The basics of success in business remain as simple as you must supply a product or services that people need because it solves a problem for them and you must get it in front of them when they need it at a price they can afford. That encapsulates the basic premise of business economics in a quick, efficient summary.
What Is Robotic Process Automation?
Far more than just an industry buzz phrase, robotic process automation (RPA) provides a way for your business to automate mundane processes with software that typically takes the time of humans. Rather than replacing humans, RPA provides a way for you to free up their time for more important things.
Two buzzwords of today’s business world – robotic process automation and artificial intelligence – can provide your business with improved customer service, better marketing advice, help you make better financial decisions and assist you in achieving much more. Let’s delve into them to give you a better understanding of how they work and what they can help your business do.
The manufacturing industry and field service industry are facing a growing problem – how to capture tribal knowledge from an aging population of workers. At the 2019 Field Service Conference in Amelia Island, FL, this topic was widely discussed amongst industry representatives.
By: Craig P. Woods
Open Hand is a community-based provider of nutritious, home delivered meals to those who may otherwise go without food. Starr & Associates became a neighbor of Open Hand approximately four years ago and due to their mission, decided to get involved by providing volunteers for their daily meal packing process. When Open Hand discovered that volunteers from Starr & Associates had expertise in process improvement, they approached us about helping them to address the inefficiencies in their operations. (Open Hand delivers over 5,000 meals per day to 19 counties in metro Atlanta.) Thus, as part of its core mission to be good corporate citizens, Starr & Associates agreed to work with Open Hand to enhance the experience of their volunteers and to make recommendations that would enable the organization to be more efficient in the preparation and delivery of its meals.
With the recent pandemic forcing more companies to shift to an increasingly more remote work model, companies are discovering that they don’t know who their employees truly are yet or how their work should be done remotely. Make sure you’re online during business hours you’re told. Ok, so cover your um, bases, you think. Don’t let that green light in Skype or Microsoft Teams change to any other color but red. Red means you’re SUPER busy. Green means you’re busy – maybe, maybe not. Available? In theory, yes. But you could have trained the retired old lady next door to refresh that green light all afternoon while you snuck out for a round of golf.
It was to be the comeback of all comebacks. The most celebrated athlete in the world was making his grand return from a nearly two-year hiatus to the sport that he loved. He was returning to his old teammates and old city, both of whom desperately awaited his return. The world waited with bated breath as the Chicago Bulls made their way through the remainder of the 1994-1995 season poised to seriously contend for the NBA championship. The city of Chicago was practically bursting with excitement and had started making the plans for the celebratory parade to conclude that season as they cheered the return of the championship trophy to their city. Enter REALITY!
COVID-19 is hindering employee engagement in a multitude of ways. Not only are employees distracted, but they are also isolated. If you feel as though your employees aren’t engaged, you need to take action now. Engagement is an incredibly important part of developing company culture and productivity, and low employee satisfaction never yields good results.
Connecting With the Right Team
When employees aren’t engaged, you don’t want to interact with human resources. You don’t want to reach out to upper management. You want to connect with direct management and supervisors; those who are listening to their team and who understand what makes their teamwork. If you can, reach out directly to employees. Find out what they need to feel valued.
Foster a Feeling of Connection
Under COVID-19, employees frequently feel as though they aren’t as connected. Make sure that employees are getting enough face-to-face time in terms of video conferencing and phone conversations. If employees aren’t able to communicate with each other, they’re going to start feeling like their work doesn’t matter and isn’t valued. But it doesn’t take a lot to help them feel connected, just conscientious effort.
Make Sure Employees Are Cared For
At this time, the last thing employees really want to have to worry about is their jobs. Tell employees about the direction that the business is taking and how the business is performing. Be honest and transparent. Let employees know what might be coming next. If people are going to have fewer hours, they need to know. The more honest you are with people, the more they will trust you.
Give Them an Open Door
There are a lot of things that employees may want to discuss during this time. They may need more time off. They may need to know about their health benefits. Or they may just need to know that they’re functioning well under these new constraints. Give employees a time when they can reach someone, such as their HR representative, and bring up their concerns.
Be Proactive About Potential Issues
When problems do arise that could potentially impact employees, don’t let it be a surprise. Everyone knows that there are new developments every day, and they will be understanding if these issues are brought up beforehand. Always have a plan. Don’t just give employees a problem, but also discuss what you’re going to do about it. This will make them feel more confident with the direction that the business is taking.
Everything else is uncertain. So employees need to be certain about something, and work is often that. Maintain structure rather than trying to do things on-the-fly. Set expectations clearly and make sure employees always know what they need to be doing. The more certain they are, the better.
It’s not easy to keep employees engaged, especially when they’re dealing with other issues such as quarantine and potential illness. But if you’re able to reach out to your employees and communicate with them more effectively, it will help. To start gauging your employee engagement and effectiveness, you need a plan. You also need data. To learn more, contact the experts at Starr & Associates.