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Robotic process automation (RPA) is an extremely valuable tool for businesses across the industry spectrum, and this claim is well substantiated.
A Deloitte study, for instance, shows that an impressive 86% of companies that have integrated RPA into their processes increased organisational efficiency and productivity. And this is certainly not all.
Since software robots can carry out routine, tedious tasks, like migrating raw data between Excel files, doing payroll administration, processing transactions, or filling out forms, in a quasi error-free fashion, more productively, and more efficiently, a significant burden is removed from employees’ shoulders.
This increases employee engagement in higher value jobs underpinned by human-specific abilities such as creativity, complex decision making or communication skills, which increased level of job satisfaction. And intelligent automation contributes to this even further.
“We make robots so people don’t have to be robots.”
Research also backs it up: 66 out of 100 decision-makers from core business lines that responded to a study commissioned by UiPath, said that RPA and intelligent automation enable employees to have more human interactions, and 60 of them highlighted the possibility to generally focus on more meaningful, strategic tasks.
This is no small thing, since, according to Martin Weis, EMEIA Robotics Leader, EY, "Repetitive tasks are a key reason why people give up their jobs, which, in turn, calls for up to 30% hiring annually simply to renew the workforce."
Indeed, employee turnover makes it such that 81% of employers are concerned about holding on to top talent, while 33% are very concerned, according to global staffing firm Robert Half.
Satisfied, fulfilled employees working in an engaging environment can provide higher-value, more empathic customer service, and thus improve customer experience.
This is why employee satisfaction is a key factor in the overall productivity and performance of your company. And obviously, satisfaction depends on perceived success. In the current context of digitisation, it’s crucial to consider how automation (both RPA and intelligent automation) contributes to employee success.
This is the widest spread misconception about automation. It’s the same kind of fear that made so many working people oppose the industrial revolution. Successful RPA implementation requires that these fears be addressed head-on, by educating your staff with respect to what bots can and cannot do.
A recent World Economic Forum report about the future of jobs substantiates the potentially counterintuitive claim that automation will actually lead to a significant increase in the number of available jobs, creating 60 million new jobs.
Some of the educational steps you may consider are emphasizing the need for collaboration between humans and software robots, and the possibility that the employees themselves take an active part in the automation process, and advocating constant upskilling.
Automation has the potential to create new opportunities. Passing on to bots the monotonous, repetitive tasks, and concentrating on more provocative, higher-value issues is a way by which humans can manifest their freedom and flexibility.
Consequently, it initiates an uphill path of employee engagement because they can feel more valued for the work they perform. Additionally, if employees can spend more of their time on activities that truly add value, this will also have a wider impact on business growth.
Emulating human activity by using AI processes like machine vision, speech recognition, or other pattern detection capabilities, that is, putting intelligent automation to work, expands the scope of automation towards more complex tasks, and thus it can be viewed as one more step forward on the uphill path of engagement and satisfaction.
When your employees have the means to deliver tasks on time with greater accuracy and less effort and fatigue, they will be more inclined to focus on the overall company mission.
You can then expect more open discussion of new ideas, a boost for creativity, enhanced knowledge sharing between functional units, in short, a more collaborative environment. This is, in fact, among the company culture changes that make a significant contribution to successful RPA implementation.
Many of the tasks that HR managers must accomplish during a day of work, e.g., sending follow-up emails, posting jobs, entering data quickly, updating job requirements and job descriptions, preparing pay budgets, require painstaking effort, are very time-consuming, stressful, and rather tedious.
The good news is that robotic process automation in convergence with AI and machine learning can easily take over, and deliver faster and more accurate results. HR managers can then focus on activities that call for traits that only humans possess.
They can leverage emotional intelligence to hear and resolve employee grievances, or to counsel employees and supervisors, they can invest creative efforts in designing and conducting educational programs on benefit programs, or they can use their communication skills in fruitful contributions to team effort. The ultimate result in this chain of automation effects is increased employee success.
Software robots can also save employees’ valuable time by pre-populating forms with new hires’ names, addresses, and relevant data from the received CVs and job application forms.
What's more, they can handle data from training simulations more efficiently, such that the same information reaches all employees in a personalized manner. These actions facilitate the onboarding and training processes, while reducing the time needed for these operations.
The bottom line is that robotic process automation contributes to employee success by reducing workload. Less time and effort devoted to strenuous, monotone activities means less stress, which goes hand in hand with improved mental and physical health, and a higher level of work satisfaction.
Intelligent automation raises the standard even higher, because it allows employees to focus on creative tasks that they really enjoy doing, and that are more likely to make them feel fulfilled at the end of the work day. This a win-win situation at individual and macro level, since increased satisfaction can be operationalized as fewer absentees, more cost savings, and thus much more productivity for the company.
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