05. Best practices

How can you ensure digital workers are embraced by your employees?

To successfully implement digital workers, it’s important to first understand if your business or team is a good fit for them.

Assessment

Ask yourself the following six questions. If you find you’re saying “yes” more than “no,” then digital worker technology is most likely a good fit for your team.

  • Are you facing worker or talent shortages?

  • Is a work backlog keeping you from achieving your business KPIs?

  • Are your employees bogged down with time-consuming tasks that don’t represent their skill level, such as providing status updates, chasing approvals, and fixing data in spreadsheets?

  • Are they overwhelmed by the tools they need to learn, manage, and work with?

  • Are they working with outdated or legacy software that is low on your IT team’s priority update list?

  • Do your employees have the time to develop the skills they need for today or tomorrow?

Best Practices: Take a people-first approach to implementation

Successful implementation of digital worker technology depends on successful adoption of digital workers by human employees. There are five things you can do to help ensure digital worker software gets used by your employees:

Start comfortably small

Start with a thin slice of workload so employees get comfortable with the technology without too much change, too fast.

Ask and listen – from the beginning

Get early and frequent input from employees whose work will be impacted by digital workers. What are their most repetitive, time-consuming tasks? What will make them more effective or motivated? Directly ask employees what they want from their digital workers so they feel empowered, not threatened, by them.

Counter fears with clear paths forward

Overcome employee skepticism or fear with regular reminders that digital workers are there to help them focus on their uniquely human talents and professional development. Map clear paths and programs for professional development.

Consider high-touch use cases

It’s natural to gravitate towards simple, low-touch tasks for automation. But when it comes to digital workers, don’t hesitate to consider processes that require frequent human review or interaction, such as collecting feedback from stakeholders, validating data and inputs with team members, maintaining and updating status trackers, building cross-departmental reports, or coordinating new-hire onboarding. Because digital worker technology integrates well with common communication channels (including email, Slack and chat), it has the potential to act as a highly efficient project manager as work moves from stage to stage.

Assess individual impact

Make sure employees (not just managers) can compare performance (and job satisfaction) before and after implementing digital workers. Enable them to gauge performance against relevant or personalized success measurements, such as “more hours I can spend deepening client relationships” or “more employees I can coach in a week.”

Bonus tip: Have a plan for the extra time savings

Digital workers give back time to employees, so make sure that time is reallocated to meaningful and well-documented projects or opportunities.

Chapter 6

How will digital worker technology evolve?