By Andreas Rivera
Jul. 23, 2020
Getting employees enthusiastic about new technology can be simple if everyone is eager to learn how to use new tools. However, some people may be reluctant to use new tech tools, especially if those tools would significantly change how they work. Whether you’re switching to a new platform or implementing tech that automates manual processes, there will always be someone who is hesitant and has doubts or anxieties about new tech.
You’ve spent weeks researching new tech solutions to implement in the office. You’ve done the calculations on ROI and how much it could help boost productivity. However, no matter how efficient a new technology solution is, it will not be as effective if the key users are not 100 percent on board.
Here are some important steps to keep in mind when trying to win them over. And it begins long before you actually introduce new solutions.
Keep them in the conversation
As the shot caller of this particular decision, the final say on implementing this new tool is yours and yours alone. But it’s still important to broadcast the changes to all those affected by your plans. Clearly declare why you think change is necessary, why the current status quo isn’t working or how it could greatly be improved. Then gather feedback.
As you research and narrow down your choices for a solution, keep these employees part of the conversation and keep them informed about your thought process. Let them know the benefits and disadvantages you believe are most important for the company’s needs.
Not only will this help inform what kind of solution would work best for your team, but it will help you identify early on who may be hesitant about replacing old processes for new ones.
Find your advocates
Just as announcing your plans early on can help identify employees with doubts, you’ll also find those who are enthusiastic about change and will make great advocates of the tech.
Identify these individuals and recruit them as your advocates who will champion the changes and be leaders. Have them be among the first to train with the solution. These advocates will boost morale among others about the software and also help train everyone else on how to use it.
Communicate the value
Be sure you’re expressly clear with employees about the value a new tech solution will bring, not just to the company, but to them as employees. Long-time employees can feel anxious about how their roles will change when new tech solutions are introduced, so it’s important to convey how much of a positive impact this can have on their career growth.
For example, if it’s a tool that’s meant to save time on certain processes, reassure them that they can now spend their time on more productive tasks for the company.
Create a roadmap
Big changes don’t happen overnight, nor should they. When you’re ready to roll out your new solution, you need to come up with a solid plan to transition from your old process to the new one. Create a clear timetable with dates and stages of implementation. Then stick to it. If plans change, be transparent and keep your team informed.
Stages can include an exploratory period, the first round of training, a pilot period with a handful of users starting to use the solution, a second round of training with everyone involved and a hard deadline when the solution is completely implemented.
Give them time
There are growing pains that come with all changes. Give some time to employees who at first struggle with new tech. This is where your advocates come in, who can lead the charge and help out their coworkers who have a tougher time adapting to the change. As long as people are willing to learn, it’s worth it to invest in additional training and compromise with them. They may prefer to get their work done the traditional way while they’re still learning the new way.
Sometimes it’s necessary to sweeten the deal. Incentivize employees to take part in the process of implementing a new solution. This can easily be done by providing lunch with training sessions or implementing a reward program for users of the solution.
Continue listening and changing
After a successful implementation, you still have a long road of adapting your office’s workflow to one that seamlessly integrates your new solution into your everyday processes. As employees get used to the new way of doing things, continue taking in their feedback. Accept new ideas about how the solution can be used in different ways that both improve efficiency and accommodate employees who are used to doing things in certain ways.
Changing, adapting, and implementing new tools to grow your company is the reality of business. There are some people that are more reluctant to change, but it’s important to provide a means to take those baby steps toward new ideas so they can continue helping the business become more successful. Throughout all the mentioned steps above, communication is key and will lead to a much smoother transition than an unexpected, abrupt shift in how people do their jobs.
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