Five-step plan to convince your employees to use new technology

Here's a five-step plan on how to implement new technology in your workplace — with the support of your staff.

November 5, 2020
Darpan Keswani

Encouraging your staff to use new technology is one of the toughest challenges a business faces. Your workforce uses certain tools and processes, which means they will resist change, even if it’s for the better.

The good news is, convincing skeptical employees is not unachievable. Use our five tips to educate and excite your workers into using your new solution.

#1 Choose wisely

Keep employee interest in mind before you introduce new tools into your organization.

Consider factors like user-friendliness and familiarity alongside cost-savings and features.

Some of the world’s most successful technologies like iPhones and Kindles can be picked up and used without training or reading manuals. If the new solution requires many training sessions, it may overwhelm your employees and result in lower productivity. The more intuitive the technology is, the faster your workforce will learn to use the tool, resulting in higher user adoption and ROI.

#2 Engage your champions

Now that you’ve identified your end-goals and metrics, you can start educating your teams about the technology. Select employees who have the right personality and enough influence to promote the tool. Make them your ‘technology champions.’

How do you identify ‘technology champions’?

Behavioral science studies show that there are two kinds of people that make for good leaders (or ambassadors). Opinion leaders are not necessarily technically-skilled, but are credible and trusted by their peers. Usually in a position of seniority and experience. On the other hand, technical leaders are employees with superior technical skills, their opinions are compelling for coworkers.

Document and identify the impact the new tool has on their work. Use your findings to create a stronger case for it when you present it to your workforce.

#3 Communicate and educate

Take the time to explain to your workforce why they need the new tool. Show specific examples of how it will make their jobs easier.

Employees are more receptive to change when they realize the technology is there to help them and not slow them down.

Use the Problem-Agitation-Solution (PAS) framework to position the technology as a problem solver:

I. Problem: State your employee’s problems

Start by presenting the problem and the harm it’s causing. Outline the problem as specifically as you can. “Right now, we’re using four tools throughout our workday. Two for internal communications, one for task management, and another one for workflows. Shuffling between different tools means details are getting lost, and it’s getting harder to find important information when you need it. It’s hurting productivity and efficiency, and costing the company real revenue.”

II. Agitation: Rub salt in the wound

Empathize with your employees. Address the fact that it is tough to change the way they work, but still highlight the benefits of the new technology. “Eko solves those problems. It’s an internal collaboration platform that centralizes communications and comes built-in with task management and workflow features. You can send requests, manage your duties, and communicate with your colleagues from your phone. Yes, it will take a little training, but it will help you be more productive soon.”

III. Solution: Demonstrate the product’s usefulness

Show your employees exactly how the solution will solve their problems. A quick and dirty way is to use a real-life scenario like this one:

Adam can’t come to work tomorrow and asks his coworker (John) over WhatsApp to take his shift instead. John agrees, but forgets to inform his manager or payroll staff.

Explain to Adam and John that though they think it’s easier to send a “quick” text, it can cause problems:

  • Payroll staff compensate John and Adam incorrectly because they don’t know about the change in shifts.
  • The manager doesn’t know that John is covering for Adam so he spends the morning looking for Adam’s replacement.

After your employees understand the issues with the ‘old way’, they will be more receptive to change.

En example of shift change requesting with Eko:

1. Select the ‘Shift Change’ workflow.
2. Select an approver (e.g. Adam’s direct manager and payroll staff)
3. Select the reason for shift change (e.g. Sick, Personal, Other)
4. Select a colleague who will be replacing Adam; tap send.

Once the request is processed, Adam will be immediately notified if it was accepted or rejected.

#4 Provide effective training

Effective training ensures staff is able to use the new tool as intended. So make sure it is productive and helpful by:

  • Providing enough supporting material in the form of picture-guides, videos, etc.
  • Keeping training groups small, so employees can get a hands-on experience.
  • Leaving plenty of time for questions. Technically-challenged workers shouldn’t feel poorly prepared once training ends.

#5 Highlight and reward

Once the new technology is being used by your workforce, you should consistently highlight the positive changes it has brought to the organisation. Do so via emails, flyers, and newsletters. If you’re using Eko, you could send out a company-wide broadcast.

Moreover, incentivize technology adoption through public recognition. Use the Thumbs Up feature to commend employees within Eko. Thumbs Up’s are customizable stickers that acknowledge effort and help increase team cohesion and morale. Rewarding positions the technology positively, it also shows employees that you care if they change and improve.

At the end of the day, if your workforce is not comfortable with the new tool, you won’t realize any of the cost, productivity or efficiency benefits it brings. So follow our tips and remain transparent. It will help even stubborn employees to see the difference technology can make in their jobs.

1 — hbr.org
2 — sitepronews.com

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