6 Benefits of Automation in the Workplace

Author: Kristina Proffitt

7th February 2019

From scheduling interviews to booking a taxi, automation is everywhere.

While some are afraid that AI, automation, and robots are coming for their jobs, results show otherwise: it’s helping us to do our jobs.

Not just faster, but better, too.

Productivity is increasing because we’re not spending as much time on tedious tasks. We have more time to spend working toward key objectives and helping the business to grow instead of on necessary but time-consuming tasks that eat up our time.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the benefits of automation in the workplace.

Reduced time to fill

The longer a role remains open, the more businesses lose out not just from missing an employee, but from other employees filling in for that empty role, too. Reducing their time to fill is therefore crucial to reducing what can become a significant loss of productivity.

Applicant tracking systems and candidate relationship management systems can help with almost every step of the hiring process. It can shortlist candidates faster and better than a human; it can schedule interviews, and it can even conduct interviews.

While this reduces the face time that candidates get with recruitment teams, it saves recruitment teams hours every week. They can conduct in-person interviews more effectively because they have more time to prepare, meaning they’re more likely to hire the right person first time.

More effective employee onboarding

It’s estimated that 20% of employee turnover happens during the first 45 days. An effective onboarding process is crucial to reducing this figure.

A more effective onboarding process also reduces how long an employee takes to reach full productivity, which is estimated to be between eight to 12 months.

Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% better productivity from new hires. A longer onboarding process also reduces how long it takes for new employees to reach full productivity by 50-75%.

A standardized onboarding process also increases employee retention by 50%.

Automation can help companies to improve their onboarding process by creating automated workflows. These could include regular emails to help them through their first few weeks or when they pass a milestone, or the automated scheduling of meetings with their colleagues.

Onboarding apps can automatically tick off when tasks are complete and notify anyone involved that is holding up the onboarding flow. These flows can be used for every new hire, with steps added or removed based on the new hire’s responsibilities.

Greater employee retention and a better working environment

With such a competitive recruitment market, the best way for businesses to avoid the lengthy and expensive hiring process is to retain their current employees. Automating repetitive tasks is a great way to do this.

When tedious tasks are automated, employees are made to feel valued. This makes them happier in their role and gives them more time to get the job done.

In fact, happy employees are 31% more productive than their less happy colleagues.

Their improved mood and productivity has a ripple effect on those around them, too. It helps to build a more welcoming working environment which can even catch on to new hires.

Improved productivity

Workplace productivity is at an all-time low. It’s therefore imperative that businesses find ways to improve – and fast – if they want to surpass their competitors.

Employees lose around 520 hours per year to repetitive tasks that could be automated. Tasks like scheduling a meeting or organizing an interview are simple but can eat away at their time so quickly they don’t even notice.

Automation is a great way for businesses to improve employee productivity. Repetitive tasks that could be automated cost the US economy $13,000 per employee.

Across a workforce of 140 million, that means the US economy misses out on $1.8 trillion every year. Just think of how much money could be generated if those tasks were automated…

More than one in three believe that their company’s technology is outdated.

A fifth, meanwhile, want non-essential tasks automated. When you think of the time that they could gain, is it any wonder?

The extra time means that they can get more done, generate more money for the business, and maybe even earn a pay raise for themselves. None of that can happen if tedious tasks aren’t automated, though.

Stronger employer brand

Employer brands are everything. Job-hunting candidates will change their mind about applying for a role or reject a job offer if they discover a company has a poor employer brand.

Automating tasks during every step of the employee’s journey within a company is one way to improve employer brands.

During the hiring process, responding to candidates faster using an ATS that shortlists means candidates aren’t waiting around only to be rejected. As they progress, interview scheduling that they’re in control of further helps to create a better employee experience. In the increasingly candidate-driven market, steps such as this help companies to stand out.

Automating employees’ tasks also improves employer brands. When employees talk about the company with their friends and family, they’re more likely to speak highly of their employer. This leaves a positive impression on their friends and family, making them more likely to spread the word, too. They may even apply for roles in the future if something fitting their skillset arises.

Faster growth

Ultimately, isn’t this what every business strives for?

There’s no denying that automation is an investment. Automation software doesn’t always come cheap, then there’s the added cost of installing it and training employees to use it. It all sounds like an expensive risk when you put it like that.

But, when you look at the long-term gains, it’s a no-brainer.

Automating tasks frees employees up to focus on other tasks that help them to generate more money for the business. Since they have more time, their output goes up, then, so does the business’s revenue.

Since revenue is going up, businesses can hire more employees, invest in more products and services, and even create new ones to share with their customers faster.

Conclusion

Automation in the workplace has huge benefits for everyone. It speeds up tedious tasks, improving candidates’ and employees’ experiences. This then improves revenue, productivity, and employer brand.

It’s no longer a case of if businesses will embrace automation, but a case of when.

Businesses that fail to automate tasks risk losing the best candidates and their best employees to companies that are looking to the future and are more in tune with the needs of twenty-first century employees.

Avatar of Kristina Proffitt

Kristina Proffitt

Date: 7th February 2019 | Category: HR Tech