Unlike traditional robots, collaborative robots(cobots) do not require a large capital outlay for deployment. They are relatively more affordable, are easier to program, and take up much less space. This is while giving businesses all the advantages that come with automation.
Unfortunately, while the business may be enthusiastic about implementing automation in a given facility, employees might not share this enthusiasm. This is because they may feel threatened. They may assume that just like all other automation solutions, a collaborative robot will threaten their job security.
If you are a business owner and fear that your employees may be resistant to the idea of deploying cobots, there are a few things that you can do to make them readily embrace all the benefits that come with the installation of a robotic system in your plant. Here are simple tips that will come in handy.
Emphasize the collaborative aspect of the robots
Unlike traditional robots, cobots are robots that are specifically designed to work alongside humans. They even come with safety features that make human interaction safer and easier. Therefore, they are better suited to work as effective helpers.
Sharing this information about the robots will allay their fears about job security. It will demonstrate to them that they are simply there to pick up the boring and mundane parts of their jobs not to replace them, but so as to free them to handle the important parts of their jobs. Doing this will open their eyes to the fact that cobot deployment is for their own good.
Highlight the benefits of increased productivity
Cobots can be programmed to work faster than human beings. They also do not need breaks, and as a result, can work continuously for 24 hours. The increase in productivity that a business gets from these robots will help improve its margins. In times of increased demand, it will allow the business to meet it, hence guaranteeing customer satisfaction.
Most employees care about the financial wellbeing of the company that they work for. This is because they understand that when the company thrives, they have better opportunities for career advancement. They also know that a healthier balance sheet guarantees job security. Explaining these benefits might just be enough to win them over.
Highlight the safety benefit
Repetitive tasks are a leading cause of chronic pain in most workers. This is because the same movements eventually wear out the musculoskeletal system, causing it to be severely compromised. Workers in most facilities end up taking extended breaks because of this effect. There is also the fact that pain compromises the productivity of workers.
Since robots are adept at handling these tasks, employees won’t have to. Explaining how this goes a long way in helping save their long term health is something that you should definitely do.
Offer training and demonstrate new opportunities for career development
Some employees who fear automation worry that they may not be as effective with the new system as they were with the old one. They fear that their productivity may drop, or that they may not have a role to play once the new system has been implemented.
Cobots are very easy to use and program. Offering the right training to them, and even educating them on the new opportunities that come with the implementation, will open their eyes to the potential that the new system will unlock.
Teach the existing employees on how to use the system. If new career opportunities arise due to the deployment, show a willingness to hire from within your company. When you do this, your employees will have something to look forward to. They will view the new systems and processes as assets and they will be less likely to resist their implementation.
If you are planning in integrating cobots into your existing processes, it is always advisable to bring your employees along. Working with employees who are enthusiastic, as opposed to fearful, will reduce the friction that is usually associated with implementing new systems.