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How to welcome a robot to the team

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The question of how to welcome a new employee who is a robot may seem abstract. However, the increasingly more frequently implemented business processes automation means that many companies have to answer this question – also because of other employees who face many doubts. Will the robots take our jobs, the team wonders. Employers, departments responsible for recruitment or people working as Happiness Managers must prepare a team to hire a new employee. How to do it? How to welcome a new employee to a team that has not had contact with office robots so far? Use our experience in this field.

Robots at work – what do they do?

Robotization of business processes may sound mysterious, so it is worth understanding what the robot does in the role of an employee. Above all, it can work almost all day and night – it takes over boring, repetitive and often demotivating tasks. Robots are able to take over up to 30% of office duties that require processing large amounts of data without any errors. They might perform, among others. verifying the correctness of applications (e.g. for a loan), copying and pasting data, and then comparing them, as well as generating documents from templates. They are already perfect for industries such as finance, logistics and accounting. The robots take over the duties that employees do not like. Despite this, employees not only have the right not to know how to welcome a robot to the team, but also may have doubts whether the automation of workplaces will lead to dismissals in the company.

Robot or a human being – why is this a wrong question?

The analysis of the Polish Economic Institute shows that Poles work longer than the inhabitants of the most developed countries in Europe. Theoretically, they should be happy that there is a robot at work that will take over some of the unpopular duties. However, this is a new situation for them, and the industrial revolution, mechanization and general public mood are causing lack of trust towards robots. Welcoming such employee in a team is a bigger challenge for the organization than a standard recruitment, but we may prepare to it.

Among all, we shall show the employees that there are differences between a robot and a human being, however, they do not have influence on a human position. This is a large field for education, which will make it easier to welcome the robot to the company later. The organization’s task is to show that the question of who is better – a robot or a human – is a wrong question, because one is not meant to replace the other. An impact of automatization on labour market is undeniable, but it is worth looking at from a greater distance. Just as mechanization didn’t make machines replace humans, RPA technology won’t. Moreover, the company must make employees aware that a robot at work means:

  • more time for creative tasks,
  • less boring and often frustrating duties, that sometimes lead to unnecessary stressful mistakes.

Robots mean that in office work you can find more time to use soft skills and make decisions important for the efficiency of processes or the quality of customer service. It’s not everything. Robots also create new jobs – an excellent example are Robo Shepherds, that are responsible for their creation, testing and maintenance.

Why is a robot perfect as an employee?

Making the team aware of how the robot will actually perform as an employee is the first step to welcoming them to the company later. Instead of writing a welcome e-mail to the team as in case of a standard recruitment, it is better to organize a meeting, which would prepare the organization for admission of a new team member.

But why can a robot prove itself as an employee? From the company’s point of view, the robot works faster than a human, but at the same time does not make mistakes – this is an advantage that is hard to underestimate. It also costs less than the salary and maintenance of an employee who performs exactly the same tasks. The robot would not quit its job, and in case of a sudden work volume increasing it will be able to take on new challenges without any problems. The company would be able to fully use the potential of other employees, which previously could have been hampered by the necessity to carry out repetitive office activities.

How to welcome a new employee that is a robot?

Each change in the company requires preparation if its implementation is to be successful. How to welcome a new employee that is a robot? First of all, prepare the team for its appearance – it must be clearly communicated that robots will take over some of the employees’ duties, but they will be the tasks they least like. On the other hand, the company should take care to understand RPA technology – the lack of knowledge always favours the reluctance towards novelty, and this, in turn, hinders the effective implementation of changes.

It is worth engaging the team in actions related to the admission fo the new employee-robot. Thanks to this, they will find out that the robot is not a threat to their work and they will see what it really does. The company should plan tasks for people whose duties will be taken over by the robots. It would be best if the employees dedicated at least a part of this time for development, but also for searching another tasks that are available for the robots. It is also an excellent occasion to optimize the existing processes. New tasks to be performed by the employee should be interesting for him. It is good if they also provide greater autonomy – thanks to this, the employee will feel greater satisfaction, which will more willingly attribute to the implementation of robots in the company.

At a later stage of implementation, it is also worth assessing the effects of the changes together with the team – to show the results that were achieved thanks to hiring a new employee, and at the same time realize how the team’s attitude to RPA technology has changed. Employees may find themselves wondering when the company is going to welcome another robot. This will be the best proof that job automation is not a threat to human beings.

Want to learn more about Robotic Process Automation?
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Kasia Adamczewska
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