Since the emergence of technology, there have been those who vilify automation, intimating that it will cause significant upheaval to the workforce and economy. Mark Cuban was quoted as saying “Automation is going to cause unemployment” and Chieh Huang goes further to say “Automation is great for profits, but it’s a real potential trouble area for society.”
Recent events may change this narrative. We are in the midst of what is being heralded as the “Great Resignation.” While its origins are tied to a COVID 19 response, it has evolved into something greater. Employees have determined a worth and value to their time: Wages, personal freedom, conditions and the position’s alignment to long term goals must warrant the exerted effort. If the job does not fulfill those needs, many have opted to vacate those positions. Purpose and accomplishment are more valued than ever. Even in entry level positions, where compensation is a primary motivating factor, there is less desire to remain in a position driven by mindless tasks.
These tasks are exactly what automation is best suited for. At its most basic, this technology is software being used to execute tested and proven repetitive processes. These tasks are often mundane, but vital to the operations of the company.
The trepidation around automation is derived by the myth/stereotype that it will eliminate jobs. While this may be the result in some situations, the goal is to more effectively perform error prone, mindless tasks and free employees to perform value driven assignments. To that end, what if the truth is that employees don’t want to perform the repetitive tasks? Is the “Great Resignation” a reification of the need for automation?
Perhaps the real “trouble area for society,” and the real onus to “cause unemployment” is the slow reaction of organizations to evolve or adopt technological advancements rather than the technology itself. Mental and financial health are directly tied with job functions requiring greater responsibility. If roles and wages align with workforce needs and desires, we can assume a return may follow. If this is the case, automation could be just what is needed to improve employee engagement.
We need to get past the idea of “either/or” when it comes to automation and employees. There is a place for both and a need for both. Even those whose jobs it most effects are, in essence, illustrating endorsement of adoption by their actions. In fact, we may very well find that companies and employees alike may operate even better where they co-exist.
The Roth Automation team has decades of experience in Intelligent Process Automation solutions. With strategic partners across a variety of technologies, the Roth Team works tirelessly to ensure the right solution for your individualized needs. Offering Robotic Process Automation as a Service (RPAaaS), they aim to deploy solutions attainable to companies of all sizes.