A look at the potential upside of automation for workers
As the concept of automation and other efficiency tools within revenue operation continue to gain momentum, a wonderful opportunity has arisen for professionals everywhere: the restoration of work-life balance, career planning, and person-to-person interaction have returned to the forefront of modern business culture.
It’s not hard to spot the “irony” involved in this supposition: Rule-based automation of important functions such as deal configuration, revenue collection, or contract management sounds…inhuman. Mechanical. Imposing? And yet, the implementation of these tools has, more often than not, removed many repetitive and mundane tasks from the daily calendar of enterprise professionals. Suddenly, salespeople aren’t spending hours of their day inputting data into a CRM system. Legal teams don’t need to redline each agreement document when they’re templated. Discounts don’t need deep research and approval before being confirmed if they adhere to agreed-upon standards.
These improvements within the long-established structure of an enterprise-caliber deal have an instant, positive return on investment for your workforce. In fact, it gives to them the most precious commodity any of us could ask for: time.
What would you do if you suddenly had 6-8 extra hours in your work week back? What would the impact be if the ‘busywork’ that keeps your company afloat, but didn’t necessarily need your full attention, resolved itself? McKinsey research estimates automation can bring those hours back to your employees. There are a few notable components of this process that are worth examining more closely I’d like you to consider.
Don’t miss out on one of the most important aspects of modern workplace culture — the proliferation of self-education, certification, and growth from within. Your employees are harboring huge amounts of curiosity and ambition, but all too often it is buried underneath repetitive processes, hoops to jump through, and overall exhaustion.
But in a world where company-sponsored courses can be found, learned, and applied to the greater benefit of the organization, the benefits aren’t being reaped despite the investment businesses are making to create a stronger workforce. It’s a win/win scenario to free up employee time to participate in them. An employee that can advance themselves within the organization is more likely to stay within that environment and incorporating automation to streamline back and forth operations gives them the 6-8 hours back they need to invest in themselves. The result is a culture of ideation, innovation and success.
Studies have recently indicated that we spend about one-third of our lives at work, and often more. But how well do we even know our co-workers on a personal level? Keeping employees locked into their workplace patterns reinforces the status quo. Getting 6 hours of time back in your work week means breaking things up. It means going out to lunch or organizing a philanthropic event for the whole team.
There are numerous benefits to these kinds of activities, and often they can inspire new kinds of interaction, cohesion, and productivity within an existing team. A few hours of fun and bonding can boost morale and engagement up — a critical factor for businesses all around. In fact, according to a study done by Gallup, workplaces with lower employee engagement had a 65 percent lower share price over time. Implementing automation frees up time for your employees to bond, build a culture of engagement and reap the business benefits.
Moments that Matter
It’s rare to find an employee with absolute zero interest or passion for the field they’ve found themselves in. That person, in all likelihood, is probably already looking for another opportunity. However, it is all too common to find someone who enjoys specific aspects (or the results) of their role but can’t responsibly focus only on that area. These are responsible, task-oriented professionals and as a modern business leader, it’s your responsibility to keep them closer to their passion points whenever possible. If they’re drowning in paperwork but harboring a deep love of client relations, these tools might bring a new level of speed and efficiency to the surface.
The numbers and metrics involved in revenue operation automation are great on paper — everyone can wrap their head around completing tasks more with greater efficiency. But beyond the calculable value is a notable impact on the morale, well-being, and engagement that your employees benefit from on a daily basis. A modern workplace means more than having great business tools — it is the cultivation of an environment that brings out the best in all of its employees. Realizing that potential, and empowering your employees to create that culture themselves, is the mark of a truly great leadership team.
Written by: Frank Holland
Frank Holland is the CEO of Apttus. He previously served as Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, where he built and led global teams for more than 20 years. His extensive experience in the software space spans decades and includes a track record of operational and strategic accomplishments, board memberships and sterling leadership. He excels at building high-performing teams. As CEO, Frank is responsible for directing the company’s growth at scale and capitalizing on the vast Middle Office market opportunity.