Robotic process automation (RPA) helps employees engage in richer interactions with coworkers, perform work that requires more brain power, and make fewer mistakes, according to UiPath CMO Bobby Patrick.
Patrick was commenting on new study findings - commissioned by UiPath and conducted by Forrester Consulting - that finds nearly 70 per cent of organisations believe RPA is enabling employees to have more human interaction. UiPath, founded in Romania develops an RPA platform and now has offices worldwide.
The study - the Impact of RPA on Employee Experience - reflects the need to keep employees at the core of RPA efforts.
The benefits of RPA reported by firms include increased efficiency (86 per cent), deeper insights into customers (67 per cent), improved customer service (57 per cent), and improved employee engagement (57 per cent).
According to the study, succeeding in digital transformation initiatives requires organisations to pivot on a core lever: engaged employees.
“Employees today struggle to perform under the weight of mind-numbing, repetitive work. They’re influenced by their consumer experiences and want similar experiences in their jobs,” said Patrick.
“With the rise of automation tools, many fear a dystopian view that solutions like RPA will replace jobs and human workers will be left out of favor. As the study finds, the reality is that RPA allows employees to engage in richer interactions with others, perform work that requires more brain power, and make fewer mistakes.”
According to the study, organisations are increasingly concerned with the employee experience as they grapple with the forces of automation and RPA, and that operating model issues and psychological barriers hold back RPA efforts.
Ultimately, keeping employees engaged and happy will enable organisations to capitalise on the transformative potential of RPA, the study said.
The study also finds that sixty-six per cent of respondents said that RPA restructures existing work, enabling employees to have more human interactions, and 60 per cent said RPA helps employees focus on more meaningful, strategic tasks. In addition, 57 per cent of respondents report that RPA reduces manual errors.
The study also notes that organisations must overcome operating model issues and psychological challenge.
It reports firms are struggling to scale their RPA solutions due to the lack of trained personnel and resources to support and use RPA technology. In fact, 93 per cent of respondents said they struggle to understand the different deployment options available to them, it noted.
Additionally, leaders must overcome the psychological impact of RPA on their workforce, the study suggested. Communication and collaboration between the business and workers, and well-designed change management programs are crucial.
The study also recommends that firms aim to improve both operational efficiency and employee experience at the same time, create an RPA center of excellence, manage psychological implications at the onset of an implementation, and use a human-centric change management process that carefully considers human factors, ensuring that people will feel valued and safe.