Even the best digitization strategy is useless if employees don't get on board. To be successful in the long term, you need to get the team excited about the transformation and take away their fear of digitalization. We show you how this works.
Process Automation as Digitalization Module
Many companies already know the benefits of digitization and automation: saving costs, time and nerves. With the help of automation, business processes can run more efficiently. Software bots take over monotonous, repetitive tasks, while employees can turn their attention to more important activities - such as customer care or creative activities. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and modern cloud solutions such as iPaaS in combination with process mining enable companies to optimize their value chain and ideally link processes.
Nevertheless, there are always skeptics who refuse to accept digitization and automation or are simply afraid that robots will take their jobs. There are numerous myths about RPA in particular. But even critics must be taken along on the path to digital transformation if a company is to be successful. After all, digitization is not a trend, but the future of the working world. This is evident right now in the lightning digitization of some companies due to the Corona pandemic.
Rise of the Robots: The Fear of Digitalization
Digital natives in their mid-twenties are not the only ones driving digitization. Long-standing, older employees can also be taken along without any problems if they are curious and willing to learn new things.
To motivate employees for change, these three steps are particularly important:
1. Turn Robots from Enemy to Friend
Empty high-tech companies with robots and bots that completely replace human employees: Employees must first be made aware that this horror scenario will not come to pass. They also have to overcome the rejectionist attitude that for years, flanked by dystopian media such as the movies "I, Robot," "The Terminator" and "Matrix," or books such as "Rise of the Robots" by Martin Ford, creepily fed the fear of the future. Of course, most people are aware that Skynet is not about to wipe us all out, but the thought of emotionless bots and robots that could take your job is still widespread.
It is helpful to explain in concrete terms which processes are simplified by automation and which advantages result for the individual. Employee X no longer has to spend hours copy-pasting data from one table to another or typing out information. Only through concrete, practical examples can employees see what digitization and automation can do for their personal day-to-day work. Bots must be seen as a useful addition to the team rather than a threat.
2. Actively Involve Employees
Communicating early and often is the most important foundation of automation. Employees need to know what's coming, not just when everything is a done deal. Potential concerns should always be addressed and discussed. Communicating, however, does not mean simply informing employees about fixed changes. Rather, it means taking employees' ideas seriously, asking for input and opinions, and relying on the creativity of the team. Digitization must be recognized as a common goal. Deciding over people's heads and imposing structures will not bring long-term success.
3. Train and Prepare Teams
All employees today need a certain technical affinity and basic digital know-how. However, HR managers cannot assume that everything runs directly and that employees acquire all knowledge without support. It is important to offer training and continuing education, i.e., to invest in human capital first. If you only want to cut costs, you're saving at the wrong end when it comes to employees.
Take Employee Demands Seriously & Invest in Upskilling
Just as you demand a certain openness, curiosity and motivation from your team, your employees have expectations of you.
A survey by RPA provider UiPath shows that 9 out of 10 Germans expect their employer to be more willing to invest in training for digital and technical skills. They worry about not being sufficiently trained and therefore losing their jobs. At the same time, they are more willing to work for companies that offer opportunities for qualifications and retraining.
There are numerous digitization academies, such as StackFuel, CODE Berlin, DBU or Le Wagon, that help with further education. In various crash courses, participants learn the basics of programming languages, machine learning or simple data analysis. Especially with regard to building a Center of Excellence, it is important to acquire the right competencies by means of upskilling and to combine them in a meaningful way in order to dispel the fear of digitalization and, in particular, to implement process automation successfully and straightforwardly.
Building digital skills and educating yourself within Process Automation is important not only for the employees themselves, but also for the company as a whole. When everyone pulls together, the benefits of automation can be fully realized and your company gains an important edge over the competition. It's about more than just acquiring basic technical skills.
A small insertion on our own behalf: We, Bots & People, are the first German academy for the automation of business processes to offer flexible online courses in which we teach RPA basics, process mining, cloud automation, business process management, etc. in an easy-to-understand manner. In our training courses, employees are trained to become Automation Strategists, for example. Participants do not need any prior knowledge of coding or similar - just the motivation to learn something new.
Conclusion: Use Process Automation as an Opportunity
The goal of process automation is not to replace employees or cut jobs. Rather, it is about optimizing company processes and getting the maximum output out of them. Small and medium-sized companies in particular often underestimate the benefits of efficient automation. So start now to take away the fear of digitalization and get your employees excited about digitization and automation.