The Post-Pandemic “Great Resignation”: How RPA Can Help
You’ve heard through the office grapevine that employees are discontent, disengaged, burnt-out? Worried that a significant number of them are preparing to walk? You’re not alone.
More than 15 million U.S. workers have left their jobs since April, and 40% of employees asked in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Singapore are “somewhat likely” to quit in the next three to six months, according to McKinsey. Most cited burnout as the top reason. The second reason? Lack of growth opportunities.
Indeed, worker burnout skyrocketed during COVID-19. A recent Insider survey reported that 61% of Americans felt they were “somewhat” or “very” burned out. A record four million people quit their jobs in April 2021, the most in more than 20 years, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The retail sector and professional and business services were the hardest hit. A Microsoft survey also found 41% of workers globally were considering quitting their current jobs.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help with burnout and lack of opportunity. RPA’s ability to get rid of the drudge work of jobs and free time up for more, higher-level activities—including training for new roles or even careers—makes it an important tool for battling what is predicted to be a massive resignation of workers of all types, throughout all industries.
Here are four ways that RPA can help your organization keep its valued employees.
#1 Give your employee a virtual assistant
Most jobs have repetitive, routine components that employees are bored by—maybe even actively hate. An accountant has to move figures from one system to another using a cut-and-paste action. A customer service representative must manually pull data from three different legacy applications to answer a client’s question. You can now find low-code/no-code RPA tools that give ordinary users—not techies—the ability to automate all these different tasks. The new efficiencies give employees time back in their days, make them more productive, and eliminate the errors that can arise from manual keystroking—and boredom. All of this is good for employee morale, as well as for the company.
#2 Free employees up for higher-value work
So what are your employees going to do with all the extra time? More and better things. Your accountant can analyze cash flow and head off a pending crunch. Your customer service people can notice patterns and inform product design and manufacturing of a defect that needs fixing or a new feature that would make the product or service of greater interest in the marketplace. They can use their brains and their innately human capabilities such as creativity, intuition, judgment, and more to get increased satisfaction out of their jobs. Plus, they have the challenge of automating more of their daily tasks—to use their imagination and take today’s user-friendly RPA tools to their limits.
#3 Train, train, and train again
Given that most employees quit because of lack of opportunity, here is your chance to give them more than they can handle. There is a well-known dearth of savvy tech professionals in the market. Rather than trying to bid for their attention, grow your talent from within. Train yours in RPA design. Train them in artificial intelligence (AI). In process engineering. To be a data analyst. All the talent that is so scarce on the market right now can be home-nurtured. It just takes some imagination and a commitment to helping your employees find a career path within your organization that keeps them challenged and engaged.
For example, Automation Anywhere University (AAU), which provides RPA training, continues to experience growth—with 100,000 completed trainings each quarter; 184,000 certifications have been awarded with more than 555,000 active learners in the programs. More than 100 online classes with 150 academic partners provide RPA education to students bound for professional careers. Momentum continues to build month after month. You can—and should—take advantage of this and like opportunities.
#4 Encourage a collaborative, citizen developer community
But work satisfaction isn’t just about technology. Connecting people matters, too. As your workers become more proficient in creating automations—for themselves, their colleagues, or the organization—help them build that sense of community. Create a center of excellence (CoE) that guides and teaches them further. Hold “Lunch and Learns.” Sponsor events to celebrate automation successes. There’s much you can do on the human side of things with RPA that will keep your employees from dusting off their resumes.
RPA can help retain valued employees
Research has shown that freeing up workers from drudgery increases employee satisfaction, improves retention, and reduces turnover. RPA does all that and more. In the process of preventing your company from suffering from the Great Resignation that is expected, you can save money, improve productivity, and strengthen your company culture all simultaneously by investing in RPA.