With all the buzz about machines replacing humans, it can be hard to welcome automation with open arms. When businesses announce that they are bringing new technology into the workplace, many employees will have mixed feelings.
Most employees fear automation will take their jobs from them, often inspiring employees to look to other industries for job security. For this reason, businesses may find that they have to do a bit of convincing if they want their employees to openly accept the changes that come along with automation.
In most cases, automation has a very positive impact on the lives of employees. In fact, in most industries, automation has created more jobs than it has eliminated. As businesses start to implement automation within their workplace, they will want to keep their employees well aware of the expectations and consequences following automation. Here are some ways you can automate without losing your employees:
Make your Employees Feel Valued
Employees that are scared automation will replace them are guaranteed to feel like they are not valued within their company. Companies that are seeking to automate their business make the mistake of treating their employees as mindless workers.
This sort of work environment is a reason why employees suffer from mental health issues. Taking the time to make employees feel like a valued part of the company is the first step to automate with losing any employees.
A happy employee is one that will dedicate many passionate years to the same company, allowing the business to keep a lower turnover rate. To make employees feel more confident in their roles in the company, consider highlighting their attributes and pointing out projects that they have succeeded in. Many businesses have a certificate system, where the best workers are recognized and rewarded on a monthly basis.
Similarly, when taking the time to recognize employees, supervisors can talk with them about their role in the business after automation takes effect. As long as employees know that their jobs are secure and their presence is valued once automation is put into place, they will have no problem being excited to be apart of the team.
If you notice some of your employees are struggling–talk with them, and let them know all of the options your company has available. For example, if an employee seems to be suffering due to a mental health issue–social security disability could be an option they could consider. Showing that you care will make your employee feel all the more wanted.
Express Your Needs Clearly
Employees that are getting adjusted to an automated workplace should understand how business will change with automation as well as what you expect from the team. Oftentimes, businesses will implement new technology without informing any of their team members to the change.
When automation is introduced in this manner, many employees will feel like they’ve been bulldozed. This can create tension in the workplace and cause many employees to feel like they are out of the loop and not a real part of the team.
Before automation is introduced, businesses should always discuss the topic with their team members. This can take place in the form of a seminar, company-wide meeting, or team training sessions.
As various forms of automation are introduced and the new technology is explained, it is important for management to express what they expect to see from their employees. For example, if you need some help in your accounts payable department–you can automate some of the process without getting rid of the entire department.
Typically, the new technology will require employees to adjust their positions within the company–many employees may even be put in charge of monitoring these new systems. Having your team on the same page as you will help them get more comfortable with the change.
Provide Thorough Training and Offer Incentives
Along with automation comes the need to learn new skills. Many businesses make the mistake of assuming their employees will easily adapt to the new software or that business will go on as normal after automation.
The best way to keep employees following along is to properly train them. Employees should be able to feel completely at ease around the new machinery and software, as they will be working with it on a regular basis.
While the opportunity to expand one’s knowledge is always a great incentive, getting your employees to accept automation may require a few more incentives. As employees go through the training process to better understand how to use the new technology, supervisors should be prepared to offer their team perks for moving up in the company. Newly trained employees may look forward to better job titles, higher salaries, larger offices, and the like.
The Bottom Line
The greatest assets in a business are its employees. The best way to promote automation in a business without scaring off its employees is to have an environment of open communication and innovation.
Let your employees know you want what’s best for them–and change within the company isn’t a bad thing. For example, if your company has a lot of important data and you can keep it safe and more easily accessible–you could automate your disaster recovery plan. Now that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
A business that constantly encourages learning, growth, and understanding will form a tight bond with its employees that even the machines can’t break. It’s important to communicate with your employees to alleviate any problems or worries in the workplace.