A nightly public service announcement back in the 1960s and 1970s asked parents, “It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?”, which, as you can imagine, gave rise to a lot of teenage eyerolling and plenty of hilarious take-offs.
The PSA was first delivered by news anchor Irv Weinstein, who was based in Buffalo, New York, but soon became a fixture in news markets across the country. It was a warning to adults to keep tabs on what their children were doing in a time of great social upheaval.
We are in a time now of great upheaval in the workplace due to the advent of technology and the question to employers today might be, “It’s 2023, do you know what your employees are working on?”
That is not to say you should be micro-managing your employees, but that you should understand what tasks are consuming their time to ensure you are making the best use of their time, skills and knowledge for the optimum outcome for your customers and for the company.
Technology vs. Manual Tasks
Technology offers vast opportunities to title companies to improve their data capture, title processes and customer service, but in spite of having access to more effective technology, sometimes agency staff find themselves still slogging through tasks in the same old way because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
While it’s easy to say that “automation improves efficiencies,” that’s not 100 percent true. At least, not if there’s no understanding of where those inefficiencies are in the first place. Technology is a tool, not a silver bullet. Accordingly, any firm’s path towards automation begins with a comprehensive audit of its production process.
Understanding what your employees are doing can help you determine, for example, if an experienced escrow officer is spending 10 hours a week doing follow-ups that an admin could handle. Or a sales representative is being pulled away from important customer follow-ups to handle marketing efforts that should be assigned to someone more proficient at that type of work.
Or, more significantly, you may discover your technology is being underutilized because some newer employees haven’t been fully trained in its capabilities.
We often talk about doing a technology audit to understand how effective the technology is that we have already put into place, or to determine where we may want to introduce new technology to improve processes.
Doing an audit of your employees’ tasks can help you identify where time is being well spent, what tasks should be moved to someone else, and where technology, such as RPA, can ease the work burden for your staff, streamline your processes or improve customer service.
Trust the Experts: Your Staff
If you decide to conduct such an audit, make sure you get staff buy in. Asking your employees to track what they do all day is going to be perceived as micro-managing. You have to make sure they understand that this process will ultimately benefit them, as well as the entire company, by improving their use of technology for greater efficiency and rethinking how tasks are handled for a more streamlined operation.
Here are a couple of tips to approach this process:
- Assure your managers and staff that their input is going to be paramount
- Work with your team to craft a set of specific outcomes desired
- Identify the specific information you will need to work with
- Invite staffers to help plan the data gathering process
- Don’t make the data gathering overly onerous for employees to accomplish
- In addition to data, invite employees to define their work experience to identify what inspires or frustrates in their workflow
And finally, be ready to entertain all solutions employees may have for improving processes or introducing new technology to take on some of the more menial tasks they handle.
At TrueFocus Automation, we want to be an ally in your automation journey and suggest ways that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can make your processes more efficient. We understand that each customer has unique process needs and customization requirements. We will work with you to assess those needs and advise you on the proper approach and resources required to deliver a successful outcome. Contact us today to learn more!