Sat, Oct 14, 20239 min read

How to Upskill Your Workforce for RPA

Nick SaraevGrowth
How to Upskill Your Workforce for RPA

It's 21st century Darwinism at its finest out there: adapt, or fade into insignificance. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) - the here and now of business tech - is fast becoming the alpha in this survival of the fittest. Not to alarm you, but if you've brushed it off as just another souped-up, overhyped tech innovation, then brace yourself for some harsh realities.

Just imagine a squadron of virtual robots buzzing around, ready to replicate human-driven, mundane tasks in your business operations. Sounds like sci-fi? It's not. RPA is already here, and it's reshaping business processes, reducing costs, and sky-rocketing productivity.

But, with great tech comes hefty responsibilities. It's not just plugging in the Bots and sitting back. RPA is a whole new beast that demands more than basic tech literacy. It calls for a workforce who knows how to work with it, wring out its fullest potential, and push it beyond its designed efficiencies. That's where upskilling comes in.

Upskilling is not about replacing people with robots. It's about equipping people to make the best use of these robots. There's no shying away from the fact - as the march of RPA becomes a sprint, the need for a workforce adept at managing this radical technology becomes a dire necessity.

It's time we shift gears and start jogging, or better yet, running to catch up with this RPA revolution. And yes, it's 'we', because no business can afford to be the slow elephant in the room. Welcome to the future.

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The Growing Influence of RPA and AI in Business Operations

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are skyrocketing in prominence, restructuring business functions as we know them. Think about it, a streamlined, ultra-efficient workflow where repetitive tasks are handled by machines, an office where human creativity and strategic thinking get to call the shots, because mundane tasks? That's a job for RPA.

RPA and AI, it's like Batman and Robin for business. The Dynamic Duo streamline operations, taking over menial tasks while you and your staff focus on the stuff that really needs human brain power.

The Numbers

We're not talking about a marginal change, either – we're talking transformative. AI alone is expected to generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity, according to Gartner. Add in RPA into the mix and we're looking at exponential efficiency.

For instance, automating jobs such as data entry not only lifts the efficiency bar but also amps up accuracy. Robots tend not to tangle with human errors, after all. It's no wonder businesses across industries are keen to automate their operations, ranging from finance to human resources, supply chain, and customer service.

Provides Insights

But here's the kicker, it's not just about automating repetitive tasks. RPA and AI also hold the potential to analyze data and identify trends, helping organizations respond proactively to market changes, not to mention reducing turnaround times and operating costs.

As the old saying goes, time is money. In a world where businesses are racing against the clock, RPA and AI dish up the ultimate weapon – extra hours. By automating tasks, employees can focus on more strategic roles, boosting productivity, and in the long run, company performance.

In a radical shift in the proverbial pecking order, businesses who master RPA sooner rather than later will reap the rewards, staying one step ahead in the efficiency game. It's about working smarter, not harder – and that's an ethos we can all get behind.

The Necessity of Upskilling for RPA: Manager Perspectives

When examining the current technological landscape, it's clear that many managers feel like they've been thrown into the deep end. A commanding 92% of managers confessed to feeling 'unprepared' for the future of work. This daunting statistic echoes a sentiment of unease that's increasingly common within the business world.

As RPA and other advanced technologies continue to evolve and churn the waves, the necessity for upskilling becomes a life vest to keep managers afloat.

The evolving landscape of business technologies, especially the rise of RPA, necessitates a new level of technical and strategic prowess among managers. Now, it's not just about understanding the nuts and bolts of a system or how to lead a team effectively. It's also about mastering several advanced skillsets and seamlessly integrating them into the daily workflow.

A Shift in Management Strategy

But it's not just the managers sounding the alarm - CEOs are noting this shift too, with 60% of them citing upskilling as a main priority for the year. Upskilling is not just survival for survival's sake, it's about staying ahead. This is about capitalising on the benefits that RPA can offer, from efficiency to profit margins.

When it comes to RPA, the concept of 'upskill or perish' gains a whole new level of relevance. Simply put, it's critical that organizations prioritize upskilling programs that will enable their management teams – and their broader workforce - to keep pace with the RPA evolution. It's about the fusion of people power with machine power and ensuring the human element can maximize the latter.

So, let's dig deeper into how we can engrain this culture of automation and upskilling into our organizations. It's a daunting task, but hey, no one said the future would be easy.

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Building a Culture of Automation

Crafting an environment that champions automation is not just about bringing in new technologies or upskilling your workforce. Sure, these elements are invaluable, but they're just a part of the larger equation - the true secret sauce is a 'culture of automation.'

Why, you may ask? Because even the slickest tech tool is pointless if your team shies away from it like it's a radioactive potato. On the flip side, fostering a culture embracing automation can propel the adoption and optimization of technology, like RPA, catapulting productivity to record highs.

At its core, an automation culture is about embracing change, challenging the status quo, and being unafraid to automate tasks - both small, mundane ones and those majorly impacting business operations.

Leading by Example

From C-suite executives to department managers, everyone's got to be on board, championing automation, and leading by example. Employees tend to follow the attitudes of their leaders. So if those at the helm are excited about automation, that buzz will naturally trickle down the corporate ladder.


Next up: Communication. Prioritizing transparency in sharing the purpose, benefits, and potential challenges of automation can eradicate the dread of the unknown or resistance to change. Make sure employees understand that RPA isn’t about replacing them but enhancing their roles, freeing them from mundane tasks to focus on more strategic, value-adding duties.

Striking a Balance

Lastly, creating a culture of automation involves striking the right balance of tools and training. It's not just about implementing RPA platforms but also equipping employees with skills on how to use them. Place focus on upskilling initiatives, continuous learning, and provide spaces for experimentation.

Weaving an automation culture into your organization's fabric isn’t a one-time task. It's a journey - a marathon, not a sprint. But when you strike the right balance, the rewards are certainly worth the sweat. Guaranteed.

Strategies for Upskilling the Workforce for RPA

Now that we've established the necessity of RPA upskilling, let's move on to the guts of our discussion - how exactly do you get your team ready for this tech supernova? The answer lies in strategic upskilling. Here are some practical strategies companies can employ, which include:

Effective Training Programs

Your team is part of your RPA journey, so training them is a non-negotiable, starting point of upskilling. Invest in comprehensive training programs that help employees understand key RPA concepts, learn to use RPA tools, and apply this knowledge to real-life tasks. Make sure your training covers both technical and managerial aspects of RPA. Remember, one size doesn't fit all. Tailor your training programs to suit different roles and learning capacities.

Promote a Continuous Learning Culture

Foster an environment that encourages continuous learning and improvement. This can be through regular training sessions, knowledge-sharing meetings, or providing access to online platforms that offer relevant courses.

Hands-On Experience

Get the team involved in small, low-risk RPA projects. This hands-on approach not only builds real-world experience but also instills confidence and initiative to handle bigger skies.

Partnership with RPA Vendors

Forge partnerships with RPA vendors who can offer training, resources and support. These vendors usually have in-depth knowledge and can provide valuable insights and shortcuts to upskilling your team.

Leverage In-House Talent

Identify and foster in-house talent who can serve as RPA ambassadors. Their role would be to guide their peers and propagate the RPA culture within the organization. An effective RPA program pays off, both retaining and gaining new talent.

The beauty of these upskilling strategies isn't just in their effect on individual skill sets. Beyond that, they fuel an organization-wide shift towards a more efficient, automated workflow. With a workforce adept at using RPA tools, processes become streamlined, productivity increases, and that, dear reader, is how you supercharge a modern business.

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Effect of Upskilling on Overall Productivity in Automation

Having your workforce equipped with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) skills isn't just a fancy hat trick. This is a beacon of light guiding your business toward a sea of increased productivity. How is that possible, you ask? Let's break it down into digestible chunks.

Enhanced Efficiency

Firstly, at the very core of RPA is efficiency. When programmed right, robots zip through repetitive tasks faster than humans with the precision of a Swiss chronometer. Handing over these mundane tasks to bots frees up your team, allowing them to focus on core business tasks that require human ingenuity. Your team's output and creativity skyrocket, essentially boosting productivity.

Streamlined Operations

Beyond that, upskilling your team in RPA doesn't just mean knowing how to operate bots. It demands deeper understanding of efficient business process design and real-time problem-solving skills, further enhancing your staff's operational expertise and lateral thinking. Consequently, your re-trained, up-skilled workforce starts identifying opportunities for automation you never even knew existed. More streamlined operations lead to a more streamlined business.

But you don't have to take my word for it- real-life examples are abundant. Take Danske Bank, for instance. They embraced RPA and devoted resources to upskilling their workforce in 2018. Ever since, there has been a 30% - 40% efficiency improvement across supported areas. Similar tales hailed from Deutsche Bank and Ernst & Young. These industry giants reported productivity improvements ranging from 20% to a staggering 50%, all post workforce upskilling in RPA.

So essentially, upskilling your workforce isn’t just a good-to-have thing, it’s a must-have if you want your business riding the crest of the automation wave while leaving competitors paddling in the froth.


Wrapping things up, the world of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence are not just on our doorstep but underpinning the very fundamentals of how we do business. With their potential still burgeoning, it's an unavoidable reality we have no choice but to acknowledge, embrace, and nimbly skate on. The influence they wield on reshaping business productivity and efficiency is growing relentless, mirroring the rise of our digital era.

Ignoring the rapid evolution of technology in the workspace is no longer an option; it's time to step up, consider upskilling programs, and equip ourselves to flow with the wave rather than be swept by it. Without mincing any words, creating a culture of automation, what we can loosely term as an 'automation ethos', is an essential building block to usig RPA effectively.

Promisingly, more and more companies are waking up to the necessity of upskilling their workforce for RPA. This is not a one-size-fits-all journey, but by sharing concrete strategies, our aim was to provide a blueprint to navigate this path to upskill teams and harness the fruits of enhanced productivity and streamlined operations.

Doubtlessly, the forward trajectory of more automation and AI integration in businesses is a direct consequence of upskilling. Nothing screams louder than hard numbers and the real-life examples we shared were testament to the remarkable productivity gains achievable through successful upskilling.

In Conclusion

In essence, to gracefully ride this wave of RPA and AI, upskilling is no longer a luxury but an essential survival kit. Now is indeed the time for companies to step up their game and invest earnestly in upskilling, to unlock the full potential of RPA and AI, and fundamentally propel their businesses toward a future that's already here. There's no better time to sharpen the axe, so let's get to it.

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