Using Technology To Combat The Workforce Shortage
By Ivan Moore, Apps Associates
It’s no secret that workforce challenges have been increasing steadily since the 2020 pandemic turned the world on its head. From the ‘Great Resignation’ – or the ‘Great Reshuffle’, or any other myriad of terms – to recent tech industry layoffs, the state of the workforce in 2023 is in flux.
Despite that, business must carry on. Business leaders are still accountable to their customers, their employees, and, in many cases, their shareholders. This has challenged leaders across every industry to think of ways to work smarter, be more efficient, and continue providing exceptional customer service.
To achieve those goals, many turned (unsurprisingly) to their tech stack. Over the past three years, we have seen a drastic increase in companies looking for assistance in Digital Transformation. The ‘old way’ of doing things was no longer compatible with their workforce – be it dwindling, surging, hybrid, or totally remote. Here are a few ways technology can combat the workforce shortage:
Automation was once a scary word for individual contributors. Fears over computers replacing human workers have been around for decades. But we’ve found that automation has helped individual contributors immensely, especially in today’s environment where efficiency is a top priority.
By automating repetitive, low-effort tasks, businesses can free up their employees’ time for higher-value, more involved tasks. This not only uses your employees’ time more efficiently, but it also can boost morale as your people work on more meaningful projects and tasks.
Some things just can’t be done by computers alone – and we lean into that. Take the time to understand the processes you have in place and the steps needed to complete each one. Involving your field technicians and employees in this process is imperative for success.
Chat Bots And AI
Automation is a powerful tool, and combining it with other tools like AI can greatly impact your business, even with worker shortages. Understanding how to use AI tech to offload some of the burdens to your Customer Service representatives is key. Chatbots have become commonplace in many industries to help improve the customer experience and reduce wait times. The most common use case includes gathering initial case information and enabling self-service in simple scenarios to reduce manual workloads for agents.
You also can use information gathered from chatbots and agents to automate tasks, like case attributes. Not only does this reduce the time it takes an agent to complete a case, but it also increases the visibility of customer information across departments, removing agent guesswork and automatically routing the case to the appropriate department.
It should go without saying that the easiest way to avoid an employee shortage is to minimize employee attrition. We’ve seen a great shift in employee attitude since the start of the pandemic. Workers are expecting more – and rightfully so – from their employers than ever before.
Employee satisfaction is an integral component of a company’s success and should be treated as such. You can have an immense impact on employee satisfaction by implementing automation and AI solutions mentioned above. Investing in technology that reduces friction within the organization and makes it easier for your people to do their jobs shows that you are investing in them. Paired with a people-focused change management program, you can ensure your employees are supported and fulfilled in their roles across the organization.
We’re in a period of intense change right now; we can harness that momentum and create meaningful interactions with customers, partners, and employees. Putting together the right tech stack will be paramount in coming out on top.
About The Author
Ivan Moore is Practice Director of Apps Associates, a premier enterprise application advisory services leader with a customer-first focus. For more than two decades decision makers have turned to Apps Associates for end-to-end strategic counsel, system integration, and the services required to solve their most complex business and digital transformation challenges — applying expansive expertise in data and analytics, application modernization, automation, digital systems, operations, and change management.