By Jenna Bunnell

If you’re like 40% of American workers, you’ll probably agree that at least a quarter of your time is spent on repetitive tasks that take up most of your day. This isn’t surprising given the number of menial tasks employees are expected to do daily, such as data entry, emailing, and invoicing.

These repetitive tasks can have a knock-on effect on your team’s productivity and engagement, resulting in poorer interactions and outputs. That’s why it’s so important that companies start focusing on ways to improve the employee experience, freeing up valuable time that can be spent on the most important tasks.

This is where the power of automation comes in. Living in a digital age, the importance of IT workers and systems is clear and has become even more obvious during the pandemic. With remote work becoming the norm, there’s an even greater need to create IT systems capable of enabling collaboration and interaction in the workplace.

But many employees remain skeptical about automation. One of the most common misconceptions is that AI and automation will lead to big job losses and that the human touch will be removed from business.

This isn’t the case, but you must have a clear conversation with your team about what kind of automation you hope to introduce and the ways it will make their job easier.

Rewriting the narrative on automation isn’t a simple process and might take a bit of time. Be patient and try to address as many questions and concerns as possible, including:

  • What kind of tasks will be automated
  • What role the IT department will play in the process of automation
  • Whether you will you use a ‘no code’ workflow solution to enable non-technical workers to get involved in automating tasks
  • What kind of incentives and rewards employees will have to encourage them to automate tasks
  • What the best VoIP phone service is to help communicate ideas about automation to those working remotely 

It’s also important to make clear that the human touch won’t be stripped away from the business because of automation – in fact, it could free up time so that employees can interact more personally with consumers.

Once you’ve had this conversation with your employees, you can now start making the move to research on what is fixed VoIP or other modern techs, then proceed  to automating certain processes. Not only will this lead to a more streamlined working process, but it will have a direct impact on how well your employees work and engage.

Still unconvinced? Here are three key ways automation can improve employee satisfaction and business operations.

1. Frees up valuable time and leads to better engagement

Valuable Time

Employees spend at least a quarter of their working day on manual, repetitive tasks that could be automated. This can often lead to burnout and hurt employee satisfaction levels, in turn affecting productivity and engagement.

Concentrating on these menial tasks also takes attention away from the most important jobs, which are often ones where an employee’s skills are given a chance to shine.

Actively encouraging and promoting automation minimizes the worry if a call is waiting on the other line, it will also not only help streamline and rationalize processes but will free up more time for employees to spend on the most valuable tasks. They’ll be able to get more value from their job and be empowered to concentrate on what matters most and where their skills can really be put to use.

When making decisions about what tasks to automate, always consider which jobs are manual and repetitive. To get the most out of automation, set up a survey that asks employees what their take on it is; what tasks do they find menial and what takes up a lot of their time? 

Based on these results and your technical analysis, you can start automating manual tasks such as:

  • Creating cheap vanity numbers
  • Logging data entries
  • Sending out emails
  • Setting up a purchase order example
  • Data sharing and invoicing

2. Helps employees reach their full potential and upskill

Since automation frees up more time for employees to spend on valuable tasks, they’ll be able to reach their full potential much quicker. By making the most of tech and AI rather than being scared of it, employees will be a step closer to reaching milestones in their career such as being promoted. 

Make it clear from the start that automation is something that can help your employees shine and speed up the time it takes to reach new heights in their careers.

Employee Potential

With more time spent on valuable and enriching tasks, employees can side-step the hours spent on repetitive jobs that don’t lead to anything bigger. It can also help them acquire new tech skills and provide an opportunity for them to upskill and broaden their horizons. 

Encouraging employees to automate processes themselves is a simple way of putting more technical control in their hands, and by training them up on the process, they’ll gain extra skills along the way.

The digital change that the workplace has gone through in the past year has transformed the way businesses operate, and by getting employees more involved with tech, they’ll be better able to adapt to future changes, as well as gaining a more in-depth understanding of the role technology plays in the future of the company.

3. Can help employees learn from each other and lead to better collaboration

As well as broadening their skillset, automating processes can bring together different departments. When training up non-technical employees on how to automate processes and why it’s important, consider getting the IT department involved. 

Businesses can also opt for cloud pbx solutions, this internal communication between different departments will help employees understand each other’s roles better and enable them to gain insight into how the business operates on all levels. 

Collaboration

This cross communication will aid in future collaboration efforts across departments; both sides will already have a basic understanding of how the other operates and functions. 

This will have a direct impact on employee satisfaction because they’ll be able to see how their role and efforts are interconnected to others’, increasing their sense of value and belonging to your company.

Key takeaway

It’s clear that automation is the future, but that doesn’t mean the human touch will be forgotten. It plays an integral role in business, particularly in communications and customer service – roles where a human element is needed to bridge the gap between the consumer and the business.

While automation isn’t something to be feared, it is something every company should seriously start thinking about. We live in a digital age that is transforming every day, and to beat the competition, you have to be able to keep up.

Before implementing anything, it’s key you have transparent conversations with your team about the importance and benefits of automation. Even if you operate remotely, there’s no excuse – small business phone services can be installed to ensure all team members get a better understanding of automation and its place in your company.

About the Author

Author - JennaJenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that offers parking calls and provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Here is her LinkedIn.