While new technologies have slowly been adopted and implemented across industries for decades, recent global events have pushed many businesses over the technological tipping point. This has changed the world of business forever, and most believe it is a welcome and positive change.
Remote working is easier than ever, digital data interactions with customers are an everyday occurrence, and the work is now organized, divided, and conducted between humans and machines across most sectors. One thing is not quite clear yet, however, and that is exactly how automation impacts employment. What happens when we include automation into human resources and is it truly possible to fully digitize human interactions in the workplace?
Automation and employees
There’s no denying we live in a world of rapid technological advancements and accelerated social change. And while these aspects might have negative effects on employees if changes are announced and mandated in a short period of time, using proper management practises before and during change implementation can actually be quite beneficial for everyone in the workplace.
It all starts with good communication. By being open and honest ahead of time, as well as using consistent messaging, confusion can be avoided and enthusiasm encouraged for technological change. Similarly, offering necessary tools and equipment, investing in education, offering support to employees, staying positive but being realistic, and leading by example can all reduce the common fears and stresses associated with the implementation of new technologies, and improve the employee experience during this rapid change.
Enhancing the employee experience
Of course, automation has evident benefits, including a reduction in manual or tedious work and increased efficiency. That generally means spending less time focusing on repetitive, often time-consuming tasks, and more free time for employees to hold insightful conversations and make meaningful connections with one another.
In a similar manner, new technologies can allow businesses to streamline their processes and foster a better company culture as well. For example, tools that create surveys can allow managers to check up on employees, set new priorities, as well as offer and receive continuous feedback, thus enabling them to make more efficient adjustments in real time. Software used for giving out badges and awards, or even recording milestones, can also be brilliant for motivation, increased productivity and satisfaction, along with possibly fostering good relationships among employees.
Streamlining industries and sectors
Apart from employees themselves, automation has had a major impact on many industries as a whole as well. For instance, innovative solutions such as construction equipment maintenance software benefits the construction sector greatly. Thanks to seamless IoT integration, construction companies are now able to analyze their workflows in detail, utilize data to identify any issues or potential maintenance work than needs to be performed, and find effective solutions that suit their unique needs the most, thus effortlessly automating an industry that was long known for being far behind technological advancements.
But even the more tech-savvy sectors have been improved due to automation. From refined production and packaging processes in the food industry to the significant medical advancements in healthcare, including even increased safety and security in law enforcement, industries across the board are able to enjoy quicker, simpler, and more streamlined processes thanks to automation.
Simplifying the process of recruitment
Robotic process automation (RPA) is among the most prevalent types of automation in the modern workplace, being used in onboarding, recruitment, learning and development, as well as everyday interactions with HR in the average life of an employee. When it comes to recruitment, AI and RPA can significantly enhance the candidate experience simply by using an automated collection of standard criteria to screen applicants.
Rather than facing discrimination based on race and ethnicity, these processes help to eliminate any bias during recruitment, and make potential candidates feel much more valued for their special achievements and brilliant qualifications. It’s even thought that certain applicants who become employees might turn into the most loyal ambassadors of a company’s brand, solely due to the fair and pleasant recruitment experience they had.
Boosting the HR experience overall
As already mentioned, onboarding is another aspect where innovative technologies could enhance the employee experience. While most new employees were forced to push paperwork from HR in the past, RPA has now made it possible to automatically complete employee forms using the initially provided data. As a result, this frees up new team members to meet their colleagues, learn the requirements of the job, and interact directly with HR in the early days at the company.
Automation could also facilitate more personalized learning and development processes. As each individual learns using a unique style and at a different pace, as well as having varying career goals, providing individualized learning opportunities is truly essential. RPA could help to enhance self-paced learning, monitor progress, and even recommend the best learning paths based on individual goals and performance, thus improving the entire HR experience for new employees.
Automation is a brilliant technological advancement, and it’s clearly here to stay. However, these tools still have to be used in a more thoughtful and meaningful way in an effort to increase convenience, boost user experience, and encourage positive interactions in the workplace.