Previous forecasts of possible job losses floated as more and more companies invest in automation, but the reality shows the need to empower existing employees as they focus on complex work.

This is further stressed during the pandemic, with technology players developing solutions to address different industries’ changing needs—from automating certain processes for faster and more productive operations to making products and services more accessible to consumers.


Contrary to the bleak outlook previously floated for employees, automation has triggered the creation of new jobs as well as the upskilling of workers.

However, the first stages of onboarding technologies can be challenging for employees, especially those who fear that they are replaceable. No one wants to be replaced by another employee—or a robot. And resistance to increased automation is natural, but change is constant to allow growth both for the workforce and the company.


Based on a study conducted by the US Pew Research Centre, some of the reasons why employees resist the adoption of robots include the following:


— Earlier pronouncements about threatening human jobs and income

— Robots base their actions on calculations or embedded order, without considering morality issues

— Robots do not need to sleep or eat, thus making them more productive than humans


According to Samuel Bouchard, CEO of technology firm Robotiq, uncertainty remains for employees, particularly those who have yet to take on roles complementing robots.

But he also noted that workers would eventually appreciate robots once they are freed from less interesting duties.


“Workers know that they will be needed at other places in the factory, but they don’t know really what that means until they get the first project going. And then it totally changes,” Bouchard told digital media company


Here’s how companies can help employees embrace automation:

Acknowledge their fears. Communication is the key to allaying their worries. Openly communicating with them your operational plans will also serve the business goals. Take this as an advantage to treat them not just as regular employees, but as confidantes as they well know the process, such as which ones require automation.


Organize training plans. Pick the best candidates for upskilling after encouraging them into taking roles they are interested in.


Don’t be in a rush. Starting small in automation is the way to not overwhelm employees and avoid skill gaps.


“The best strategy solves both problems at the same time. So, a strategy that can automate the manual task to solve the hiring challenge, but also a strategy that you can actually [use to] execute and build your automation skills,” Bouchard said.


Just like ride-hailing giant Grab, which has also expanded to cover more services, launched a “Grab for Good” social impact program in Southeast Asia to provide upskilling and digital services. The program aims to build a future-ready workforce by 2025 by educating and encouraging 20,000 students to participate in the technology space.


In the local market, Monstarlab Philippines’ RAX has been guiding enterprises and organizations in their digital transformation, with a cost-effective robotics process automation (RPA) tool upgrading processes.


Talk to the RAX team now and learn more about how to better manage your digital journey.

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RPA / Automation Business Partnership