Getting to know the new kid on the block isn’t always easy. He might look a little weird at first glance. He’s definitely different from what we’re used to. But once we get to know him, we find out how cool he is and how much he has to offer, and suddenly, he’s one of us.
Getting end-users to adopt new technologies is a little like making friends with that new kid: it takes time and patience and an open mind, but the rewards – in terms of increased productivity, improved collaboration, and fast ROI – are terrific.
Change is Natural; Resistance to change is natural too!
One of the greatest challenges organizations face when deploying new collaborative platforms and technologies is the employee adoption rate. When left un-coached, many employees don’t understand the tools, or if they do, they adopt them but only use them intermittently, defeating the whole purpose of company-wide collaboration.
Five Steps to Simplifying Employee Adoption of New Technologies
1. Know your audience:
With whom do your employees feel they can best communicate? Who are their key influencers? Do they have a “What’s in it for me?” mindset? Do certain employees fear that learning new technologies will slow down their performance or even endanger their jobs?
2. Adapt your communication to each employee group and address each one’s concerns:
It’s crucial to customize and target messages that speak the language of the group you’re addressing, whatever their department, whether they work in-house or remotely, and ensure delivery of these messages via the optimal channels for each group.
3. Schedule informational and training sessions for each phase of your rollout:
Ensure that every employee first understands the objectives and the value of the new technologies not only for the company, but for his or her own productivity. Most importantly, help employees overcome any perceived risk the new systems will bring about. It’s vital to assure them that the whole thing will not come crashing down if they experiment with it! And reassure them that mistakes will be made – by everyone, even the experts – and that it’s all part of the learning curve.
4. Communicate widely and frequently with users:
Follow-through is vital to the success of employee adoption. Continue to update users frequently after rollout of new technologies. Ongoing communication helps to reinforce new behaviors and identify and overcome user adoption issues.
5. Improve your technology by listening to user feedback:
“One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is NOT listening to the employee feedback that they receive”, states Jacob Morgan of Chess Media Group. “If there are new policies or changes that your company is going to implement, perhaps reach out to employees for their preferences…It’s important that employees who provide feedback or submit ideas feel heard, otherwise they will disengage.”
Good Training = Great ROI
Now that you’ve got everyone on board with the idea of new technology, it’s time to implement customized training modules designed to fit your needs, from on-site training to on-demand webinars.
This is an area where no company should cut corners. Because ensuring your employees learn how to use your new technologies is vital not only to the cost-effectiveness of your investment, but to the rapid return on your investment.
It all comes down to choosing the right user training partner. One who can offer a full range of training methods, from On-line tutorials, recorded training webcasts, online interactive training sessions with live instructors and Q&A, on-site training classes: Beginners & Advanced levels sessions, and even “Train the Trainers” programs.
With training options like these, the technological “new kid on the block” will be your employees’ best friend in no time.