Above all else, the organization should do all it can to make sure everyone feels respected and valued by providing complete transparency, updates, and truth.
The right principles shape the right approach
After thinking through various employee segments, the RPA team should carefully consider a number of principles and communication and engagement best practices that are specific to an RPA deployment.
- Senior champions and project sponsors should be highly visible during the entire project, including public evidence of their support. Their ongoing commitment to the project’s success will help build and maintain momentum and rally early skeptics to the cause.
- The RPA team needs to carefully consider overall timing and various dependencies, especially considering that some activities simply can’t be completed before others. For example, if an RPA project was driven by management, the RPA team should work with them to develop a clear message before attempting to hold company-wide awareness sessions.
- The team’s RPA messages must be as clear as possible. For example, employee-facing messages should contain easily understood goals as well as specific details for how the entire company will achieve them.
- The RPA team should identify employees who will be affected (e.g., those who will be turning their tasks over to software robots) as quickly as possible and clearly communicate what will happen next. This is a critical step to connecting with employees who could otherwise become disengaged, garnering their support, and making sure they’re fully invested in the project.
- The RPA team should also be very honest about any setbacks or ‘bumps in the road’ that may happen along the way. The team should reiterate its original intent, describe lessons learned, address specific concerns, and highlight any new plans to make sure the RPA project is back on track.
- Some of the best automation ideas come from the bottom up, from the business users who are closest to the problems and best positioned to identify solutions. That is why the RPA team should actively seek internal automation champions to help identify new automation ideas. Using the right tools, such as UiPath Automation Hub, to source, assess, and qualify automation ideas will fuel a positive feedback loop and accelerate adoption.
- Finally, the entire company should go out its way to celebrate every success—even for the smallest milestone achievement—and share all good news throughout the entire organization.
UiPath Vice President of Product Marketing Diego Lomanto explains more about how automation ideas fuel the feedback loop and accelerate adoption:
Elements of an effective advocacy and communication plan
There are many different elements that could—and should—go into a communication plan to help the entire automation deployment be more successful.
- Proactive, ongoing communications: RPA teams should plan to communicate with the entire company as regularly as possible. This can be done using email or a newsletter and should look to promote success stories, recognize valuable team members, share employee stories, and highlight positive results.
- A dedicated portal: An internal web portal can be an effective tool of evangelization, create RPA “buzz,” contain articles and use cases, and give management performance dashboards. However, a portal implementation can also risk distracting the team from its automation mission.
- Personas: Companies should also develop specific persona for various audience segments, such as senior management, business unit managers, employees, and more. These personas are instrumental to identify with each group’s interests and motivations and can be used to develop more effective communications.
- Stakeholder meetings: Project sponsors should host regular meetings where key stakeholders can raise a concern, contribute to the process, identify areas for improvement, or even just learn more about progress to date.
- Webinars and videos: Webinars and videos are extremely effective in communicating key details about the RPA project, including its benefits, the rollout plan, use case successes, how employees can get started, and more.
- Questionnaires: The RPA team should also measure the overall effectiveness of their efforts by periodically checking in with employees. Questionnaires and surveys are great tools to see if the RPA deployment is meeting users’ expectations or what the RPA team can do to improve.
- Training and e-learning: HR and training departments should also provide thorough training programs and e-learning modules to give employees access to educational tools to learn more about an upcoming RPA project. Find out how to create a training strategy.
- Internal users’ clubs: Users’ clubs are an excellent opportunity to connect with employees who may be interested in launching an RPA project of their own and facilitate deeper discussions. Club meetings can demonstrate what other departments are doing with RPA, highlight lessons learned, or give these employees a sense for what they can expect from their own projects.
- Milestone celebrations: Many organizations celebrate important milestones, such as the successful deployment of the first robot. These celebrations rally employees around a common cause and encourage future support and participation.
Here’s an example of one of the ways we communicate automation successes to UiPath employees. It’s a robot scorecard!
Plan today, succeed tomorrow
With so much to offer, RPA should be the rare win-win in the business world: proven technology that benefits employees and the organization. Yet if companies don’t develop the right advocacy plan—one that communicates the benefits of RPA and engages all employees in the process—they may struggle to achieve its full potential.
To overcome this potential issue, companies need to carefully plan and execute their advocacy and communication plan. No matter if they’re just starting their automation journey, or if they’ve successfully completed their initial pilot program, these companies should invest time and resources in developing a comprehensive advocacy and communication plan.
Thinking through the right approach and making sure employees get what they need—each step of the way—can help any organization capitalize on all that RPA has to offer.
Already a UiPath customer? Be sure to check out the resources available to you in the UiPath Customer Portal and via the Unified Customer Success Program.