Embracing new technologies within an organisation is rarely a walk in the park. However, as technology is progressing faster than ever before it is essential that businesses embrace these new innovations. Often, retaining laborious processes that slow down your business can be the difference between you and your competitors!
Changing your IT infrastructures and day-to-day processes can consume a lot of your businesses’ time. In order to mitigate the hurdles coming your way it is important to remember that successful deployment is centred on user-adoption. To achieve this you must put your employees first. Creating a user-centric approach is not difficult but there are some very important stages to keep in mind.
One of the first challenges that businesses face when rolling out new technology is that their employees do not always understand the need for change. According to the ADKAR model of change, awareness is essential. That is why clear communication is key. In particular, it is important to highlight the benefits of a new system and how the current technology might be hindering the business’ development.
As an employer you should articulate how the new technology will influence different workflows and how roles and responsibilities may change as a result. At this stage it is important that the communication is a two-way process. You should listen to your employees and reassure any concerns they may have over the new changes.
The model also states that there should be a desire to engage and participate in the new technology. What is very important with this stage is getting your employees to understand how the change influences them personally. When employees can really understand the worth of the new technology, their enthusiasm will grow. Building this acceptance early on is essential; it is much harder to build it later on in the process. To increase acceptance and desire to implement the change you should get influencers on board. Having certain members of the team that can drive up enthusiasm is key. They will be instrumental in evangelising the technology and creating a vision for other members of the team.
If your employees have both the awareness and the desire to implement a new technology then the next challenge is always how do they adapt to these new methods? This can often be a matter of giving your employees the appropriate training and support. Regardless of how intuitive you may think the piece of technology is different employees will require different levels of training. Understanding the most appropriate methods of training for your employees will ensure that a level of high user-adoption is possible.
Another obstacle that can often arise at this stage is adopting the new technology consistently and not going back to the original way of working. To mitigate this you should consistently measure progress, making sure you document the business productivity between the old and the new system will instil trust in your employees. Don’t let communication stop at this stage, instead make employees aware of the considerable benefits the business is experiencing from the new technology implementation. Having this reinforced message will help to strengthen the acceptance and drive even more enthusiasm. You should therefore highlight the small wins and reward employees who are instrumental in creating a smooth deployment.
In order for business to grow and progress it is important to always review the technology you are using. Continuing to introduce smarter technology that will help to further enhance your business processes will be the key to success.