In today’s fast-paced world, new technologies are introduced almost daily. A new gadget, a new app, or an innovative concept can be seen to permeate various markets and industries. Technology advancements not only affect consumers, but it also affects how organizations operate. The way we work evolves as much as technology does.
For businesses to thrive and meet changing market demands, adopting new technology can help streamline and optimize operations. But having employees adopt new technology isn’t an easy task. Employees can be resistant to change, especially when it affects their work. You may be convinced that the new software is effective, but getting your employees to think and feel the same way is a whole different story.
Let’s tackle seven steps to guide leaders in formulating effective strategies that will help their team adopt new technology.
Effectively Introducing New Technology in the Workplace
#1 Be Clear on Your Goals
You must clearly define why a new tool is needed and how it will help you achieve your company goals. You will also use these goals to formulate your selection criteria when evaluating a number of tool options. It will also guide you when communicating the new tool to your employees.
When thinking about your goals, consider how the organization will benefit from its implementation. You can also enumerate how it will improve your employees’ work and what pain points it will solve.
#2 Test it Yourself
It’s hard to teach something without knowing how it works. Testing the tool yourself will help you verify its ease of use, how it meets your goals, and how it ties up to your business processes. When employees know that you have used the tool and can testify to its benefits, they will be more convinced on using it.
#3 Build an Implementation Plan
Now that you’ve selected the tool, it’s time to plan how to roll it out. Create a timeline and identify the key milestones that need to be achieved. Identify the responsibilities of the roles of the implementation team.
Determine what training methods will be used.
- Will it be in class or online?
- Will you account for different learning styles?
- What training materials need to be prepared?
- Will training be incentivized or gamified?
- How will you measure success?
These are some of the things you need to consider when crafting your implementation plan.
#4 Form and Train Your Pilot Team
This step might well be under the implementation plan, but let’s emphasize its benefit. You see, people are more likely to embrace change when they see other people accepting and advocating for it. Your pilot team becomes your tool adoption influencers. Apart from having your pilot team go over the tool first, empower them to lead the implementation as well:
- Assign them key roles for the rollout
- Equip them to conduct trainings on their own
- Have them help build the training modules, manuals, and the roll-out plan
- Get their suggestions on how to make the training more engaging and effective
- Brainstorm on issue resolution and the change management process. They are the voice of your workforce and will have ideas on how to help their colleagues adopt new technology.
When deciding who gets to be part of your pilot team, make sure all functional groups are represented. This way, you will have a better view of the current state of work and how the new tool affects it.
#5 Roll It Out
It’s now time to put the plan into action. Conduct a kick-off meeting where all employees involved are present. Share the goals you’ve identified in the first step and how you’ve decided on the tool that will be used. Highlight the benefits of using the new tool and emphasize any familiarities with the ones they’re currently using. This will help build ease and confidence among the new users. Discuss the training flow that will happen and the key milestones that need to be met. Introduce your pilot team and roster of trainers.
#6 Follow Up and Track Progress and Challenges
Check if you are going along smoothly on your implementation plan and if you’re meeting key milestone dates. If you need to adjust any of your initial plans, ensure everyone is informed. During the entire roll-out, be sure to implement appropriate communication channels and feedback mechanisms to gather your employees’ struggles and suggestions. When employees adopt new technology, there can be unanticipated issues that come along the way.
Make sure your employees know who to reach out to and how they can be resolved. In the same way, be receptive to suggestions on how to further improve the tool or the process. Document these so you can discuss and plan for it in much detail. Conduct a regular discussion with your pilot team to review the data and feedback you’ve gathered.
#7 Iterate and Optimize
Using the metrics you have identified in step 3, assess how the new tool has helped employees and your business as a whole. Do this at regular intervals throughout your roll-out. Consider measuring if cycle times have been reduced.
- Has the tool completely been rolled out or are there others who have yet to use it?
- What would it take to fully implement the tool?
- What does your team say about the new tool and how it’s helped or not helped them?
These are just some of the questions that will help you gauge how you’re charting along with your roll-out and provide triggers to change your implementation plan. While changes to your plan can happen, you should not compromise your goal and still ensure that your actions work towards achieving them. It’s important to establish that the tool adequately supports your business as it evolves and grows.
Working with New Software
Employees can get apprehensive when they adopt new technology. But with enough information and guidance from leaders, they will view it as a positive change. Throughout this process, maintaining open communication with your employees is crucial.
When employees feel that their concerns are addressed, they will be more participative and engaged. To help employees adopt new technology much more easily, you need to give them control. Let them explore. Let them learn on their own. Then let them share their thoughts and ideas. A
part from making them take full ownership of the tool, you’re also giving them a chance to actively contribute to shaping your business process. You may be surprised at the improvement ideas and suggestions you’ll get from them once you let them take the driver’s seat.
Implementing new software can be daunting. But you can emerge victorious when you involve your team in solving challenges that may come. Not only will you be successful in introducing a new tool, but you’ll instill teamwork, collaboration, and innovation within your organization.