Employee engagement in robotization of tasks

By Edvard and Rebekka Bjerk

2 July 2019 14:21

Employee engagement in robotization of tasks

How can companies secure employee engagement in the robotization of their work tasks?

dvard and Rebekka Bjerk
Edvard and Rebekka Bjerk

As we are faced with an increasingly digitalised world, several established companies have in recent years implemented software robots, such as RPA, to become more automated and efficient.

Such a robotization means that robots take over work tasks from employees and can lead to both relocations and dismissals.

However, in order to succeed with digital robotization, employee engagement is of high importance as it increases their willingness to transfer tasks to the robots and later perform the deviating tasks unmanageable to the robots.

Through in-depth interviews with employees and managers in a bank that has been implementing RPA since 2015, we have explored how to secure employee engagement in the robotization of their work tasks.

We find that employee engagement in robotization is achieved through an interaction between the management and the employees. Through a focus on the benefits of the robotization and facilitation for active participation in the robotization process, employees form an understanding of the purpose of the robotization and chooses to engage.

This implies that managers embarking on digital robotization can take measures, such as guaranteeing job security, communicating transparently, facilitate skills upgrading, and inviting employees to shape the robotization process. We find that such measures will reduce the threats of robotization and help employees engage in it.

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