How do I motivate employees to bring intelligent automation ideas forward?

How do I motivate employees to bring intelligent automation ideas forward?

When considering what makes some projects extraordinarily successful there seems to be a common theme.  Ideas that come directly from employees are usually the best ideas. This highlights the importance of motivating employees to bring intelligent automation opportunities forward.  Let’s discuss the top methods for inspiring employees to contribute.


Individuals feel good about contributing and making a difference.  Recognition can be a great motivator.  Recognition does not always need to be monetary.  Verbal recognition in the form of an award or a company announcement can be just as rewarding. 

Establishing a monthly award for RPA ideas where winners are recognized on the company intranet site is a good example of this type of program.  This represents a new spin on the old employee suggestion box.

Popular recognition methods come in many forms, including Social Media.  Recognition of an associate on LinkedIn or Twitter goes a long way.

Another form of recognition is the quarterly or yearly review.  Adding a line item that improves an employee’s performance score is a great form of recognition.

Monetary or Perks

Money can speak louder than words.  Placing a monetary value on winning submissions offer your associates both recognition and a bonus for ideas that are implemented.  This of course has been done for years in other areas of the business so why not apply it to RPA and AI adoption? 

Offering an associate $100-$1000 for a great idea can be an exceedingly small price to pay compared to the potential value and monetary return for a successful RPA or AI project. 

Payment in all forms is appreciated.  Time away from work can be perceived as more valuable than monetary payment.  If your policies do not allow monetary payments, then offer time off. 

Offering company stock options or a combination of cash and options can also be an attractive alternative.   

Bottom line, monetary compensation is appreciated in any form. Establishing programs that offer compensation in some form is a true motivator. 

Core Values

When a company establishes core values that are genuinely believed and promoted, this can become a strong motivator for employees.  For many individuals core values can be a deciding factor to work for a given company.  If the core values are tied into the strategy of the company, it helps employees embrace the strategy and believe in the company.  Associates, managers and front-line workers view core values as an important factor for company morale.  Companies that aggressively promote openness, employee ideas / feedback, integrity and excellence usually have a more motivated workforce.  These types of core values make the individual feel more valued which in turn results in greater effort to identify innovative opportunities.  It makes people feel good about the company and their contribution.  RPA and AI are recognized as tools and processes that employees will gravitate to for innovation.  As they become more aware of successes in their industry and their company, they will be even more motivated to look for opportunities to bring forward.  

Market technology Initiatives

Marketing of technology projects is grossly undervalued. Many of the most successful projects are those that are marketed and promoted across the company.  Effectively marketing technology initiatives places clear value on the purpose of the project. Communicating value to employees whether it consists of enhanced offerings for your customers, increased internal productivity, ease of use or improved bottom line performance helps them feel like a part of the solution. Feeling like a part of the greater corporate purpose can be a huge motivator.


Allowing individuals to bring forward RPA / AI opportunities with the premise that the idea itself will be communicated in terms of value to the company leads to embracing all that we talk about here.  It highlights the recognition of teams and / or individuals, sets the stage for monetary payback, supports the Core Values of the company, and promotes the success of RPA and AI initiatives. 

RPA and AI initiatives can be best driven when fully embraced from the ground up. This is possible when employees feel empowered. They know their opinions are valued when they see management and their peers within the organization embrace the Core Values of the company.  The embracing of a solid set of Core Values can be at the heart of making any digital innovation a huge success!