The world is changing and if you don’t want to be left behind, then achieving digital transformation is critical to the ongoing success of your organisation. New technology is changing the way companies are doing business; increasing efficiency, improving productivity and boosting sales.
Organisations, however, often face resistance from their people when announcing change. It’s human nature, and when it comes to new tech, even more so. So how can you get your employees on board?
As a manager, it’s your responsibility to understand where this resistance is coming from. Is your staff made up of older people who may not be that comfortable with technology? Are they scared they might be made redundant? Or are they based in the field, wondering how on earth you’re going to make this work?
Whatever their concerns, finding a way forward is key to implementing new technology into your organisation. So how do you do it?
Before introducing technology into your business, consult with your employees and identify issues
the new tech will address. Not only will this involve them in the process, which will encourage a feeling of ownership and acceptance, but it will show your respect for their ideas, which will make the transition that much easier because they will feel as if they’re being “heard”. It will also allow you to clearly highlight problems and show how the change will help them in the long run.
Read reviews. Do trials. Get feedback. Check with other companies similar to yours. And choose the most easy to use, intuitive system possible. Your staff don’t want to be sitting through multi-day training programmes and wading their way through complex user manuals, so make sure whatever technology you use has an intuitive interface that people can almost learn to use as they go.
Communication is key. At the end of the day, everyone what’s to know “what’s in it for me”, which is why it’s so important that your employees understand why the new technology is an improvement on what they had before and how it makes their lives better.
Take the time to plan a well-rehearsed internal communications plan, making use of video, PowerPoint, posters and pamphlets to educate people about the benefits of the new tools and how to use them.
Identify those staff members who have communication and networking skills who can act as your champions “It’s most important not that early adopters adopt, but that influencers adopt,” says Michael C. Mankins
, a organizational expert. They can then coach others on how to use the tools to their benefit, get them comfortable with the new technology and bring them round to your way of thinking.
New technology is often complicated and may require training. That being said, familiarity with technology may vary widely among your employees, which is why it’s so important that your training reflects those differences. It’s also important that your training caters to individual’s different learning styles. Some may prefer online training, others might enjoy live demos, while yet others might need the support and reassurance that comes from one-on-one training. Ask your team members what they would prefer. But whatever you choose, make sure that they see you learning the new system too. Not only does it show that you’re invested in the process, but it helps to build a sense of camaraderie. As a side note, it’s a good idea to record and document the training
so that you can use it for new recruits in future.
A lot of companies make the mistake of slowly phasing in new technology and allowing their staff to switch over to new systems at their own pace. Draw a line in the sand and make the new technology a part of your business as soon as possible after you announce the change. Make it part of your staff’s routines – by requiring them to use it, they will become comfortable with it that much more quickly and you’ll be able to highlight cases where the technology has had a positive impact on people’s abilities to do their jobs more efficiently, which will encourage people even further. It’s also an idea to encourage adoption by rewarding employees in ways that are most meaningful to them with financial incentives, recognition or additional perks.
Perform an evaluation of the new technology once it’s up and running. Is it doing what it says on the box? Or are people still struggling to use it? If so, is it an intrinsic problem with the technology or is it more to do with your staff’s resistance to change? Either way, identifying where things are going wrong (or right!) allows you reward adoption, deal with individual concerns, correct problems and successfully integrate the new technology in your company.
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What techniques do you use when implementing change or technology into your business? Share your hints and tips with us on Facebook or LinkedIn!