Wonder how to incorporate and evangelize RPA in your organization? RPA, or Robotic Processing Automation, has significantly elevated employee productivity and the customer experience in various industries. With enterprises becoming more and more aggressive in offering cutting-edge innovations by automating menial tasks and repetitive processes, it has become one of the most popular automation solutions in the workplace globally.
From banking services, insurance claims, retail orders to healthcare monitoring, RPA has provided a means to automate end-to-end transactions while fostering consistent processes and meaningful careers.
Nonetheless, a company that has yet to embrace RPA technology may have many questions about it. Will they benefit business-wise? Is it going to complement their human resources? How will they implement it, etc.?
You see, these reservations are not only for those who have yet to adopt them in their businesses. Those who have run a few POCs find themselves struggling, especially when trying to scale its use to the rest of their organization. According to EY, over 70% of automation projects fail to scale. In a previous article, we explored 5 reasons why this can happen.
Our goal with this article is to help you evangelize RPA to scale the technology in your business successfully and seamlessly, through defining a solid communication plan.
Evangelize and Spread the Word about RPA Technology
Whenever a new idea is introduced, it’s not uncommon to be met with anxiety and resentment. That is why it is important to relay what RPA is and how it aims to improve the status quo. The communication has to be done as clearly as possible to get everyone to be on board and endorse it.
Gain support from target groups
It is not enough to tell your employees about the merits of having this technology working side-by-side; it needs complete support from upper management, LOB managers, and key team players who will benefit the most from automation.
Senior managers and up
Any support from the senior executives trickles down to their people, which should be present from idea to fruition. Hence, these executives should be briefed beforehand; after all, they may not know what RPA is all about. They should also be kept updated with the progress during deployment to the different departments. Give them access to marketing materials and provide regular reports that highlight progress.
As this project rolls out, the visibility of the RPA sponsors and project leaders will serve as proof of full support. It also validates the project, sending a positive signal to the naysayers and employees who remain doubtful. They must continue to be visible to sustain the momentum and see it through the transition.
Team leaders and LOB managers
Aside from the upper management, getting support from the team leaders, supervisors, and department managers is crucial to RPA implementation’s success. They act as the go-between of the company, being the ones that are in direct communication with their staff and reporting to their superiors. These key leaders should reassure people that the RPA system will work for them and that no one is going to lose their job.
Once the company officers and leaders have been advised of the impending RPA integration, it’s time to relay this decision to the regular employees. Educating them about the features, benefits and providing examples of how the technology will liberate them from minor, mundane tasks will get them to embrace the system sooner. They should also be free to voice out concerns and questions, which your Center of Excellence team should carefully address and weigh.
There has to be a detailed plan presenting comprehensive information and how to incorporate it, which will allow them to unload basic and several moderate tasks. This way, the company can tap more from their employees and not replace them as some might have mistaken the goals involved in acquiring the RPA technology.
A Strategy to ensure RPA success
So, what are you waiting for? Start discussing RPA with your staff, and everything will work out fine. We wish it could be that easy; however, a strategy has to be put in place. Change management is crucial in preparing your employees for the new technology. It includes establishing procedures for change and monitoring to implement the RPA successfully.
Read more on our top 5 tips for managing RPA initiatives.
Focus on those resistant to change
You can begin by developing the right mindset, highlighting the integral role of RPA in the continuous growth of the company and its people. This organizational change is challenging to say the least because you will require full cooperation to reduce disruption while the transition is in process.
It is best to prioritize the most resistant to change, especially those who seem to espouse the famous proverb, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Sure, everything may seem to be good as it is, but you should let people realize that you are in it to win it. As somebody once said, complacency is the enemy of progress. We don’t stop where we are; we keep going nonetheless.
You should identify the units that will be affected by implementing the RPA and hone certain people to lead their teams, essentially campaigning for the change geared to everyone’s betterment.
One leading re-insurance company faced challenges when it began adopting RPA. As expected, many employees were unsettled by the looming change. Their lead officer thought it best to engage those that would be working directly with the automation technology. Some might be unfamiliar with this innovation and be defiant, thinking it will make their positions obsolete. They may even encourage others to rally against the new technology and impede any automation efforts.
Proper education of RPAs real benefits and openness of the communication channel for feedback and concerns are crucial. These practices led employees in the re-insurance company to understand how incorporating RPA will relieve them of their “manual tasks,” focusing their efforts on more complex issues that will truly reflect their worth, while maximising their productivity.
They can start relegating manual routines with the guidance of the RPA Center of Excellence, which is a governance structure that helps standardize RPA deployment in the company. Showing the employees how much they can become empowered by having a little help from their bot friends creates more value in their jobs in the process.
In the end, these employees became the number one proponents of RPA, which made the adoption within other departments much easier than once initially thought. Hence organizations need to carry out the change management strategy for seamless results.
Role of the RPA CoE Team
The RPA CoE Team provides the best industry practices during the initiative while sorting through the roadblocks along the way. It should understand your company structure and observe diligent practices when deploying RPA to the various departments. It may be composed of in-house operations specialists and developers or outsourced skilled personnel.
In addition, a well-built CoE can take the business beyond RPA, acting as the foundation for future HyperAutomation.
Read more about the benefits of an RPA Center of Excellence.
Timing is everything
We know that there are internal departments that are codependents of one another. Hence, when implementing RPA, the team should consider this setup and prioritize the proper units for a smooth flow. It also applies to conducting activities that involve marketing. For instance, before any attempt to drumbeat the RPA project, the team should communicate with the management first. They should come up with uniform messaging because they will have a better insight into employee behaviour, especially if you’re using a third party to implement the RPA. This way, the RPA CoE Team can also articulate the project goals and how they will achieve them to the rest of the organization.
Those who are first in line with RPA are essentially getting the first dibs. If the program is transitioned smoothly, their hands-on experience can help reassure others. Should some problems put the progress to a halt, it’s important to acknowledge and address them immediately. The user’s feedback is valuable for developers to fine-tune the system. It will be worth celebrating once everything has been rolled out successfully.
Creating an effective RPA communication plan
As pointed out earlier, communication is crucial during the whole RPA transition process. It allows users to identify problems during the first few phases, which can be corrected right away. Below are elements that play a huge role in proper communication between the RPA CoE Team and the employees working with the new system.
Manual and digital media
The RPA CoE Team can keep the rest of the organization in the loop on updates with the transition and implementation through company newsletters, regular emails, or internal web portals and messaging tools. You can also share the experience of users, such as their small victories and speed bumps, providing full transparency.
Depending on the audience segment, putting a face beside the RPA journey will help promote it within the organization. For example, your chief accountant may be the intermediary between their staff and the RPA CoE Team. This person would represent their group, and they can express sentiment or concern better than anyone regarding their team’s experience.
The RPA CoE Team can discuss the progress during a stakeholder’s meeting to raise questions and concerns. This way, everyone is organized and on the same page with the project.
It’s much easier to get employees onboard with RPA when they feel like they can make a real difference. With a collaboration platform like SilkFlo, employees from across the organization can submit ideas for automation, vote for their favourites and comment on each one. Research has proven that companies with highly engaged employees experience 22% greater productivity than those that do not.
To learn more about how the RPA impacts the user and their department, the team can also distribute survey forms with specific questions. These are best answerable by yes or no, and provide a comment section to elaborate on their choices and objections.
Videos and webinars
Using visuals is often far more effective when you want to convey information that will stick instead of people just reading emails and newsletters. Besides, it makes it more fun to learn something new.
Training program and e-learning
One of the most important things that companies can do is train their employees on how to use this technology. Since RPA software will have some learning curve, there should be adequate training for those working with it directly to optimize its use and benefits. Many RPA vendors have great training materials already available. One way to go about it would be to develop your own workshops that are tailored around the needs of your employees. You can also create reference materials that employees can easily access anytime they need to review a certain aspect of the RPA software.
Wouldn’t it be nice to celebrate a milestone such as a successful RPA implementation? Celebrating milestones with employees takes their work value up a notch, having a renewed sense of importance and purpose in the organization.
RPA may truly be one of the most innovative tools in the workplace, yet employee scepticism, in the beginning, is inevitable. Incorporating it in the organization with the help of a strategic communication plan will facilitate the transition, which begins from the upper management, down to the employees who will be directly impacted by automation. An RPA CoE Team should not only convey the merits of having such a system through proper communication and training but also maintain a feedback loop to ensure that this system will be most effective in achieving the company’s specific goals.
Learn more about how to scale a successful RPA program with SilkFlo’s automation management platform and find out how it can guide your company from ideas to automations, every step of the way.
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