6 Steps to Change Company Culture for a Successful RPA Implementation
We’ve talked before about properly addressing your employees’ resistance to RPA, and how this persists due to the mythical fear of “robots will steal our jobs”, is among the top practices for successful RPA implementation.
It’s one of the top practices of executives who successfully manage how RPA changes the role of CTOs.
A recent World Economic Forum report regarding the future of jobs substantiates the potentially counterintuitive claim that automation will actually lead to a significant increase in the number of available jobs, creating 60 million net new jobs.
Humans’ collaboration with software robots for the performance of these new kinds of jobs, but also for the existing ones, will lead to increased freedom to focus on higher-value, more creative work.
A Global RPA report from Deloitte points in the same direction. It announces that as much as half of day-to-day work is amenable to automation, from which the conclusion is drawn that the work of many employees can be made easier and more satisfying by means of passing the repetitive, tedious tasks to bots.
However, in order to be able to actually leverage such benefits, it is necessary to change company culture in the sense of educating employees with respect to what RPA can and cannot do. Doing this you are empowering them to efficiently work side by side with software robots.
How to change your company culture to successfully implement RPA
It is considered to be a 2020 trend that the management of company culture changes will be among executives’ points of focus throughout the implementation journey. This is primarily because a strong company culture, based on the informed conviction of your workforce that automation is a valuable addition to the business workflow, is a significant contributor to a successful RPA implementation.
So we will offer some recommendations for optimally pursuing these changes in company culture.
1. Emphasize the human-centered aspects of the automation journey
A 2019 report from The Economist Intelligence Unit based on the survey of 502 executives from 8 countries, shows that 79% of CEOs view automation as a valuable augmentation of the human workforce, and not as a possible replacement.
However, in the process of company culture change, the ability to understand employees’ fears is a crucial precondition for conveying the message that the RPA disruption actually makes their working lives easier. You should focus on emphasizing the need for collaboration between humans and software robots, and the possibility that the employees themselves take an active part in the automation process.
Try to show your staff the benefits of the freedom to pass on to bots the monotonous, repetitive tasks, and to concentrate on dealing with the more provocative, higher-order issues. By doing this, you ensure an uphill path of employee engagement, which is central for successful RPA implementation, and, further, for efficient scaling.
2. Cultivate an automation first mindset
This is the kind of attitude that goes beyond an exclusive disjunction when deciding who or what should address various problems that must be addressed within your company. That is to say, it is not either robots or humans that can handle tasks most efficiently, rather working things out in a collaborative manner, in terms of “us and them”.
This is the required infrastructure for a hybrid workforce. Bots can better (i.e., quicker and error-free) deal with the routine parts of a particular chore, while the employees’ energy is fully devoted to the more complex elements, which require creativity, flexibility, thinking outside the box, etc.
In order to change company culture in this direction, you must instill and then constantly nurture your employees’ confidence in the benefits of an automation first attitude: greater productivity, the capacity to do more in less time, and improved job satisfaction.
3. Find the convergence point between business and IT
According to the above-cited report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, 46% of CEOs believe that relying on both the business and the IT units is among the best practices for successful RPA implementation.
The realistic, pragmatic perspective of business teams and the technical insights of the IT units make equal contributions to a lucrative, viable approach to the automation journey. The joint work of business and IT stakeholders also facilitates building pipelines, connecting silos, and the organization of an RPA Centre of Excellence, which ensures the right level of centralisation and thus supports the development of a coherent longer-term plan.