What happens when Change Management meets employee resistance to an RPA roll out?

“RPA is a promising new development in business automation that offers a potential ROI of 30-200%—in the first year. Employees may like it, too.” 
— Xavier Lhuer, McKinsey and Company

The line “Employees may like it, too.” is so simple and understated yet sums up possibly the biggest stumbling block in any Change Management process.

Employees. Their reaction to change can be driven by many factors including a fear that their job or position is under threat.

“What’s wrong with the way we always did it?”

People hear ‘Robotic Processing Automation’ and think of auto factory production lines. RBA applies to any process or production that can be automated, not necessarily ‘robotized’.

Robotic processing automation promises a substantial return on investment that has attracted the attention of business leaders. While the ROI can be impressive, the majority of cost savings are realized by reducing employee headcount. Find out how a change team can identify and mitigate employee resistance to an RPA implementation and create a successful change initiative.

Again a line that is worth addressing “..reducing employee headcount.

In my experience change management is NOT about reducing staff numbers. It is in fact about removing the human element from mundane repetetive processes and empowering the staff to become more productive and efficient at other tasks more suited to their skills.

Just like any other process in project management, effective change management involves clear planning and communication of what the process means.

Focus on the positive side of things:

  • you may not have to work late or through lunch anymore
  • you are able to duplicate your time on data entry by engaging more people in a simpler process (webforms)
  • you will engage with techno phopes who shy away from noraml data entry due to spreadsheetaphobia – empowering and motivating
  • your company will be SO much more productive as back office and admin tasks are smoother releasing more time for overwatch and analysis
  • you can centralize data making it easier for key stakeholders and management to access and inform themselves without absorbing hours of others time

Don’t forget to be in front of the negatives:

  • there will be people who expect a magic wand approach – change is an iterative process. Roll out steady, sandbox and stress-test .
  • there will be retraining and many repetitive questions and answers – you are the person with the plan and in the know, you MUST be patient with people, they are willing to learn.
  • it will take time and you may feel there is no end. Well, there isn’t! At some point your process will gain critical mass and others will take it forward and be ambassadors for your process.

Article Inspiration Source: Mitigating Employee Resistance to an RPA Implementation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *