Eliminating manual processes and busywork makes life so much easier for you and your team We all face parts of our job that we don’t like to do. Most workers would say the responsibilities they dread the most are the repetitive, manual tasks required by their job. That’s not good news for team leaders: the more routine tasks your employees are bogged down by, the lower overall morale sinks [https://scalestack.io/blog/the-real-value-of-automation-isnt-just-efficiency/]. Luckily, though, automat
4 min read
Sales & Marketing head at Scalestack
We all face parts of our job that we don’t like to do. Most workers would say the responsibilities they dread the most are the repetitive, manual tasks required by their job. That’s not good news for team leaders: the more routine tasks your employees are bogged down by, the lower overall morale sinks.
Luckily, though, automation is changing the way companies operate and people work. As early as 2017, McKinsey’s research already found that about 50% of workplace tasks are potentially automatable. In 6 out of the 10 jobs they examined more closely as case studies, 30% of their tasks were ripe for converting to automation. If these numbers were true as of 2017, you can imagine how much technology could make possible today.
Further research by Smartsheet has found that these automations are more than welcome - not just by company leaders hoping to implement more efficient processes, but by employees themselves who would rather not waste their time on busywork and manual processes.
60% of employees say they could save nearly 6 hours a week if they could automate parts of their workload. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of workers say they would use that extra day saved through automation to do work that is more valuable to their organizations, and 78% would focus on the more interesting and rewarding aspects of their jobs.
In case you remain unconvinced on the value of workflow automation, the five reasons below state the benefits plainly:
We all know this feeling: We open a spreadsheet only to find that major editing and data entry will be necessary to make this document actionable. It’s a terrible prospect to spend the next several hours of your day cleaning up data, but the work cannot progress until that spreadsheet is in good shape.
When you or your employees feel the weight of this mental burden, you’re not only in danger of a bad mood - you’re also in danger of mistakes. When we don’t want to be working on a particular task, we’re much more prone to rush through it and make mistakes. In the same survey from referenced Smartsheet above, 55% of employees said they’d like to implement workplace automation that eliminates human error and manual data entry by automatically collecting, uploading, or syncing data into a system of record.
The old adage is as true as ever - time is money. When your employees are tied to old ways of doing things, your whole company is missing the boat. In our digital age, agility is more important to a business’s success than ever before. If you are not equipping your team to move as quickly as possible, then you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to competitors who are moving at the speed of technological innovation.
When it comes to closing deals, recruiting the best talent, or getting the data you need to take action, companies today literally cannot afford to cling to the old ways of doing business.
Startups will understand the pains of larger than life goals better than most. When you’re a startup or a small company, you have to do more with less. Even with a lean, driven team, you can only do so much with a tight headcount. That’s where workflow automation can make all the difference.
In his book, Deep Finance, veteran startup finance expert Glenn Hopper says, “[A]utomating parts of your process can help you scale faster. Lost productivity from manual tasks means it will be difficult to scale operations as a company grows. Manual processes are people-intensive and not scalable. You may have to start manually in the beginning, but today there are so many apps that give businesses the ability to start with automated processes. It is possible from day one to be automated.”
Relying on “people-intensive” tasks, as Hopper puts it, also leaves you vulnerable to attrition. Employees naturally come and go, but this can be especially challenging at small companies where everyone’s contribution matters tremendously. Workflow automation can act as a buffer to this, mitigating disruptions or maintaining institutional knowledge when employees do inevitably move on to other opportunities.
Chaotic workplace culture can happen to any company, no matter how old or large. That can make life difficult for your employees in a number of ways:
Predictable and efficient workplace operations make life so much easier for your employees, and not just in terms of their satisfaction. When your employees are able to “plug in” to such an efficient structure, they are truly set up for success.
New hires in particular will benefit from this kind of workplace culture. It’s intimidating to start a new job with all there is to learn. When a set of processes already exist, it’s much easier find your place on the team and get down to doing valuable work.
Of course, workflow automation isn’t just about optimizing internal operations. Customer success and experience teams have known this for years - the more you can automate for your customers, the happier your customers will be, and the easier their lives will be.
Marketing operations managers can tell you all about the email automations they’ve been using for years to improve customer retention - implementing a post-purchase email sequence, for example, can increase overall revenue by as much as 31%.
But that’s only the beginning of how automation can improve the customer experience. Today’s savviest companies are using automation for all sorts of unique and personalized experiences, for example:
Automation doesn’t just have the potential to improve the customer experience - it’s about relationship-building, which is one of the most important initiatives a company can invest in.