By: Paula Loverich, Marketing Manager
Modern C-suite executives are focusing more than ever on the social psychology of their workplaces.
Industrial psychologists have demonstrated in study after study that engaged workers are better able to create novel mental work product in this new Information Economy.
By “novel mental work product,” we mean ideas that create value.
New ideas that solve tough problems.
Ideas that your customer cannot get anywhere else but from your company.
After all, if your people are saying the same things as all of your competitors in the marketplace, why should customers choose your firm?
Many industry leaders such as Google have changed the way employees engage in the workplace because they know that their success depends on the ability of their team to collaborate and innovate.
Some of the engaging things companies like Google are starting to do are:
- Providing unique ways to make work/life balance seamlessly
- Exploring new ways to make employees more active - both physically and mentally.
- And how employees communicate with one another through technology.
For so many of the companies in the “information economy” of the 21st century, the key challenge to survival is to correctly identify their clients’ biggest problems and then to propose innovative solutions to those problems.
The Social Psychology of the “Information Economy”
Now at first it may seem a bit strange that a company like IPS – in the business of automating document intensive business processes – should write on the subject of the social psychology of the workplace.
What on earth does that have to do with automating document processing?
In fact, helping to transform the social psychology of your entire workforce is one of IPS’ central goals!
It is very difficult to establish in the first place and very difficult to maintain over the long-run.
But a positive corporate climate in which workers feel engaged is infectious.
Happy, challenged and fulfilled workers can spread that kind of positive attitude across the entire company.
Make a worker happy and that worker becomes the best ambassador you could have for your corporate culture.
In addition, leveraging the revolution of the “information economy” with setting a new standard to the workforce task can practically transform your business overnight.
Greg Bartels, President and CEO of IPS states, “It has to be about getting the employee out of the mundane. Once they have done that, they have the ability to tap their creative value.”
Greg adds “The best way to foster engagement in the workforce is to unleash the creativity of your employees. For example, with the automation of invoice processing we have seen an instant transformation and shift in employee focus from the transactions to the interactions. This shift was accomplished by eliminating the mundane, manual tasks of traditional invoice processing and freeing up the people with the most knowledge of the process. With their deep understanding of the business process they have become a much stronger asset to the Accounts Payable team. Their knowledge of and increased interactions with IT, fellow workers, trading partners, suppliers and vendors shifts the entire departments emphasis to improving the overall accounts payable process.”
Practical Benefits of Automating Invoice Processing
Before addressing the somewhat more esoteric social-psychological benefits of automated invoice processing, we might take a moment to remind you of a few benefits of such automation that you are probably already aware of.
Automated processing of accounts payable invoices:
The Importance of Workplace Culture
Beyond the practical benefits of automating invoice processing, there are some pretty profound corporate cultural impacts as well.
Practically everyone acknowledges that we are in the midst of a great transformation in our productive economy.
There is also a major change in people’s expectations about their workplaces.
Disengagement from the workplace culture causes absenteeism, frequent employee turnover and it reduces the quality of the creative work product.
And the opposite – active measures that improve morale and make employees feel valued, engaged and challenged make a huge impact on the morale and productivity of the work force.
The initial response in corporate America to the challenges of this revolution has not been especially effective. Sandi Mann, a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire identifies boredom as the second most common negative workplace emotion after anger.
And she argues that modern workplaces are becoming more boring.
People have more of an expectation to be fulfilled by everything they do. Compare our grandparents' generation: there wasn't any desire to have self-actualization and to reach their potential. They didn't go down the coal mines in order to be fulfilled. That attitude has changed. Now, we get people quite commonly quitting higher paid jobs for jobs that are lower paid but more satisfying.
How contrary this finding is to the desperately needed goal of raising our average employees pay through more creative and value adding work.
The problem of worker disengagement is a serious issue of the modern American economy.
The most recent (December, 2014) Gallup “Worker Engagement Survey” finds that only 31.5% of workers feels themselves engaged at work.
In the Gallup survey, 51% of workers describe themselves as “not engaged” and as many as 17.5% describe themselves as “actively disengaged.”
Actively Improving Employee Morale – A Productivity Imperative
At IPS, we are in the business of automating document processing.
We have outlined above the many practical benefits of automating one of those processes, namely your accounts payable processes.
But in a broader sense – the sense that gives us such a deep passion about our work – we are in the business of helping you transform your company culture so that ALL of your workers feel engaged, excited, creative and very glad that they work for you.
Our services make your invoice processing operations cheaper, better, and faster.
But that may not even be the best feature.
Our services change your company culture, spreading all through the company a positive and creative feeling.
By using our services to eliminate the drudgery of rote work, people start to feel better about their jobs and about their employer.
And this effect spreads through the organization well beyond the Accounts Payable department.
Happy workers spread that happiness in the way they interact and communicate with their colleagues.
By automating the rote function of invoice processing that computers can do better than people, IPS empowers you to create a company culture that maximizes the ability of the people to do what people can actually do better than computers – to create elegant, efficient, problem-solving ideas that your competitors can’t come close to.