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What do marketers want from an automated workplace

By Clare Kemsley, Managing Director of Hays Marketing, Retail and Sales, UK&I

The pace of digital transformation and its impact on every aspect of both our professional and personal lives shows no sign of abating. Organisations will need to ensure that their culture, communications and training is adequately prepared for this change or risk losing the talent they need to successfully adopt new technology.

According to our latest research in the Hays What Workers Want 2019 report, marketing professionals generally display high levels of optimism around automation and the opportunities it can provide, with 79% of respondents saying that they are aware or very aware of the benefits automation can bring to the workplace. Employers must meet this willingness to engage with the adequate provision of resources, transparency and guidance to successfully capitalise on the changes taking place within the world of work.

So what do marketing professionals need from a workplace in order to maximise the potential that automation provides?

1. An open culture

80% of marketing professionals say they have an open mindset towards digital transformation in their workplace, and 30% of respondents believe that the most important area their organisation should focus on to make it a success is developing a culture which encourages change. It is prioritised more highly than either training or resources, and is a top priority for employers to address.

To ensure the smooth integration of new technologies into your organisation consider hiring experts such as change or communications managers to help cultivate a workplace environment that is conducive to change, both now and in the future. Their expertise can prove invaluable to organisations going through major transitions, helping to communicate change clearly to workforces and maximising their engagement.

2. Awareness around investment

Over half (51%) of marketing respondents say that when they are jobhunting, they would be more attracted to work for an organisation that is investing in automation or has plans to do so. 60% would like to hear about it during interviews, 56% in job adverts and 53% on the employer’s website. In spite of this, almost a third (30%) of marketing employers do not promote their organisation’s investment in automation at all during the recruitment process.

To become a more attractive employer to the marketing professionals who value digital and technical innovation highly, consider promoting automation investment at key stages of the hiring process, from jobs ads all the way to onboarding. Marketing employers should actively discuss the specific benefits that automation can provide, including the reduction of administrative tasks and the ways it can add human value, particularly around increased opportunities for creativity.

3. Support with upskilling

40% of marketing employers say that they don’t currently have the right skills to enable them to make the best use of automation technology, and accordingly marketing professionals are making efforts to upskill, with 63% developing their technical skills in order to better work with automation and 65% developing their soft skills. Of the 65% working on their soft skills, however, only 27% are receiving training from their employer, which is considerably below the 35% UK average.

In order to foster a culture of lifelong professional development, employers should invest in more traditional training formats and bite-sized resources that better facilitate independent learning. Whatever the approach, it is key to make employees feel supported when upskilling so they do not feel forced to do so in isolation or without guidance.

To discover further insights into how automation is impacting jobs and the steps you can take to prepare, get your copy of the Hays What Workers Want Report 2019.

About this author

Over her last ten years at Hays, Clare has developed a detailed understanding of creative and customer focussed industries and the talent they need to succeed. She is a believer that great behaviour drives the culture of the business and allows the customer experience to be one of the highest quality.

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