5 Tips for Successful User Adoption of New Technology
Technology is a critical tool for any business that wants to maintain a competitive edge. Every day, new technology springs up, and you may find yourself in need of a technology upgrade for your business.
Effecting change isn’t always easy, and user adoption of new technology can sometimes be difficult to achieve as employees may not be open to change. To combat this, develop a communication plan, explain the benefits the change will bring, and encourage your employees to adopt. Let's take a deep dive into five tips to consider with technology user adoption.
Have a Communication Plan
Communication is vital when rolling out new technology. It helps to prepare your employees physically and mentally for the coming changes. Through this, the adoption of the latest technology is made easy, as there are no surprises. Forgetting to communicate may lead to an 'us vs. them environment pitting your leadership team against your employees.
Use video chats, meetings, and emails for communication. Remember, there is a fine line between providing too many and too few updates. Too many, people become overwhelmed or uninterested, too few and employees have no idea what is going on.
During meetings, encourage your staff to ask questions, as new technology may be confusing, asking questions will help them acclimatize and understand. For an easy transition, you can assign one employee who is a fast learner to join your planning team. The employee will serve as an inspiration to others, and can serve as a ‘power user’ – a point of interaction for those with concerns.
Take notes of the common frustrating and confusing points of the new technology. Using the facts, develop solutions to ensure a smooth technology user adoption process is in motion. Make a document that addresses the issues at hand and use it during training or further communications. Encouraging your team to ask questions and ensure you create an environment of two-way communication.
Get Leadership Buy-In
For change to occur in an organization, you need to have buy-in from all levels of your leadership team. Stipulate and reiterate that the shift in technology will make your teams workload smaller and more accessible. Speed will drive desire and increase awareness.
Set the path by walking the talk, inspire your staff on how the changes will be pivotal to the organization. Ensure you lead by example; they will draw inspiration from you.
Ensure that your leadership team are all on the same page about the changes. Disunity among leaders is the biggest morale killer in a workplace. It's easier to rally troops when leaders show a united front. Ensure your high-ranking employees work in tandem to boost unity and teamwork; this will go a long way in easing the technology shift.
Celebrate wins, even small ones, to encourage the team. Remind your employees that change is a continuous journey. Recognize groups and individuals for their outstanding performances to boost the morale of the whole organization.
Identify Influencers – Get them on your side!
In every organization, there are influential employees, whether in managerial or regular employee roles. Influencers can sway the opinions of other employees. For your change to work, you need to identify and engage employee influencers. Through this, you gain internal force multipliers who will play a huge role in sending positive messages. This is a key method to increase user adoption of new technology.
To identify the top influencers in your company, you can do a survey using a questionnaire. Pose a question like 'who do you approach when facing a problem?' Although it can be wrong, the questionnaire will give you hints on who calls the shots behind the scenes. This could also be based on your working knowledge, or based on tenure.
There are different types of influencers in an organization, namely:
The mayor: they know a lot of people in the organization. They are always central to the company's activities. With their vast knowledge of people, they can quickly rally a group behind an idea.
The energizer: They are always in high spirits and always spread positive vibes to other employees. If you use them as influencers, they can gain the technology change a considerable following.
The bridge: These are influencers who connect between different individuals and teams in the organization. He or she acts as the voice of reason. Thus, their opinion holds a lot of weight. Getting them on your side is vital for the technology change as many employees will support their take.
The De-Energizer: There is that one person that is always against every change. They try to water down excitement for new initiatives and projects. For the success of projects, identify the De-Energizer and engage them. Stress the importance of a technology shift to them.
Provide well-designed training
Design an in-depth training program that throws its focus on hands-on experience. First, train the planning and training teams before embarking on other employees. The program's primary aim should be on steering the interface, its core work functions, and saving time. Ensure everyone gets hands-on practice with the new technology to familiarize themselves.
For easy transition, liaise the old and new systems to work side by side to maintain productivity and comfort levels. When your employees gain more experience, slowly phase out the old technology. Also, encourage peer support during training sessions to reduce the feelings of fear and intimidation.
To encourage teamwork, you can have your team work in groups, either in person or virtually; this way, they will help each other out while stuck. You can create universal templates for all your departments and automate tasks to save on time spent handling critical tasks.
Establish Ongoing Resources and Support
Even if you provide an excellent training program to your employees, its unlikely that they will absorb all the information at once. You can provide them with videos, reference guides, and training materials for future references. Also consider eLearning for follow up training sessions.
Ongoing training sessions will help ensure learners can stay updated, and be up to speed with the job demands. Also, you can establish support that exclusively deals with the software like an IT department.
Want to get started, but not sure where to begin? Get our FREE download 'Improving New Software User Adoption' for top tips and tricks to improve your Software User Adoption.