Designing Workplace Culture in the New Normal, Automation-Driven Era

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We are unexpectedly in the middle of a new transformation in the way we work. It was always expected that by the end of 2021, nearly half of all global businesses would use robotic process automation (RPA), software “bots” that work side by side with humans and automate the manual, repetitive work we do. But the pandemic has upended everything.

Digital transformation has become a driving force for orgs across industries. As society looks to an eventual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and companies begin to roll out a return to the office, RPA has never been more critical.

As humanity and technology continue to intersect, we must rethink what workplace culture and career development will look like in this new “Future of Work.” What values should we have? How do we leverage this technology to improve the lives of our employees—remotely or when they return to the office? How can we best utilize the time we’ll save that was previously spent on low-value, high-effort tasks to spur recovery?

Below are three examples of how business leaders can reimagine workplace culture to maximize the benefits of intelligent automation that will ultimately make work more human and kind in the new reality we face.

1. Reaffirm Commitment to Employee Growth

One of the challenges in traditional, nonautomated companies is that employees are often so bogged down with the blocking and tackling of their day-to-day responsibilities that very little time is left for them to handle the stretch tasks that prepare them for their next career level.

The pandemic has increased organizations’ velocity toward digitization, and that means managers can bring that same velocity to their teams’ traditional sense of work, with the added benefit of improving work/life balance. Intelligent automation frees employees from low-value work and allows them to sharpen the skills that will allow them to accelerate their professional development, prioritizing strategy over administrative tasks and more customer-focused, value-added tasks over routine data-gathering and analysis, all of which serve individual employees to be better-valued contributors to their organization.

Companies must continue to invest in talent management. Goal-setting is often based on hitting metrics, yet many employees never get the opportunity to work on the tasks to tackle those figures, which puts managers in a difficult situation. By removing the busywork that masks one’s true skill level, managers and senior leaders can offer a better career experience and advancement to their teams.

2. Put the 80/20 Principle to Work for Your Teams

The pandemic has also introduced ongoing anxiety for our health; coupled with the increased workplace stresses and pressures navigating remote working, leaders must prevent burnout. Some of the most brilliant minds at your organization are stuck doing routine tasks that could be automated. It’s more critical than ever that employees feel inspired and motivated creatively. What if you could free a significant portion of their time to focus on innovation?

In nearly all circumstances, the rule of thumb is that “20 gets you 80.” Twenty percent of your customers generate 80% of your business, the first 20% of effort usually gets you 80% of the way to your goal, etc…

Source: HR Daily Advisor

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