New Year, New Outlook: 5 Ways Employees Can Thrive in a Robotic World

New Year, New Outlook: 5 Ways Employees Can Thrive in a Robotic World

For many of us, the new year is a time to make resolutions. From fitness goals to work objectives, it’s a fresh start for all of us to strive to do better – to be better. In 2018, technology will continue to change, bringing new opportunities for different resolutions.

It’s no secret that companies are searching for ways to cost-effectively optimize operations. However, businesses have reached a turning point, and in the coming year, back-office innovation will become a competitive advantage. According to McKinsey, increasing support function efficiency has the potential to increase earnings by 3 percent, which can lead to a 25 percent or higher increase in valuation. To realize this efficiency, companies must change both tools and processes, which will make robotic process automation more important than ever.  

As robotic process automation solutions continue to take over some of the more manual elements of human jobs, for many workers, those New Year’s work objectives will center around job security. While the initial reaction may be to hold on tightly to even the most mundane of tasks to prove the importance of the role, thriving in a robotic world doesn’t mean clinging to antiquated processes.

Here are five ways that employees can embrace change and excel in a robotic world.

1. Get excited.

Many employees are bogged down with data entry and other manual work every day. While this work keeps people busy, it isn’t necessarily productive. With robotics, employees can finally be free of monotony that keeps them from true productivity. According to Gartner, by 2020, artificial intelligence and robotics will actually create half a million jobs, giving employees half a million reasons to be excited. By taking a step back, embracing the change and viewing robotics as an opportunity rather than their replacement that will send them packing, employees can finally realize the full potential of their roles.

2. Become a strategist.

Successfully implementing robotic process automation tools requires companies to evaluate and rework processes from the ground up. No one knows those processes better than the employees who are immersed in them every day, making employees assets in determining ongoing strategy. By offering expertise and working with the CIO, IT and management, employees can shape not only departmental direction, but their own career paths.

3. Get smart.

As the technology world changes, so will the roles that humans play in a company’s success. In fact, as robotics take away the more repetitive tasks, employees will become even more important to the organization. However, this is contingent on an employee’s willingness to learn new skills. For example, accountants who are no longer spending 40 percent of their week on administrative activities must now focus on the analysis part of financials. This may require a refresher course or even additional education in financial analysis, but those who are willing to learn will be more valuable than ever.  

4. Widen the view.

Successful employee integration with robotics isn’t a one-time event; it’s an ongoing, dynamic process. For employees to stay abreast of changes and needs, it’s important to look beyond the immediate and take a forward-thinking approach. By finding future opportunities and leveling up their skills accordingly, employees can solidify their place in the organization for years to come.

5. Become a champion.

Change isn’t always easy, but with the help of strategic change agents, the process and results can be both faster and better. Companies that have the best change management policies meet or exceed expected returns, sometimes by as much as 200 to 300 percent, and the responsibility for successful change is evenly spread across all levels of the organization. The employees who embrace the change and advocate for new ideas can streamline the robotics implementation process and serve as a liaison between colleagues and superiors. These change agents will play a critical role in both the success of the project and the company, and they’ll have the opportunity to change and grow with the organization.

Robotics process automation is coming. If employees adjust their New Year’s resolutions to embrace the change, 2018 could be ripe with opportunity.


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