As company leaders continue to update their daily operational systems and how they conduct business with clients in a modern age, it’s no easy feat to get the team on board in one fell swoop or bring everyone up to speed in the same time frame.
To facilitate a smooth transition when you’re ready to switch platforms, you can ask for employee feedback through open dialogue sessions, launch a pilot program with internal ambassadors to test your theory on better solutions, or bring in a few industry specialists to help build your case. At the end of the day, employees will appreciate being included upfront in the decision-making process no matter what the outcome.
Below, 13 members of Forbes Human Resources Council provide strategies that managers may find useful as they ease staff members on different levels with diverse learning styles into a new approach of getting the job done.
1. Upskill And Reskill Your Employees
Organizations should provide ongoing internal opportunities to upskill and reskill. Employees benefit from the chance to build their resumes and skill sets and employers gain from an engaged workforce that’s up to speed on the latest tech. – Sundararajan Narayanan, Virtusa
2. Provide Managers With Training And Mentorship
Like with any new application or hardware, the HR leader needs to make it easy for employees to adopt. This means having training, documentation, subject matter experts or mentors identified that are available to support the employees with questions. Too often, there is an assumption the new tool is intuitive and simple. Well perhaps it is to the developer or HR professional, but maybe not to the first-level manager. – Gordon Pelosse, CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association
3. Create An Ambassadors Program
Identify and train key internal stakeholders to be ambassadors from various functions across the organization. This will demonstrate to the learners that there are mentors and role models to lean on with any questions or challenges, especially if they are within their business unit or direct team, to ensure they feel comfortable expressing how they feel. – Caroline Faulds, Canada Pooch
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4. Engage Employees In The Decision-Making Process
Employers can involve their employees in the decision-making process by using surveys or solicited feedback from focus groups and more to keep them engaged. Doing this will enable staff members to help leaders identify problems and solutions regarding the current system. Furthermore, being transparent about the reason for the changes, helping them understand why the new technology is needed and how it will help, will increase everyone’s interest in the adoption. Provide training in multiple formats to support different learning styles. – Laura Doner, Riverchase Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery
5. Make A Game Out Of It
HR leaders can incentivize employees to adapt to new technology beyond traditional training programs through gamification. Organizations can develop individual, team and department competitions to increase employee motivation, and ultimately performance around tech adoption. The best part is that gamification can be applied across other HR processes, such as recruitment and onboarding engagement. – Dr. Timothy J. Giardino, BMC Software
6. Pitch Your Case
Organizations should sell new tech to their employees the same way they would to any potential customer. This means going beyond the standard point-and-click training. Instead, leaders should approach training from a holistic perspective, motivating employees to learn and adopt new tech through an understanding of how it impacts the company and workflows as a whole. – Patrick Donegan, SEI
7. Foster A Culture Of Change Management
The introduction of new technology is about change management. So, I would prefer to introduce a special coaching session that is focused on emphasizing the benefits of change management. In my humble experience, employees fear change due to the fear of the unknown. If I were the head of human resources, I would speak more in favor of coaching staff members on the benefits of change rather than pushing them into accepting new technologies. – Prakash Raichur, Taghleef Industries
8. Bring In The Experts
Have an in-house implementation team with small- and mid-sized enterprise (SME) experts meet with the employees routinely to help them understand the importance and convenience of using the technology and brainstorm how to make an employee’s day more efficient. Developing a point person to drive the technology consistently will become your greatest asset to the adoption of the technology. – Kelsey Schnittgen, Mission Critical Solutions
9. Launch A Pilot Session
Introduce new technology that actually solves a common pain point. The results would be glaring and you won’t need to spend too much selling it. Also, word-of-mouth travels faster, so having a pilot session that trains change champions across teams ahead of deployment to be ready to drive the integration across the organization is impactful. This should include leaders’ role modeling as well. – Mofoluwaso Ilevbare, Primary Connect
10. Work Your Way Up
Applying a bottom-up approach to developing technology skills helps ensure employee engagement. Utilizing employee feedback to develop learning cohorts in various formats can be used to upskill and reskill employees in a people-centric way. – Loren Rosario-Maldonado, Claro Enterprise Solutions, Inc.
11. Put Your Employees Needs And Opinions First
In my experience, getting employee buy-in is crucial. That’s why I always encourage companies to create pilot programs and seek employee feedback before implementing new technology. Employee needs and opinions should come first. By making them feel valued in their opinion, you will not only increase loyalty and retention, but you’ll also know you’re implementing programs that actually work. – Graham Glass, CYPHER LEARNING
12. Make The Most Impact In A Limit Your Time Frame
For any change initiative to be successful one needs to ensure maximum adoption in the shortest time frame. Thus, the simplest way to do this is to ensure the “what is in it for me” is clear to the employees. During the pre-launch, adequate user experience, focused communication and training should be provided. During the launch, be sure that technical and behavioral support for the infrastructure is provided and post-launch includes helpdesk availability. – Rohit Manucha, SIH AGH
13. Add Tech Training Programs To Support Employees
Companies should provide training on new technology platforms, which can be part of the onboarding process and included in performance review goals. Also, employees who are comfortable with the technology should be available to help those who require additional instruction. This will not only expedite the implementation of new technology across the company but also encourage collaboration among employees who may not otherwise interact. – John Feldmann, Insperity