Enterprises embracing digital transformation find every area of their businesses impacted by these efforts including the human workforce which is the most vital part of every organization. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is becoming an integral part of these initiatives and is being adopted by companies across sectors and geographies for the myriad of benefits it provides. Employee engagement is also the key to success of automation initiatives in every organization as RPA seeks to take over the more tedious and mundane tasks, allowing human workers to instead focus on more meaningful and interesting work. RPA also enables organizations to offer consumerized experiences to their employees as employees expect faster and more efficient issue resolutions and accessible services.
In a study commissioned by UiPath and Forrester Consulting, of the 100 decision-makers surveyed, 60% of respondents said RPA helps people focus on more meaningful, strategic tasks.
Automation solutions like RPA have long been feared to cause job loss, instilling a sense of insecurity among workers but lately implementations have addressed these concerns by showcasing the benefits automation brings to employees. Furthermore, digital transformation generates a huge amount of data. This data can be used to improve efficiency, innovate, and provide better customer experiences but this data can overwhelm employees with data-related tasks which tend to be tedious and repetitive.
In this context, RPA is seen by employees not as a threat but as an opportunity to automate routine and mundane work and focus on more fulfilling and strategic responsibilities. RPA also helps employees by minimizing errors and ensuring compliance. In most cases, RPA can act as a robotic assistant to employees helping them perform their jobs more efficiently, accurately, and intelligently.
Key stakeholders and decision-makers from across departments including operations, finance and accounting, and HR view RPA as having a positive impact on the workforce improving overall efficiency and productivity.
Positive Impacts of RPA on the Workforce
Improved Mental Health
Initial anxiety that RPA would take over jobs has largely been relieved with employees benefiting from RPA solutions. Although RPA has indeed made some jobs redundant, in most cases, it has led to human workers and RPA bots co-existing and allowing human employees to work intelligently while the heavy lifting, in terms of repetitive tasks, is performed by bots. This leads to happy employees which means they are more productive and willing to work harder.
New Career Opportunities
RPA not only augments the workforce in their everyday work but also unlocks new opportunities to expand the workforce. While some jobs may be taken over by RPA, several new positions like robot monitoring, automation specialists, data scientists, and other roles will be created. According to Forrester, in the US alone, 14.9 million new jobs are expected to be created by 2027 because of RPA automation.
Increased Interpersonal Relationships
Employees working in repetitive, high-volume tasks often spend a lot of time working in isolation which can affect productivity and employee experience. As RPA takes over menial work, employees are able to engage with others more and share information and experience which can be helpful for individual growth and overall company culture.
Employees are used to getting quick, accurate responses from say, an e-commerce website. They expect the same level of service and responsiveness from their work too, especially when requesting information from HR and IT departments. In organizations that have implemented RPA in IT and HR, meeting these expectations is easy. An RPA-enabled IT service desk or HR department can provide quick responses to employee requests.
RPA can help businesses tremendously in scaling their operations as well as increasing ROI but if the rollout strategy does not consider all factors, the implantation can fail. Many organizations place employee experience at the center of their RPA implementation strategy to ensure its success. With the right engagement and proper communication, employee experience can not only ensure the success of RPA implementation but also create more happy and productive employees.