Six top tips for getting employees on-side with RPA
Blog 25/06/2019

A comprehensive global employee survey reveals links between employee engagement and return on investment for automation initiatives

Today, most organisations recognise the potential benefits of robotic process automation (RPA)—but very few understand how to achieve them. Softomotive’s People 1st Approach is designed to help businesses de-risk their RPA initiatives and achieve rapid return on investment (ROI) with a bottom-up, grassroots strategy that empowers employees to take the initiative and start building automation tools for themselves.

In previous posts in this series, we’ve explored why a People1st Approach for RPA works better, how to accelerate adoption, why it’s safe to invest, and how independent research backs up our methodology. In this post, we look at RPA from an employee’s perspective.

To shed some light on the subject, we partnered with KS&R, Inc., a global market research and consulting firm, to conduct a survey of over 1,200 employees across three continents about their experiences with RPA. The results were fascinating and confirm the value of a People1st Approach for RPA in driving engagement and accelerating ROI.

Driving employee engagement

One of the most interesting sections of the white paper focuses on how best to get people on board with RPA initiatives. By delving into the responses to the survey, we were able to highlight several key tactics that correlate closely with successful RPA projects:

  1. Provide clarity

Employees need to know that the goal of an RPA initiative isn’t to automate them out of a job—it’s to eliminate the mundane repetitive work and free them up to work on more valuable, creative and profitable tasks. Presenting the positive aspects of RPA is vital to dispel doubts and win hearts and minds from the very beginning of a project.

  1. Communicate continually

Changing an organisation’s entrenched ways of working can be a long journey. Even if a new process is obviously faster, more efficient and less tedious, employees still need to invest in change to make it happen. The key is to constantly reinforce the vision of a better workplace through constant communication, explaining how each employee’s contribution is vital to progress, and how their own roles will evolve and expand if they play an active role in driving change.

  1. Make training a priority

Employees may resist RPA-related change if they are concerned that they don’t have the right skills to contribute in a more digital, automated workplace. Offering a variety of training programmes and tools to suit different types of learners is a great way to calm these fears and get people enthused about RPA’s potential.

  1. Get people involved early

One of the central tenets of the People1st Approach for RPA is that it’s vital to get employees involved and engaged as early in the process as possible—and the results of the survey confirm that this should be a key goal for any RPA initiative. The best people to help you identify opportunities to automate tasks are those who work on them every day. Naturally, employees will react more positively if you implement their suggestions, rather than impose new ways of working that they haven’t been consulted about.

  1. Start with the tech-savvy

The most technically adept employees tend to be those who are most interested in automation and are best prepared to adapt to it. By identifying and focusing on the groups and individuals who have the greatest affinity with RPA, you can assemble a network of supporters and champions who will act as early adopters and evangelists.

  1. Provide the right tools

RPA platforms such as Softomotive’s WinAutomation and ProcessRobot make it easy for “citizen developers” to automate tasks with no support from IT and without having to write a single line of code. However, empowering employees to develop automation tools is of limited value if those tools remain forever siloed in a single team or department.

That’s why collaboration tools can act as an enabler: internal forums and social networks empower engaged employees to create RPA communities where they can share the tools, ideas and the best practice they’ve learned to kick-start each other’s creativity.

Learning more

If these tactics strike a chord with your own RPA experience, or latest webinar, featuring analysts Forrester, discusses employee engagement and how senior executives can manage people-centric RPA strategies to maximize business value. View recording.

Finally, to understand how the Softomotive People1st approach can guide you and your organisation to a successful RPA strategy, read one of our guides today: