How to Introduce Your Workforce to New Workplace Technology
You’ve finally taken the leap: You’ve decided to implement new workplace technology. That means the hard part is over, right? Well, not exactly.
Often, it’s the next step that is the most difficult — and the most crucial for success. Since even positive change can pose a challenge, getting your workforce on board with learning and using new workplace technology might be more of a hurdle than you originally anticipated.
According to Gallup, more than 70 percent of change initiatives fail, but that doesn’t have to happen if you take the right approach. Here are some of the biggest challenges leaders face when implementing new workplace technology and how to achieve long-term success.
Why workplace technology initiatives fail
After spending many months researching, justifying, and preparing to introduce new workplace technology, many organizations ultimately fail to launch these solutions or discover employees aren’t using them. Here are a few of the most common reasons why:
The technology is too complex
Large enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are particularly vulnerable to failure because there are so many layers involved in implementing them. The system affects many different processes and departments, so any incorrect configuration can have significant and expensive consequences. In some instances, these failures have even led to companies suing the vendor or implementation partner for business losses, such as unpaid vendor invoices or payroll issues.
On-premise systems are also expensive to implement and support compared to cloud-based workplace software.
It doesn’t integrate with existing solutions
Technology that doesn’t work well with existing software and applications is frustrating for everyone. It leads to workarounds that slow everyone down and ultimately deters them from using it.
Leaders and employees don’t understand its value
Simply introducing new workplace technology to your company won’t have much of an impact if they don’t understand what problem it’s intended to solve. They’ll just see it as an extra step they need to take or one more password they need to remember.
It’s not mobile or user-friendly
Employees expect the technology they use in the workplace to be as portable and intuitive as the apps on their smartphones. This is even more of a concern in today’s hybrid workplace, where employees frequently move between home, the office, and other locations.
How to improve workplace technology implementation and user adoption
Make a solid plan
It’s not enough to simply decide you’re going to implement new workplace technology and then do it. You need a plan for every phase of implementation to ensure you’re prepared for all challenges. Think through how you’ll announce to employees, how you’ll deal with any pushback and how you’ll approach training and adoption.
Because so many software implementations experience delays, you need a timeline with clear milestones to stay on track. That timeline could include:
- A free trial period where you gather input from employees who will use the technology
- An initial pilot program or proof of concept before you roll it out to the larger organization
- Gathering and converting all the data you’ll need to input into your new system
- Setting up workflows and processes with help from your workplace technology vendor
- Testing and validating these processes work as intended
- Your official go-live date
- Introducing employees to the new solution
- Hosting training sessions by role or department
- Gathering feedback
- When you will stop supporting any previous systems you had in place
It’s also helpful to outline tasks associated with each milestone and who will be responsible for each. A RACI chart can help you determine who else should be accountable, consulted, and informed.
Communicate the value from the start
Your employees never should be surprised by a big change, especially if it’s a new technology that will impact their day-to-day processes. By using clear and frequent communication early on, you can ensure your workforce is well informed of what the technology is, why you’ll be implementing it and what benefits you expect to see long before you actually roll out the changes. Be as open as possible about why you’re making the change.
Don’t be surprised or insulted by resistance
Change is hard and you should expect some resistance. Be prepared to respond to resistance and overcome it in a way that doesn’t hurt employee engagement.
Invite employees to share their concerns and seek to understand what’s behind them. They might be worried the new solution will interfere with their productivity or even the perception of their value to the organization. If a new solution is replacing a significant portion of someone’s daily responsibilities (such as checking in visitors), be sure to discuss how this will allow them to focus on more important priorities. Your workforce should feel that their concerns are heard and addressed, even if full adoption of the technology remains the ultimate goal.
Find your champions
Identify the people in your organization you can count on to champion your new technology and strategically engage them in the rollout. They’ll be able to help others learn the more challenging processes of using the technology, and they’ll be able to meet negativity head-on with positivity. Cultivating excitement is a great way to get your organization energized for change — and positivity leaders can help motivate everyone else to get on board.
Make the launch an exciting event
While you don’t need to oversell your new technology, there’s no harm in making the launch and subsequent training sessions something to celebrate. Crafting a presentation that is enjoyable and engaging for your employees can help build interest in the new technology and make the transition period less of a struggle.
Some companies even host scavenger hunts with prizes to encourage employees to use the new solution to complete various tasks, such as finding people and places.
Plan to track your success
Since your employees will go to the trouble of learning new workplace technology, the least you can do is show them its benefits after it’s been in use for a certain period of time. Based on the benefits you expect to see, track the impact of the new technology on productivity, efficiency or ROI. This will help you know for sure that your investment is paying off, while also giving your team something to celebrate.
Above all, make sure you’re being considerate of your employees’ needs during this transition period. With a little planning, thoughtfulness, and encouragement, it won’t be long before your new technology is an essential part of the daily routine.
Improve user adoption with the right workplace technology
One of the best ways to improve technology user adoption is to start with solutions that are easy for everyone to use.
The Hummingbird workplace app makes it easy for employees to find people and places, reserve space, request service, and receive mail, visitors, or important announcements. It connects to the technology your workplace already uses, including Active Directory, calendar apps, and email, food delivery and ride-sharing apps, and Slack for a seamless experience.
Hummingbird gives employees more control of their day, whether they’re working in the office or at home.
More than 40% of our customers already use it to keep their workforce connected and gain deeper insights into how employees use their space. To get a closer look at how it works, request a live demo today.