PART 2: Retraining the Workforce: Best Practices for Upskilling Workers for Process Automation

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When it comes to upskilling your workforce in preparation for process automation, there are several approaches you can consider. You can do a company-wide initiative aimed at educating everyone at the same time. This would involve training courses designed for the organization as a whole, getting everyone up to date with skills and awareness as quickly as possible. The primary advantages to this approach are speed and efficiency.

Another approach is to do a deep-dive analysis of the existing skills gap within the organization, and then build role-based learning plans that address these skills through coursework and/or retraining. In this model, there should be deliberate focus on creating a self-sustained program that will grow organically and serve as a continuous learning initiative. The primary advantage to this approach is precision of outcomes.

While some organizations will have a clear need to choose either efficiency or effectiveness, most businesses can benefit from a hybrid approach that might look something like this.

Start with the basics:

Build an introductory education plan that can teach the organization about process automation and its multitude of benefits. Give all workers a foundational education in process automation, defining common terms like RPA, IPA, BPM, cognitive automation, AI and more. Spend time curating your content and be picky. (Beware of boring slideshows!) If you have the resources, consider creating your own materials. Leverage content that is engaging, relevant and useful, and that is appropriate for employees at all levels of their careers.

Vary the media, using a range of resources and methods–company-wide presentations and small groups, videos and print materials, etc. This will ensure you can meet the needs for a spectrum of learners, and give you a better shot at keeping them all engaged.

Choose a low-code or no-code platform:

The more complicated your platform, the harder it will be for teams to learn how to use it. Think about it: If your platform requires extensive technical knowledge, not only will you not be closing your existing skills gap–you’ll be adding to it. Keep things as simple as possible by selecting an option that won’t require a massive learning effort right out of the gates. The EPSoft Intelligent Automation Platform, for example, features an intuitive interface and drag and drop functionality, making it easy for companies to manage themselves.

Create a plan for continuing education:

If you have the time and resources, consider creating a skills assessment initiative to support your basic education efforts. For larger companies, this might involve comprehensive competency matrices with intensive analysis and evaluation. For leaner organizations, it may be a more simplified undertaking of individual interviews and assessment tests.

Either way, use the information gleaned from the skills assessments to build learning plans for employees. Get as detailed as your resources allow you to and don’t be afraid to start broad and drill deeper as you go. You can start by creating one learning plan per department, for example, and aim to eventually have one per job role. Enlist domain expert ambassadors to help shape and build the plans for their teams. These plans should address skills that are required for the team’s success and the individual’s.

Again, this initiative will look different from company to company, and can (and should) evolve to be more comprehensive over time.

Expand education to be part of broader company goals and KPIs:

Whether you’re ready to build a comprehensive enterprise-wide upskill strategy today, or you’re just beginning your research into upskilling, remember to include your education plans as part of your overarching company goals. This will keep your efforts accountable and offer metrics by which to gauge your success.

Like most company initiatives, upskilling is an undertaking that should be guided by a thoughtful plan. If you’ve started planning your process automation journey and you’re looking for additional guidance on upskilling your workforce, the team at EPSoft has the expertise you’re looking for. Schedule a free consultation and get the conversation started today.

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