Can Automation increase employee engagement?
We are already seeing technologies such as automation transforming businesses and how we work. But can it help increase employee engagement?
According to the latest report by Forrester, it can. 57% of the companies surveyed indicated that automation has helped them better engage their employees among other areas such as increased efficiency (86%), deeper insights into customers (67%) and improved customer service (57%).
One of the reasons why automation has increased employee engagement and experience for companies is the doing away of mundane and repetitive job processes which allows employees to focus on more meaningful and strategic tasks.
In fact, one of the first areas that companies look to automate is Human Resources. Malina Platon, Managing Director of ASEAN at UiPath, a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) firm, believes automation will allow HR professionals to move away from the repetitive processes such as onboarding, leave approval and expense claims, to a more strategic and decision-making role.
“Many companies are starting to look at how to change and automate their HR functions. And HR is one of the easiest areas to be automated as a lot of its processes are repetitive and mundane. And that will free HR professionals to have more time to do more strategic and decision-making work,” she said.
“However, there is a skill gap in HR that automation will create by transforming the job. HR leaders will have to train and reskill their staff to do more complex, value-added work.
“One of our roles is also to help HR identify and shape new roles such as RPA developers, engineers and business analysts. We also help to develop training programs for them.”
One of the ways UiPath is helping companies equip their employees for automation is through its UiPath Partner Academy, which is an online training platform for its customers, as well as the Centre of Excellence program which aims to help companies scale automation within their organization.
Having said that, there remains a huge skill gap between more developed countries such as Singapore who had a head start in automation and developing countries like Cambodia who are only starting to adopt the technology.
But Platon believes the late adopters of automation can benefit from the experience and skills garnered over the years in the more developed markets.
“If we look globally there are a number of countries who are a step ahead in automation like Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and South Korea. And there are other countries who started late like Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos. But the countries who started late can benefit from all the experience accumulated in the industry for the last three to four years.
“They can see what kind of training is needed, what the customer journey looks like, and learn from the experience. So it’s not really a deficit that they start late. In fact, they can even move faster in terms of adoption and implementation,” she added.