Drive to Reimagine

Fear of automation: How to get your employees to embrace automation

Jeremy DSouza
.
Apr 8
.
4-5 mins

Table of contents

Key takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodology

While businesses are excited about AI and automation, their employees don’t seem to share those feelings. The employees actually seem to be living in fear of automation.

They’re all worried about the automation-driven job apocalypse. They’re afraid of Artificial Intelligence rendering causing unprecedented job loss. And honestly, they couldn’t be more wrong.

The reality of Automation

Automation is not going to steal their jobs. It’s going to make their jobs easier. It’s going to help your employees carry out their work in a better manner.

Benefits of Automation for Employee Efficiency
How automation empowers employees

Automation is all about getting the monotonous tasks out of the way, so that humans can focus on the work that actually matters. But, how do you get your employees to understand that? Well, it may not be as difficult as it seems.

1

Reassure them—The fear of automation is unnecessary

They need to know that the adoption of automation will not steal them of their jobs. Job security is the most important factor out here.

Show your people that their jobs will evolve. They’ll be free of the monotonous, routine tasks that could be better done by a machine. Show them how they’ll be able to spend their time doing work that matters, work that’s more fulfilling than simple repetitive tasks, work that actually requires human skills.

2

They're already using automation

Workers and employees may have a deep fear of automation, but probably don’t realize that they’re already using it. In our work life and in our personal lives, we’ve automated many mechanical tasks. Processes that didn’t really need special attention. And that’s benefitted us tremendously.

Now, we have more time on our hands. We can deal with things that we’ve been putting off for a long time. We can wrap up our work faster and go spend time with our families. Honestly, we can increase our productivity and our efficiency. All by simply automating a few processes that didn’t require our personal attention.

We’re all afraid of what we do not know. So remind them of how they’re already familiar with automation. Remind them of these examples of automation used in daily life:

  • Scheduled Bill PaymentsWhen you opt for scheduled or automation bill pay, that’s essentially opting for automation. You don’t have to remember to pay your bills manually anymore. The added benefit? No more late fees/ penalties.
  • Coffee MachinesSometimes you just need a nice cuppa the moment you wake up, but you don’t really have the time or energy to brew one yourself early in the morning. So, we now have coffee machines that can be programmed to get a cup ready at a particular time.
  • Email SignaturesEven those signatures in your emails are a basic form of automation. They save you the time and energy of typing them out for every single email.
  • ThermostatsYour thermostat is also a form of automation. Just program the times at which you want the temperature to change and then you can literally chill around all day

PS. Check out our interview with Shane Barker where he talks about the Future of Digital Marketing.

3

Train them

A way of gaining their trust could be to train them to use the automation tools to their advantage. They need to know that they’re important. Make it clear that they’re still valuable and help them adjust to their new roles.

4

Development

With the advancements in technology and with organizations embracing automation, the skills required to succeed at work are not the same as they were even a decade ago. 

The skills of the past are skills which machines can be programmed with. But, there are some purely human skills that machines are not even close to matching.

The World Economic Forum said that it is soft skills like creative thinking, empathy and context sensing that are becoming more valuable.

Because of this, we need to train our employees to develop their higher-level intelligences. We need to shift our focus from IQ to SQ (Social Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient) now.

And we also need to help our employees by showing them how to use Artificial Intelligence to augment those skills. To make the collaboration between humans and AI more powerful than either on its own.

MIT Sloan calls this interaction the missing middle because companies often focus entirely on the ends. They focus on what humans can do without machines or on how AI can automate processes that humans were handling alone. But the most value is generated when humans and AI work in tandem with each other.

5

Listen to their voice

Including your employees in the decision-making process might be the best way for you to drive change.  So, work with them on identifying the areas in which automation should be employed. Let their ideas shine through.

According to Gartner research, organizations that collaborate with their employees to create change strategies tend to see a 10% increase in the probability of change success.

So, listen to their voices. They won’t fear automation if they have a say in where automation is employed.

Engage with automation

It’s pretty clear that AI, machine learning, and automation are not going to bring about a job apocalypse. They’re going to bring about an evolution in the nature of jobs.

Employees are going to be able to do work that actually leaving them feeling fulfilled. But it’s up to you to get them to understand that.

If you’ve made some progress on convincing your team about the benefits of automation (or expect to do so), it’s time to give AI a shot. So, check out Engati’s offerings and see how we can streamline and automate your processes.

Getting over the fear of automation is a challenge, but embracing it is simple with an Engati chatbot solution. Register with Engati to get started.

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Jeremy DSouza

Jeremy is a marketer at Engati with an interest in marketing psychology and consumer neuroscience. Over the last year he has interviewed many of the world's brightest CX, AI, Marketing, and Tech thought leaders for Engati CX.

Andy is the Co-Founder and CIO of SwissCognitive - The Global AI Hub. He’s also the President of the Swiss IT Leadership Forum.

Andy is a digital enterprise leader and is transforming business strategies keeping the best interests of shareholders, customers, and employees in mind.

Follow him for your daily dose of AI news and thoughts on using AI to improve your business.

Catch our interview with Andy on AI in daily life

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