5 Steps to Increase Software Adoption Among Employees

by Erin Sevitz on October 27, 2022

Digital transformation is crucial to company growth. Yet, among the top tech companies, 63% feel technical change isn’t happening fast enough in their workplace. While the resources may be there, most employees feel under-informed about what is available.

Again and again, SaaS companies are overly focused on releasing as many features as possible, as quickly as possible, that they miss the mark on elements such as user experience (UX). Teams who find a product’s employee UX too complicated are more likely to avoid using it, despite how beneficial it could be.

5 Steps to Increase Software Adoption Among Employees

Regardless of recent technological advances, productivity rates haven’t improved as they should – with only 13% of all employees feeling engaged at work. 76% of professionals admitted technology plays a significant role in their work, but less than 50% of those employees felt leadership implemented the right solutions to improve their quality of work.

So, how can companies simplify the technology adoption lifecycle while engaging employees across the organization?

1. Select the Right Tools

Investing in the right tools for your business is the first step. Digital technology adoption shouldn’t be about getting the latest tech kit, but locating the problem areas in your workflow. Once you recognize the problems, find their cause, and search for tech solutions to overcome them.

To carefully select the tools suitable for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • How does this technology serve my organization’s goals?
  • What pain points does this software solve?
  • How difficult will it be to rollout the new tool?

Adopting new technology successfully is more than giving your employees login credentials. Companies must adequately deploy the tool with seamless integration into current processes. Identify an ideal adoption timeline, considering there will be a learning curve and workers require training.

Employees must know the value the new solution brings and the ultimate purpose of the tech. Just as the technology was sold to you, you must sell it to your teams. They will be more motivated to adopt the tool if they understand how it serves the business and simplifies their workflow.

2. Good UX Matters

As you explore new solutions – focusing on the technology adoption curve – don’t forget about user experience (UX). Price and feature sets are not the only factors to help determine a program. Employees want simplicity.

The main reason new technology fails is employee resistance due to bad UX.

UX is a key factor in technology user adoption. If your workers don’t have a good experience with the solution, they probably won’t continue to use it. So make sure your investment doesn’t go to waste, and teams are as excited about the new technology as you are.

Ensure that the UX is easy to use and that employees have the resources to succeed – including additional training or a longer rollout. Rather than focusing on how quickly you can get employees to use the new software, focus on ensuring they know how to use it properly.

3. Develop a Training Strategy Early

Despite how simple your digital transformation appears, assume your workforce will need training. Anticipate this early in the technology adoption. While some employees may find the software easy, others may find it more challenging to learn. Professionals who have used the same software for years will find it especially harder to implement.

When building a training strategy, keep in mind the following:

  • Budget training expenses as part of the rollout
  • Provide early training access to a small group of users and gain feedback to help fine-tune training before the launch
  • Give early training to one or two users within each team so they can support others post-launch
  • Expect some employees to give pushback and have a plan on how to address their concerns
  • Create and ensure continuous learning on the software

The best training encourages employee engagement. While product guides and presentations are beneficial, they aren’t enough. Instead, ask employees to complete a task – that is relevant to their job – using the new tool. Hands-on learning is the key to successful technology adoption, as it offers employees the proper time and space to think and learn.

Ultimately, training must be a part of the technology adoption process. Skipping out on it will likely lead to a frustrated and resistant workforce.

4. Plan a Strategic Rollout

There are four phases to a strategic rollout – initiation, planning, execution, and wrapping up. The planning stage requires extra attention because it requires a strategy, lots of coordination, and detail-oriented work.

A software rollout plan refers to the roadmap to implementing new software into a business and introducing it to employees. How effective a rollout plan is will determine how well the product is received. Conversely, not having a solid plan will result in less software adoption.

Here’s what to include in your software rollout plan:

  • Announce it beforehand – the rollout should not surprise any employees
  • Explain the benefits – help employees understand why they’re adopting the new tool
  • Set up deadlines and milestones – track the software transition process
  • Training dates – know when each team will be training
  • Ask for feedback – employees who feel heard are more likely to be on board

A rollout strategy will factor in several aspects; key users and stakeholders, the complexity of the upgrade, and how much training is needed.

When strategy meets intention, companies will have a successful rollout.

5. Follow Up

While this is the most straightforward step in technology adoption, it’s often overlooked. A company puts its money, time, and energy into a new software rollout. Therefore, they must follow up with employees to ensure they are utilizing it and that the software benefits their jobs.

Feedback is vital to know if the software has proven successful, whether employees need further training, and if there are any remaining pain points. Digital transformation is constant. Companies are never really finished after the adoption of new technology.

Regardless of adopting new software, the reality is, there may still be issues. If there are, it’s important to pay attention to them. Show your employees that you’re willing to continue to respond to their needs and suggestions when they arise. They may see problem areas that you didn’t anticipate.

No matter how great your software rollout plan is, don’t assume it’ll go perfectly. Instead, keep your ears and eyes open to positive and negative feedback.

Make Your Next Software Adoption the Best One Yet

Almost all companies embrace new and improved technology in today’s digital transformation era. But rolling out new software is a huge process. How employees receive the software tells whether it will be successful. To increase software adoption among employees, carefully select the right technology, plan a strategic rollout, properly train your employees, and listen to their feedback.

While your company may see the benefit of new technology, employees are leading the charge. To reduce the risk of disengaged and disinterested employees, educate them on the benefits of the software. Successful software adoption occurs when employees make the most of the new technology.


Erin Sevitz

Erin Sevitz is the Senior Director of Marketing at iOFFICE + SpaceIQ.

Capterra Ratings: ★★★★★ 4.5/5