Better business outcomes and employee experiences with digital workflows

Pepper the social robot interacts and provides information to patients at the pharmacy of the Medical Centre in the Changi General Hospital Campus in November 2018. According to ServiceNow survey, countries, Singapore employees are excited about the opportunities that come with workplace automation, believing that automation has a positive effect on personal productivity and can improve the organisation’s competitiveness.
MAY 02, 2019 - 5:13 PM

Singapore employees are optimistic about the new opportunities workplace automation will bring, although they remain apprehensive about having to change the way they do their jobs.

According to a ServiceNow report that gathered insights into workers’ attitudes and experiences with workplace automation across 12 countries, Singapore employees are excited about the opportunities that come with workplace automation, believing that automation has a positive effect on personal productivity and can improve the organisation’s competitiveness.

At the same time, they express concerns about having to learn new skills or processes.

The findings reveal the perspective of employees today as companies in Asia continue to grow, with many turning to digital workflows as a productivity tool.

Digital transformation is no longer just a buzzword with many businesses actively investing in technology as part of their overall growth strategy. However, digitisation is only one part of the puzzle. Successful companies today also pay close attention to their greatest asset – their employees – to ensure that the impact of digital transformation is a positive experience for everyone involved.

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Importance of digital education for employees

People often associate digital transformation with technology - but true digital transformation goes beyond just “the tech” – there are cultural and organisational changes to navigate and employees need to be bought on this journey in a way that is comfortable for them - to be agile, educated, and
empowered to make use of the digital tools they are given.

Employees can be concerned about workplace automation when they don’t understand how technological disruption will affect them. Business leaders often talk about transformation without providing insight into how employees will be prepared or equipped for the journey, leading to employees wondering how their jobs might change and whether they have the right skills to succeed in future.

Training employees to upgrade or learn new skills is an important focus area for leaders when implementing digital workflows. Yet many companies pay less attention to this than they should.

A third of global respondents say their organisations have done a only fair or even poor job when it comes to training them to learn new digital skills, explaining the goals and reasons for the implementation of new systems, and describing how existing work processes will be different with new systems in place.

Employees aren’t fearful of technology; they’re simply apprehensive about change.

ServiceNow’s global survey found that training directly correlates to how easy it is for employees to adapt to work process automation – globally, 85 percent of respondents who said that they received excellent training from their employers said that adapting to automation was easy, compared to only 39 percent of those who said they received poor training.

Overall, the findings point to a common insight. Businesses have tremendous opportunity to get ahead of their competition – be it winning business or attracting and retaining talent – by providing excellent training and preparation of employees for an automated workplace.

Digital workflows for a digitally savvy workforce

The workforce of today is made up of employees who live in a highly connected world, surrounded by technologies that improve and enhance daily life.

Ironically, workplace systems haven’t advanced at the same pace. Employees are used to seamless digital technologies in their personal lives and expect the
same experience in their work lives.

According to the global survey findings, eight in 10 employees from highly automated companies say automation simplifies work processes, enhances efficiency and boosts productivity. Moreover, about seven out of 10 employees from highly automated companies say automation improves job satisfaction, and increases time available for creativity and opportunities for advancement.

It’s time to start thinking about digital workflows with employees at the centre.

Digital workflow adoption requires a sustained commitment over time and cannot be implemented overnight. But as part of this process, companies looking to adopt digital workflows need to recognise that it is a business priority to prepare employees along the way.

Digital transformation is not just about the technology, but a journey of mindset and behavioral shifts made possible with empowered and agile employees.


The writer is ServiceNow’s vice president and general manager for APJ.