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Mitigating Employee Resistance to an RPA Implementation

John O'Rourke is a program manager in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“RPA is a promising new development in business automation that offers a potential ROI of 30-200%—in the first year. Employees may like it, too.”
— Xavier Lhuer, McKinsey and Company

From this quote, we can begin to recognize the conundrum that robotic processing automation presents to an organization. While senior management focuses on the big-picture benefits of implementing RPA (such as substantial cost savings and return on investment), middle managers must deal with the potential impact of RPA on an organization’s workforce. This divergence is created because the majority of potential cost savings are recognized through headcount reductions.

The Institute for Robotic Process Automation & Artificial Intelligence defines RPA as “the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a ‘robot’ to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.”

Essentially, RPA is a software application that automates manual business processes. It is ideal for tasks within various fields, such as finance, HR, procurement, supply chain management and customer service. RPA is the office-based equivalent of production-line robots.

For example, before the implementation of…

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