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How to Automate Without Losing Employees

With the many benefits offered by automation, it is understandable why many employees are worried and wondering exactly what it means for the workplace culture. But it does not need to be a taboo subject or something to keep you from a good night’s sleep, worrying whether you’ll be replaced by a robot.

The good news is people are pliable and dynamic and can learn new skills and stretch their abilities. This spells good things for both the company implementing automation and the employee. Facilitating personal growth and skills grants employees with power and leverage and the confidence of realizing their untapped potential.

Below, we will explore things to keep in mind regarding the integration of automation so that it expedites success for everyone.

 

What Does History Tell Us?

The concern that machines would replace all of us has been active in our imaginations for more than two centuries. It has not happened yet, and contrary to intuition, it creates jobs in other areas. The sentiment that machines would replace men was voiced by JFK when automakers and other factories began using machines on a large scale. A similar scare happened in the ‘80s when computers became more powerful. They have indeed changed the duties of humans, but they certainly have not deprived people of jobs on a large scale.

When ATMs were first introduced, people thought it would eliminate the need for bank tellers. While it did decrease the number of human tellers needed, it also allowed for more bank branches to open, all with varying positions uniquely requiring humans. Technology is only going to continue to innovate, but there will be jobs that only people can do for the indefinite future. As long as there are humans, there will be jobs that seem to call for a human touch or personality.

 

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Allocation for Streamlined Success

It’s understandable why employees may be scared of their business beginning to use automation, but effective communication can help to put those worries to bed and keep everyone happy. Simply let employees know that the requirements for the job are going to need some fine-tuning.

Some duties are simply done more effectively by automation than a human could ever manage, such as certain accounting tasks or IT tasks. The demands of conducting business in the modern world are making things like AP Automation and DRaaS software increasingly necessary to keep up with the competition. It makes sense logically, considering the amount of money the business saves on both man hours and various contingencies, and the ease of introduction.

But this does not need to spell concern for your designated human bookkeeper; instead, find other tasks that may be a better use of their time at the company. This will broaden their skill set, solidify their sense of security, and ultimately make for a more optimal business structure.  

 

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Training For New Duties

Offer development opportunities to employees that have been affected by automation. Their familiarity with other aspects of the business makes them ideal for other jobs like sales or customer service. Presumably, they also have built a favourable record and work relationship with you, which also works out well for both of you.

Ironically, the process of re-educating can also often be handled by automated services. As we progress into the future, the power of knowledge is increasingly plentiful and easily administered through technology. This can be a cheap way of changing the structure of business into a more streamlined version of its former self via teaching employees to get more out of themselves.

Treating Employees With Humanity

The members of your staff do not want to be treated like cogs in a machine, and you probably don’t want to treat them like that either. These are people with immeasurable potential and it’d be unwise to cast them aside as though they were simply a two-dimensional, unifunctional tool.

The need for a shift in job responsibility may not only re-invigorate their spirits that have waned over years of repetitive duty but may, in fact, expose a natural proclivity to a novel duty. Remember, mental health is important, and it’s a real disability. You need to pay attention to your employees and treat them with kindness and respect, otherwise, you may have a mental health disability claim on your hands.

 

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Be Ready For Changes

As an employer, you must not turn a blind eye to the matter entirely; automation is an inevitable part of the future and it can mean great things for everyone as long as it is approached with careful planning and forethought. To pretend automation will never affect your business is being unrealistic, and the sooner you become acquainted with it, the more gracefully and confidently you will be able to stride into the future.

If you continue to conduct business as usual and never take the time to consider steps to modernize with automation, it may mean falling behind the competition that capitalized on the opportunity sooner. This is never a position you want to be in, and it certainly isn’t something you want to announce suddenly to your employees. Perhaps counterintuitively, implementing automation may be the most humane thing you can do to keep your business and your employees happy and active.

 

Susan Ranford

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