Embracing and Harnessing Workplace Automation
In the wake of a flurry of media buzz surrounding chatGPT software, the subject of workplace automation has re-emerged as a focus for companies in 2023. The potential benefits of such automation - increased efficiency, reduced waste, and higher levels of profitability - are often at odds with employee concerns about job security and steep learning curves.
Employees are usually the best equipped to identify opportunities to streamline day-to-day processes, so how do we encourage buy-in from team members?
Most importantly, perhaps, is to ease concerns by explaining the “why” behind automation. The most pressing fear team members have is their job being replaced, but research indicates this is not the intent of most organizations.
In fact, a management study by McKinsey & Company revealed that only 5 percent of all jobs are capable of being fully replaced by automation. By communicating this to employees, leaders can reassure them the intent is not to replace their positions, but rather to alleviate their repetitive, tedious processes to allow more time for more complex, valuable assignments that require human intellect.
Advancements in technology may provide new tools in the toolbox, but those tools still must be selected and implemented by a human worker.
With team members bought into the “why,” organizations must also build systems that encourage innovation and the discovery of new technologies. New technologies are discovered seemingly every day, many of which have applications in the workplace.
First and foremost, it is important to identify the repetitive, time-consuming processes that may be improved through automation. Frederick Vallaeys, automation evangelist and CEO of the automation tool Optmyzr, has stated that “if you can write out the steps of a process, then you can automate it.”
Organizations can further support employees, and optimize processes and performance, by investing in employee upskilling and exploration of new technologies via conferences, training materials, and other resources.
To learn more, contact the Ascendis Leadership Academy to take the Organizational Leadership Skills Profile. Please contact Sue Drake at firstname.lastname@example.org for an overview of the Profile and ways in which it may be used in your organization.