Transforming more than tech – how excellence in workforce engagement reduces cost and delivers change
The public sector is experiencing a big change in the attitude of citizens. Their experiences using seamless digital services in their personal lives has completely transformed the relationship that a typical person expects to have with government offices.
The effects of this change are exactly what we’d expect. Consumers are increasingly frustrated with the difficulty of navigating public service provision – whether that’s access to healthcare or paying their council tax.
But what they may not realize is the people attempting to solve their problems are often just as frustrated as they are. Hampered by processes and technologies that are either far too slow or simply not fit for purpose, many organizations in healthcare are simply not in a position to deliver the level of services their users expect. Or that they would like to deliver.
We believe that a perhaps unlikely technological candidate can solve both of these problems at once.
AI and RPA as the accelerator for both workforce engagement and customer satisfaction
AI and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) are already familiar topics in healthcare. We’ve all heard discussions about how both of them can positively effect outcomes in the clinical setting. But there’s an equally important – if more mundane – place for these capabilities in the back and front offices of healthcare organizations.
Much of the work that support staff carry out on a day-to-day basis consists of repetitive and cumbersome manual tasks. Exactly the kinds of rules-based, procedural work that AI and RPA were designed to address. And indeed, for many organizations, letting people focus on the higher-value work of service delivery to citizens while leaving the grunt work to the robots is already seen as low-hanging fruit as they consider the transformation of healthcare and the emergence of a customer-focused health economy.
Automation and workforce engagement
Automation can boost engagement not just through the reduction of day-to-day frustration and wasted time. It can also help organizations prepare for and prioritize future-of-work strategies that can further drive engagement, efficiency, and customer experience.
According to recent research by Deloitte, future of work strategies are likely to depend on a variety of principles. Including:
Open talent models: The virtualization of the workforce is something all public sector organizations have experienced in great depth in the past year. What it’s underscored more than anything else is that some positions really can be performed fully remotely. This means that organizations are free to recruit the talent they need to make service delivery better, and to create working patterns that satisfy the growing demand for work/life balance within the workforce.
Revenue cycle automation: Healthcare organizations tend to expend a considerable amount of resources managing revenue cycles. This work is essential to the smooth running of the system, but often highly processualized and repetitive. As such, it’s a prime candidate for automation. This will allow staff more time to devote to patient interactions.
Customer service and claims processing: Intuitive AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can be programmed to answer common questions from customers, and even to provide responses to certain care and clinical questions and requests. This allows the humans in the organization to focus on what they’re best at – providing solutions to the more complex and nuanced questions.
Human resources and human capital management: HR is another area where repetitive rote work is rife across multiple domains like payroll, recruitment, and the measurement of employee engagement. Many of these tasks can be handled in the background by RPA and AI-led processes.
All of these potential revolutions can be used to help drive cost reductions across the entire organization. After all, when your people aren’t bogged down in administrative processes, they’re not just better placed to help customers – they’re better placed to identify innovation opportunities and further drive transformation. (And since the removal of manual work also leads to natural increases in engagement, they’ll be more inclined to do so.)
As we move forward to the future, competition for talent will become ever more fierce – and the need to drive engagement to retain it will increase as well. By incorporating workforce engagement into your transformation plans now, you’ll be able not only to create a better culture of service delivery in the short and long term, but a more stable foundation for further transformation.
How can Unit4 help?
At Unit4 we create enterprise software that helps public sector organizations to create better ways of working for their people and better platforms for service delivery for the people who rely on them.
To learn more about how our solutions can transform healthcare provision, visit our dedicated page.
And for more information on how we’re helping public sector organizations to revolutionize their operations for the challenges of the 21st century, read this.