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Automation at the Workplace: 6 Ways to Ensure Employee Buy-in

Aug 22, 2018 | 4 minutes
Six employees talking about business in their workspace.

So, you are thinking of bringing a workflow automation strategy into your workplace. 

This could be introducing the latest productivity app, a workflow automation platform, or a whole new custom integration procedure. The c-suite is on board. Or, maybe it’s just you, the one that signs the cheques, that is good to go. 

The tough part is done. Right? 

Well, that’s fine and dandy and all, but there is one other thing you need to also take care of, employee buy-in.

Introducing workflow automation at the workplace

The good thing is you’re not alone. 

Companies from all industries, professions of all types, and individuals from all walks of life are looking at ways to stop wasting time doing daily online tasks and start automating them. In most cases, it is an enhancement that they are looking for and not a total takeover (although if you are unsure, you can check to see if you or your employees’ jobs will be replaced by robots here ;) 

With that being said, people aren’t as scared as you would think about automation in the workplace. 

As a study by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests, only 60% of occupations have at least 30% technically automatable tasks, and currently only 5% of jobs are actually reaching this. So complete robot takeover is not a current likelihood, but automating aspects of employee workflows are. So, conversations still need to be had. 

And, there are a few ways to approach the topic to ensure not only buy-in but also a smooth transition.

1. Be empathetic

Some people thrive on change, others not so much. With an attentive and listening ear, be cognizant of what a technological change can mean for your employees and how they view their changing roles in the workplace. 

In the case of a workflow automation platform being instituted, help them understand why. Show that the tool is meant to help them do their job better, not eliminate it.

2. Be supportive

There will be a learning curve in learning new technology. 

The extent of this though may vary depending upon the employee’s role in the automation process. If they are part of the implementation process it may mean learning a new form of technology. 

In other cases, it may just mean new ways of working with old online tools. 

In either case, be supportive of the learning curve. It will take time for those working with new technology to learn it. For those not directly facing it, it will take time for them to learn their new way to work. 

Furthermore, the job they may have been originally hired for may not be the job they will have at the end of the transition. And, that may present a challenge; meaning new schedule, new demands, and changes to how they work. 

Be supportive. Give them time to adjust.

3. Be transparent

As I am sure we can all attest to, any time a change occurs in a workplace there are usually mixed emotions. Anxiety. Excitement. Uncertainty. With the onset of a new automation strategy, this may be the same. 

Transparency and accountability will likely alleviate this. Keep them apprised of changes, timelines, new technologies, and ask for feedback. 

Essentially, keep everyone in the loop.

4. Empower your employees

On a positive note, this may also be a great opportunity to empower employees. The job they may have been hired for may not have been the one they were actually doing. They could have been caught up in a lot of tedious manual processes instead. COPY AND PASTE. 

With the inclusion of a workflow automation strategy, it can take away all the tasks that are total timesucks and let your employees concentrate on what they were actually hired to do. 

Empower them with this fact. 

Moreover, by eliminating tedious manual tasks, employees can concentrate on the more important aspects of their job. More meaningful work means happier employees.

5. Introduce new opportunities

With new strategies for workflow, it may also mean the creation of new jobs. It might provide employees with a whole new job opportunity or provide them upward movement in the company. 

You are changing the way the company works, so it can come with new exciting opportunities. Don’t forget to tell them that.

6. Stress better work/life balance

Automation doesn’t just mean more time for high-level work tasks but it can also mean more time for a personal life. Express this to your employees. 

No longer would they, for example, need to be tied to their desks because a certain action has to happen at a certain time. With their tasks happening automatically, they don’t have to be there for it. 

Automation can help create a more flexible work environment and a better work/life balance. 

Like any kind of change, it’s all in how you present it. Be empathetic, supportive, and empowering. 

This way a change like a new automation strategy, can be seen positively. And hey, even for those that are easily on-board they might become even more excited. 

If you are in the market for a workflow automation platform, try MakeMake is the fully-loaded automation tool that allows you to connect online apps/services to create powerful automations, all without writing a single line of code. It’s free to try and can save you and your team hours each day.

Don’t let inefficiencies happen to good people! If you enjoyed this, give this article a clap, hit follow, and share it with others.


Jessica Herauf

Partnerships Manager at Make. I like to travel, explore nature, and I love to hear a good story.

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