Why Automation Can Actually Improve Employee Engagement

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Feb 21, 2020

Today, over 85% of employees are not engaged at work, and the economic consequences of that directly lead to over $7 trillion in lost productivity.

A majority of disengaged employees work consistently for the required time, but they are not able to do their best work all because they get drowned by repetitive and mundane grunt work.

Automating these repetitive tasks can free up the time of employees that they can use to focus on more business-critical work. Automation can lead to improved employee satisfaction and engagement in the organization.

Automation improves employee satisfaction

Over 40% of employees spend at least one-fourth of their time handling manual and repetitive tasks. With the help of automation, organizations have the power to streamline tasks, remove any bottlenecks, decrease the room for human error, and free up more time of their employees, which they can use to focus on more valuable work.

By implementing automation for tasks like approvals and data entry, companies can improve employee satisfaction. In fact, 89% of employees believe that automation has made them more efficient at work.

As a result, most organizations are now incorporating digital workplaces that provide workflow automation and seamless collaboration tools to help employees manage their work and communicate naturally.

Over 59% of employees state that the technology used in the workplace is very important to them when they are considering to switch jobs and work for a new company. On the other hand, almost half of the millennials agree that outdated technologies and rigid work environments hold them back from reaching their full potential.

Automation makes employees better at their jobs

Despite the common misconception, AI and automation will not replace human jobs. Instead, what automation can do is help reduce the overall workload of employees and give them more time to focus on complex and creative tasks.

For instance, if you are an HR manager, then you can automate a large part of your everyday work tasks, including–filtering candidates, sending follow up emails, sending performance evaluation forms to employees, and handling leave management.

By automating these mundane tasks, HR managers have more time to focus on tasks like building relationships with potential candidates, managing employee concerns, organizing training and upskilling programs, and improving employee engagement. Some of the immediate benefits of introducing automation in the organization can include higher employee productivity, improved customer satisfaction, and faster time to market.

Knowledge workers, on average, spend over 10 hours per week performing manual and repetitive tasks that could have easily been automated. That is over 65 days of time lost per employee.

It is clear that automation is not an option for organizations, it is a necessity if they want to maintain optimum employee engagement. Companies that readily invest in automation will have a substantial competitive advantage, and they will be best prepared for the future of work.

How you can help employees embrace automation

Here are some of the many ways that companies can prepare themselves to embrace automation:

1. Help employees understand the benefits of automation

People usually fear what they don’t understand. Your employees may be skeptical of automation at the start if they are not clear about its benefits. That is why organizations should build support early on to make it easy for employees to understand how automation can help their daily work. You can also organize monthly or weekly discussions of the tech team with the other departments for building a better understanding and increasing user acceptance.

2. Ask employees to look for automation opportunities

Employees understand their everyday work challenges more than anyone else. Department heads should encourage employees to look for any opportunities to automate continually. Ask employees where they are spending the majority of their time with a little-to-no payoff. It can be anything from tracking down project status to sending recurring invoices and handling customer communication. You can also take things up a notch by introducing rewards or recognition for employees who can suggest the best core processes to automate.

3. Make automation a no-code process

You cannot wholly depend on your IT department to automate all the processes within the organization. Not only will this put too much burden on the IT team, but it will also make the entire automation process confusing. Instead, look for no-code workflow solutions that allow non-technical users to automate processes and transform them into structured workflows easily.

Automation is the future

Automation is the future of work, and it has now become a necessity for organizations if they want to stay relevant and get ahead in their industry. At the same time, just adopting automation will not do the trick. Companies need to carefully analyze their business processes to recognize the parts that can be easily automated to improve employee satisfaction and engagement.

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