4 Methods for Ensuring Your Employees Don’t Get Threatened by Automation

The wheel is turning, as it were, in regards to AI and the fear it elicits from workers. If you are looking at automating processes in your small business but you’re already feeling that your employees are threatened, it’s natural for some concern, but you have to ensure a smooth transition while also fostering that positive work environment. Small businesses all need to take practice steps to address these concerns so they can engage their employees in the automation process. What do we need to consider?

Transparency and Openness

Two of the most fundamental aspects of any organisation. No matter what you are bringing into the business, whether it’s something as straightforward as an automated capping machine in a factory setting or an AI tool that can act as the first port of call for customer service, you need to keep employees informed about the reasons why you are automating certain functions and the benefits it will bring to the company, not least the benefits it will bring to the employees. Employees should understand that automation is not about replacing them but about enhancing their productivity.

Offering Reskilling and Upskilling Opportunities

If you are met with a lot of concerns about job displacement, you should, first and foremost, be a great employer and provide opportunities to reskill and upskill your workers. The right training programs will ensure that your employees don’t just feel that they can progress in an organisation but can actually work alongside the automated processes. Taking on new roles within an organisation should be an employee’s right, and if they can see that there’s scope for them to progress beyond a role that may very well take over their job in a number of years’ time, they are going to jump ship from you.

Asking for Feedback and Participation

If you want employees to feel less threatened by AI, they need to be involved in the automation process from the very beginning. They should offer their input on the tasks or processes that require automation and how automation can best support their work rather than cutting jobs for the sake of “the machines.” This helps employees because they have a sense of ownership over their destiny but also gives them greater insight into how automation will fulfil the business’s goals. Lots of employees can feel that their livelihoods are threatened without thinking about the bigger picture. We need to acknowledge their contributions and reinforce that they have a say.

Be Committed to Retention

Reassuring your employees of their job security is about you making a clear commitment to them and emphasising that automation is about strengthening the company’s position and creating opportunities. Doing this will ensure that you reduce staff turnover and make the necessary adjustments for your employees showing them you are on their side, not the side of the machines. Automation should be a valuable tool for growth, but it should not threaten employees at the same time. With the right approach, you can incorporate automation to boost your business, but also empower your employees to guarantee a far better future for everyone.


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