing them, you encourage them and allow them to spread their wings, acquiring skills that will remain relevant regardless of the automation level in their work environment. 

 

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Edyta Pietak,
CSO at AnyRobot

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