Secret Ingredients to Overcoming the Fear of Automation #SHRM19


Automation falls under the colorful umbrella of chain management. In this era of breakthrough technology and innovation, organizations that fail to automate and continuously improvise their processes while soon become obsolete.

There are many reasons affecting an organization’s automation process such as lack of financial budget, failure to calculate proper ROI, poorly written project proposal, or lack of management’s buy-in. However, I believe, the biggest reason why a company’s automation process fails or becomes slow is the resistance it gets from their employees.

Therefore, the million-dollar question is “how to overcome the fear of automation?”

The answer is simple: COMMUNICATION!

One of the biggest mistakes done by companies during change management is that they do not properly communicate the importance of the automation/ change to their employees. We, as humans, fear things that we do not understand. If your employees do not understand the importance of this change and how it affects them, chances are they won’t own it and will try to push back as much as they possibly can.

So, what can be done? Below are some factors to keep in mind during change management and automation:

  • Get buy-in from not only the top management, but also from employees that will be impacted from this change. For example, if you are building a chat bot for your IT service desk team, getting buy in from the service desk team is as important as getting support from your CIO.
  • Before implementing anything, have an honest and open conversation with your employees. Communicating why this change is essential and how their support can help you with achieving this change can completely change the game. If employees understand how they can contribute towards a goal, they are more likely to get it done.
  • During pilot testing, include end users and get their opinion. Allowing the end-users to contribute and share their opinions can change their feelings about the project and will motivate them further
  • Be honest with your employees. Tell them how this change will affect them and what’s in it for them. Allow room for discussion and suggestions. Listen to ideas and address them accordingly.
  • Provide proper trainings. Always remember, practice makes men perfect! The more training and hands on learning you provide, the lesser will be the anxiety.
  • Be considerate of roles that will no longer be needed, after the change has been implemented. Try to place them somewhere within the organization by offering options for further training, areas of development, on the job learning etc.

If you are planning on attending the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19) this year in Las Vegas, there are awesome sessions scheduled relating to automation:

Keeping the Human in HR: How AI and Technology Change Everything

Why Employers Need to Think of Artificial Intelligence as an Employee

The Skills Quotient: How to Determine the Skills of Your Organization

MEGA SESSION The Top 10 Workplace Trends For 2019


Don’t forget to come and meet our blogger team during the conference. I look forward to seeing you all!



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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