How to Implement New Workplace Technology
Who doesn't want to increase employee engagement and productivity? (I hear crickets.)
Research shows that job satisfaction improves when employees have the right workplace technology, i.e. the tools that enable them to be more efficient at their jobs.
But it's not just a matter of purchasing the right tech – although that's a great starting point. You also have to consider how to implement new workplace technology. The difference between a successful rollout and an expensive learning curve is how quickly and thoroughly employees adopt the new tool set.
So what can you do to ensure tools are happily accepted and used by your employees?
Ask questions first.
We're cheating a little bit here, because this step should actually take place before implementation – before you even choose a solution, in fact.
Talk to your employees, either through one-on-one interviews or by sending out surveys, to find out what additional resources they suggest. Find out what’s working, what’s not, and what tools could help them be better at their jobs.
When organizations don't seek an employee consultation, the tools they roll out tend to be "over-engineered," and IT ends up spending more money on features than necessary, said Erika Van Noort, director of consulting at IT service provider Softchoice.
So get feedback early on. It could save you money and make adoption easier, when it does come time to roll out the new solution.
Explain why a change is needed in the first place. (WIIFM)
According to a study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting, 63% of managers said the pace of technological change in their workplaces is too slow, primarily due to a “lack of urgency” and poor communication about the strategic benefits of new tools.
Just like your customers, your employees need to know what day-to-day pain points can be solved by the solution you're providing for them. Take the time to explain why new tools are needed, and show specific examples of how employees can use them to be more efficient and effective at their jobs.
Provide training and time to learn.
Very few employees will start off liking a new solution if they're forced to switch tools without any time to get up to speed. So plan to give them training – in whatever form makes the most sense for them, whether it's email instructions or a video tutorial – and enough time to learn to use the new technology.
Although your IT team will have tested and implemented any new technology, and therefore are in a good position to train end users, don't put all the burden of training on them. Get managers to help train their teams. Not only can they lead by example, but they can also make sure that the new tools become part of their department's day-to-day activities and processes.Once employees do start using the technology, point out the positive impact it’s having on your organization. The reinforcement will encourage further adoption.
To effectively boost engagement and productivity, take the right steps to implement technology. That includes thinking about the tech rollout from the perspective of the people who are actually using the tools.