Technology implementation can make all the difference in the world to your business. However, many companies find that they have trouble when it comes to adding technology. This is not because of the cost, but because of difficulties getting the employees to adopt the tech. People are often set in their ways of doing things and will be reluctant to change. The following steps to successful adoption work as a guideline to help you make it easier on yourself and your employees when adding new tech.
Step #1: Analyze the Current System
The first thing you need to do is look at the current system you have in place and any technology you are currently using. What is it about the system that makes you feel it needs to be replaced? Is the technology outdated? Does it not have enough functions or the functions you need? There are many reasons that you might be ready to part ways with the old tools your company has been using. However, before simply adding new tech, you need to make sure there is a good reason for it.
Although it may not seem like it at first, knowing more about your current system and why it needs to be replaced is important when it comes to your employees adopting new technology. You can be sure they will have questions when you announce you are going to be using new tech in Step #3. Analyzing your current system ensures you have the answers to those questions.
If the current technology is not doing the job properly, or if you don’t have any technology in place, then it is time to find something new and better. Something else to consider is whether you can find technology that may be able to replace more than one piece of your current tech. One of the benefits of this is that it will require just one sign-in, and when your employees will only have to learn on one system. This will require your employees to deal with more changes, but it could be worth it.
Once you know what your current system offers and why it isn’t working quite right for you, it will be easier to take care of the next step.
Step #2: Choose Technology that Aligns with Goals and Strategy
Now that you have a better understanding of what your current system is lacking, it will become easier for you to know what you need to look for in new tech. You have to think about your company’s goals and your objectives for the technology. Are you looking to implement a new analytics system that can give your marketing team deeper insight into your customers? Do you have problems handling and finding all of the digital assets your team uses for marketing materials?
All companies are different and this means the needs of companies will vary when it comes to the technology they use. What is it that your company needs? Given the sheer number of tools available on the market today, it makes sense to know your exact needs before you start looking. When you understand your goals and objectives, and the strategies you want to take to reach them, that will make it possible to narrow down your selection more easily.
Something else to keep in mind when choosing technology is that many of the platforms used for marketing tech will have multiple features. Therefore, you might find that you can choose a single piece of new tech that could replace two or more of your old pieces. Always check the full functionality of the tools you are considering.
Step #3: Communicate with Team for Engagement and Buy-In
The next step involved talking with your team about the new technology you plan to start using. You do not want to spring it on them and expect them to embrace the new systems. Instead, make it a point to talk with them about the reasons you need to replace the old technology. Explain the troubles it has and why it is unable to meet the company’s needs.
By communicating with the team and letting them know about the technology, it eases them into the idea of learning something new. When you highlight the great features of the new tech, more and more of the employees will become excited about the possibilities. After all, the tech is meant to help them do their jobs more efficiently.
Of course, you can be sure that they will have some questions. They will want to know what plans you have in place for implementing the tool and what type of training they will receive. You must have the answers to these questions so you can provide them to your curious employees.
Empathy is important when bringing on any changes in the company-- even those that are ultimately for the better. Changing processes and tech in the workplace is difficult for many people. Let them know that you understand how they feel and remind them of the importance of adopting the new technology. Reiterate all of the ways that it can help to make their work lives better.
Step #4: Identify Internal Technology Ambassadors to Get Everyone Onboard
Some people will not be on board with the idea of adding different tech. They have grown accustomed to the way they do things. However, there will also be certain members of your team that will be excited about the idea of learning the ins and outs of a new tool and how it can help them in their job.
Don’t let their excitement go to waste. They can be the first ones to train with the new technology. They can be the ones who help their peers when they are learning the tech. These individuals who are excited could be perfect technology ambassadors that can help to get everyone else on board with the idea of a new system.
With certain types of technology that you implement, you might find that it’s best to have those ambassadors work with the tech first. They can find any issues that would cause others to have problems and work them out before the entire team starts working with the tool. Additionally, they might need to do some behind-the-scenes work to get things working properly. For example, when adding a digital asset management tool, having a couple of team members populate the tech with the assets the marketing team will be using is a good start. This way, the assets will be ready to go when the rest of the team starts using the DAM platform.
You may want to have the ambassadors who have been trained be the ones who train your other team members and become the go-to resource for people who have questions about the system. If they do, they should be recognized and rewarded for their contribution.
Step #5: Develop a Strong Training Approach
Having everyone on board with the idea of getting a new piece of technology is only part of the battle, though. As mentioned above, there still needs to be training. It is important to develop a strong training approach that will help get the team up to speed as quickly as possible with the new technology. Time spent training is time away from other duties.
However, this isn’t to say that training should be rushed. Instead, it is important to have a complete training plan in place from the start. Each company is different, and each type of tech will require its own specific training.
You should get feedback from the employees on the training and how they feel about the technology once they have some hands-on time with it. You may find that certain parts of the training will need to be repeated or clarified. You can also get a better sense of how people feel about the technology when they first start using it. Keep in mind that there could be some grumbling about the technology in the beginning, even with good training. You just want to get a sense of it for now, and then see how they adapt in the following steps.
Step #6: Manage the Change and Address Questions and Concerns
Change won’t happen overnight. Even after all of the training has been complete, there may still be some issues for a while as people get accustomed to the technology they are using. They may still have a desire to return to the way they were doing things before. This will become a problem, but you want to be as understanding with the employees as possible.
Talk with them and find out what is causing the problems with their ability or desire to adopt the new technology. Some might not have the same level of technical know-how that other employees have and they could feel intimidated. Maybe they worried about asking too many questions during training and now feel lost. Regardless of the reason, something is causing them to hold off on using the technology.
It’s the job of the managers to determine what these issues are and address them. Perhaps the employees need to have further training or a different type of training. For example, some people learn better hands-on, while others learn better by reading or listening to someone talk them through the problems. Having a different person handling the training that works for the employee’s learning style could be a good idea.
Step #7: Celebrate Employee Progress with the New Technology
Getting accustomed to using new types of technology is not an easy thing to do, especially when people have been accustomed to using other tools. Therefore, make it a point to celebrate the small victories. Congratulate the team members when they finish training, as well as when they begin using the new tool in their work. Draw attention to the positive impact the technology is having company, so the employees can see just how valuable it is.
Also, you may want to consider offering some type of incentives to employees. It can be a good way to encourage training and adoption of the technology. The incentives don’t have to be large. Gift cards, for example, can be a cost-effective means of motivating employees. A little bit of motivation will go a long way in helping encourage your employees to embrace new technology.
Step #8: Engage with Employees to Learn Their Ways to Best Use the Tech
Once the technology has been in use for a while, you will want to touch base with the team members who are using the tech. How are they using it? Have they found any best practices that have helped them with their workflow that they could share with others?
This is still considered a step to adopting technology because it is still relatively new and people will be learning despite the fact that it’s now being used in your business. In some cases, there could be issues with the software that aren’t noticed right away. It might only be found after several months of use. Don’t neglect the importance of getting continuous feedback on the tech that you use in your company. This ties in directly with the next step.
This is a good time to touch base with the employees again regarding how they feel about the technology. Now that they have had more time using it in the real world and not just through training, how it is faring? Are there still problems or concerns? You should make sure that you address any problems whether they are coming from several employees or just one.
Step #9: Monitor the Benefits
After the technology has been implemented, you will want to continue to monitor its usage to see how well your employees are adapting and whether the tools are providing your business with the benefits you had hoped. This differs from Step #6 in that it takes place a month or so after the integration of the technology. Just because it seems like the tech is being used and is effective doesn’t mean that’s the case.
You will want to take a hard look at the benefits that are being conferred by the technology to ensure that they are close to what your hopes and expectations were when you chose it.
In some cases, you may find that the employees are still not properly utilizing the technology. Other times, you may find that the tech is not living up to its promises. While this will certainly be disheartening, it’s better to know so you can make any further changes that are needed. In extreme circumstances, this could mean changing out the technology again. Take what you have learned regarding what your company needs and what will benefit your employees and find another solution.
Easy Steps to Big Changes
Following these steps, it should help you to reduce the pain of evolution as you introduce new and better technologies to your workplace. There may still be some employees who are reticent to adopt the new technology whether it’s a piece of hardware or software. However, good communication and training for the tech, it will make the process smoother for everyone involved.