It seems as though the world goes into a frenzy of excitement when there’s a new smartphone release or an app makes a significant upgrade. But switching business technologies doesn’t seem to elicit the same response. While digital transformation is critical for an organization’s agility, getting every employee to adapt to new technologies is often a challenge.
Most cloud-based business platforms are marketed as ‘user friendly’. However, in the pursuit of product differentiation and innovation, cloud-based saas tools become more complex as the product’s functionality increases. Whether your team is composed of tech-savvy millennials or the self-proclaimed technologically-inept, new business platforms or applications will not be well-received if introduced incorrectly. To put it simply, technological readiness is not enough to drive user adoption. Leaders can undoubtedly anticipate luddites and skeptics but by following these strategic steps you can encourage the widespread adoption of new business technologies.
Emphasize the need
The slow pace of technological change in the workplace is primarily due to poor communication about the strategic benefits of the new technology. The right messaging coupled with a tactical integration can make all the difference in employee adoption. Prior to choosing a new business technology, survey your employees to discover their pain points with the current system and what features or functionality they would find valuable in a new technology. With their concerns in mind, introduce the new solution and explain how it eases employee workloads and helps streamline workflows. Employees are far more receptive to technologies adopted with intent and will make more of an effort to adapt.
Customized Department Training
Major SaaS tools are typically engineered to cover most of your business bases. From sales, to customer success, to tech support and beyond, cloud-based tools can often be leveraged by every team in your organization for a unified solution. However, not all of the technology’s features will need to be accessed by every employee. Rather than overwhelming your team by training them on tools they don’t need, cater each training session to focus on the features that each individual department will need to know. Keep sessions small and hands-on so employees have a chance to troubleshoot and ask questions.
Appoint an Expert
Appoint an expert, or network of experts, to be trained in all aspects of the new system. This person will act as the point of contact for anybody within your organization who has questions about the new technology and can coach others on how to leverage the tools to their benefit. This expert should be proficient in working horizontally across the organization, have good working relationships with other departments and be excellent communicators!
Most cloud-based organizations have a Customer Success team who serve as an advocate on their client’s behalf. Whether you have a unique support need, are interested in further training, or need to add or remove accounts, your Customer Success Manager will work with you to ensure you are receiving the tools and support you need to achieve your goal. The appointed expert should be actively invested in your new platform and build relationships with their Customer Success Manager. Having one team member work on behalf of your organization to discuss team-wide challenges, opportunities, and success stories with your software’s Customer Success Manager will help to ensure all your needs are being prioritized.
Drawing attention to the positive impact that the new technology has had on your team members will help influence your employee’s perception of said technology. Encourage your team to share their wins and success stories with colleagues. In the early stages of the launch, consider rewarding change leaders and early adopters. Whether you show praise through compensation, additional perks or simple recognition, the promise of rewards will create some hype and increase engagement.