Organizations are embarking on automation journeys, adopting digital technologies like RPA, AI, ML and Cognitive, to achieve amplified outcomes. However, before beginning a transformative initiative that impacts the entire organization, it is imperative for organizations to first create a foundation which is conducive for automation. Automation must be woven into the company culture and fully embraced across the business, at all levels.
The key question is – how can organizations incorporate automation so that it becomes an integral part of the everyday work environment? Here’s what has worked for some of our customers:
Buy-in from the top
Automation should not be considered as an initiative for immediate cost benefits. Rather, it should be looked at as an evolutionary program that empowers the organization. Changing the workplace culture is a big deal and should typically begin with the top management, finally percolating down to the lower levels. This means ensuring that all the leaders within the organization should understand the benefits of automation, and be onboard with the criticality associated with it to make it an integral part of the underlying atmosphere of the company. If they are keyed up about automation, it will be taken seriously by the rest.
What’s in it for me?
A critical aspect of the automation embracement project is awareness. Setting up a culture to embrace automation involves making sure that everyone is aware about its direct benefits. Without this, the enthusiasm of adopting automation will eventually wane and the initiative won’t reach its full potential. Automation does brings in flexibility, autonomy and empowerment to everyone, so it is best to be vocal about the benefits it brings to the table for everyone involved.
Organizational Change Management (OCM)
Change Management can be a daunting task. Preparation involves envisioning the aligning strategy, enrolling proper communication, conducting leadership trainings and so on. For instance, if the employees are scared that automation will make them obsolete, they will resist. Automation could even be considered as an overhead by IT. Organizations should address fear and resistance associated with automation, by showing employees the opportunities it will bring to their roles, and highlight its ability to add more value to business. Impact analysis, stakeholder management and a solid communication strategy are instrumental in making this change a resounding success. Additionally, having a CoE that is dedicated to this initiative can also work as a catalyst in making it successful.
Rewards & Recognition
Building a culture that welcomes and rewards adoption of automation is more effective when it is not forced. Instead of levying as a must, organizations should involve them from the beginning, and make them a part of its evolution. A well-designed R&R program should include detailed plans for transforming people from one set of behavior to another, with a structured assessment, strong communication mechanism, diligent tracking, and reward strategies to enable that change.
By building a positive outlook towards automation, organizations can motivate employees to progress on to the next phase in their careers towards more productive roles. This will reflect positively on their morale and job satisfaction.
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