As a business manager, you want to make life as easy as possible for your employees. In an ideal world, you wouldn't ever have to deal with frustrated, disengaged or burnt-out staff members. You would always employ a happy, engaged and productive workforce that excels in and enjoys all their job functions. In this kind of reality, you would feel confident knowing no payroll dollar was wasted.
Unfortunately, this isn't an ideal world.
The good news, though, is that there are simple ways you can help create more meaningful experiences for your employees. You probably already know why this should be a priority. After all, there are bodies of research indicating that, nationwide, employee engagement levels are suffering. But just in case you need a reminder – or further convincing – consider some of the following statistics from Gallup:
- Sixty-percent of millennial employees are open to a new job.
- Annually, millennial turnover costs the U.S. an estimated $30.5 billion.
- Less than 30 percent of workers in this age group are currently engaged.
Today's recruitment landscape is incredibly competitive – and turnover can cost companies big. Wouldn't it be a lot better if we could just focus our attention and efforts on retaining existing talent? But to know how we can do that, we first need to focus on identifying which aspects in particular are problem areas for many employees today.
Better workflows make for happy employees
There are many different things that play into a worker's (dis)satisfaction with an organization, so by no means should this be oversimplified or used to imply that creating a better workflow will guarantee a long-term commitment from any employee. However, by optimizing certain processes and workflows in the organization, you may be surprised to find how much it can improve employees' satisfaction, since doing so can cause a shift in their roles and responsibilities.
As Industry Week recently explained, empowerment plays a crucial role in employee engagement, emphasizing the importance of letting staff members have a say not only in when they work, but how they get the work done, too.
Often times, reasons for low engagement tie back to the individual feeling like he or she does not receive enough recognition or have purposeful, meaningful or valuable work. It's important for people to know what they're doing is making a difference and, believe it or not, making simple adjustments to business processes and workflow strategies can help facilitate that.
This isn't just about making your employees feel better about themselves or their jobs. This strategy can also have considerable financial returns by enhancing organizational performance and success. Perhaps this is why, according to research conducted by Deloitte, nearly 90 percent of businesses today agree that organizational restructuring is needed to succeed in this digital age. Times are changing – and companies need to keep up if they want to remain competitive.
The advantage of automation
It's no news that there is growing concern over the effect robotics and automation is – or will – have on the human workforce. Employees need not panic, though, as we are a still a very long ways away from a world where our workforce is void of actual people. More, digital technologies can be used to enhance – not replace – the job functions of humans.
"Automate tasks that aren't meaningful or productive for employees."
By automating certain business processes, you eliminate the need for your staff members to carry the burden of completing the mundane, repetitive and, well, boring tasks associated with their roles. Plus, by streamlining administrative operations and other similar jobs, you ensure that this type of work gets done faster and with more accuracy and efficiency than it otherwise might.
Best of all, taking these functions off your employees' plates means they have more time to focus their energy and attention on other, more meaningful and likely more enjoyable tasks than the 'busy work.'
Sound, strategic approach to BPM
Of course, as with any new technology, system or process, it's important to be strategic and selective. You don't just want to go into automation adoption blindly and risk causing major disruption. To ensure your business process management strategy is a success – and stands to benefit your employees in ways that are most meaningful to them – there are certain steps you should follow.
First, get feedback and input from your staff. Talk to different employees to determine where their biggest pain points are. Look for similarities in their answers. If multiple people raise concerns or aversion to a particular task, that's a sign there's a deeper issue at play – usually having to do with the business process.
Next, conduct a workflow assessment. Having a third party evaluate the methods your organization uses to get work done can shed some light on ways you can improve it that you weren't able to see yourself. In turn, you will be better positioned to adopt the appropriate business process management software and tools needed to take your company's success – and employee satisfaction – to the next level.