How organizations can help employees embrace, not fear, automation

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People are the heart of your organization. No matter what’s on the table, you know your company can only thrive if you invest in your people. However, are your people so wrapped up in a checklist of tasks that they can’t use their resources to push your business forward?

According to our research, if your business is like most others, then your people don’t have the time to take a step back to think innovatively. People matter, but providing people with the tools they need and giving them time to use those tools can drastically change the trajectory of your business.

Many businesses today recognize the need to use their talent in a more effective manner. They know each member has something outstanding to offer. Some companies have even spent the time encouraging individuals to speak up, offer opinions, and innovate the tasks they do to be more efficient. But are business leaders really letting that happen?

In Workfront’s "2018 State of Work Report," we found that the answer is complicated. About 64 percent of the more than 2,000 enterprise workers surveyed reported that their workplace asks employees to think of how they can do things in a new way. But, of these individuals, 58 percent of them say they are so busy with day-to-day work, they simply do not have time to do more than what’s on their already long to-do list.

What does this say about your business? Take a good look at your resource allocation right now. Exactly what are your people working on, and how are they doing achieving these goals? From startups to thriving Fortune 500 companies, businesses innovate and grow or become stagnant based on the management of these human resources.

Automation can make work more effective, efficient, and more productive. When you allow automation to handle those dull, repetitive tasks, your people have time to manage the true opportunities you are presenting to them. They can use what machines do not have — creativity, compassion, and the ability to think outside the box.

Automation Can Help Alleviate These Concerns

Here’s an excellent example of how the average company manages their resources. You have systems in place to manage and track human resources. You have plenty of tools in place for financials. Even your customers are well-fitted into a system that handles their processes. But tell me this, where do you go to see the status of your most important initiatives and all the work associated with pushing them forward? If you ask any executive what their organization is executing on at the moment, they struggle to tell you the why, what, and how much regarding a significant portion of corporate investments. This is because enterprises too often lack an operational system of record (OSR) for measuring work and resources.

An operational system of record takes all of those 20th century tools you are using – think spreadsheets and status meetings – and automates them. All of that time spent “catching up paperwork” so to speak that holds down your team is alleviated. With a single platform to manage and provide a clear view of the truth about your critical work, you have more information and insight. According to the State of Work report, 86 percent of U.S. workers believe that the rise of automation will help us think of work in new and innovative ways.

In light of that, why do we fear automation? There are plenty of reasons:

  • It seems too expensive or too new.
  • Everything is “just fine” right now.
  • You don’t want to train your team.
  • You lack insight into how it can seamlessly meld into your current operations.

The problem is, a modern approach to work is essential. We live in a world that’s moving so fast, we cannot simply rely on basic tools and minimal insights. Because if you do, your business dies. Just ask the more than half of the Fortune 500 that have been acquired, merged, or gone bankrupt since 2000 We need to advance our business operations to include a view of the lifecycle of work from end-to-end.

The Bottom Line About Automation

There’s no need to be scared of automation, particularly because it will enable you to open the door to empower your people.

Let’s face it. It’s challenging to find true talent. You’re investing a significant amount of money in each of your employees right now. Why waste a moment of their valuable time with tasks automation can tackle?

An OSR gives the transparency you need to see workflow from start to finish. You can react in real time, make changes quickly, and optimize each day to achieve the goals you set out for.

Embrace automation. It’s how modern enterprises scale. To this end, the "State of Work Report" shares countless insights into why we’re struggling and how to overcome these challenges.

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