IT managers and their teams all over the world make many efforts searching for the best technologies to help employees work better. Yet, what usually happens, is that only few people will actually use new technologies. Instead, the great majority will continue using old tools and methods of working.
How can managers and leaders be sure that employees use efficiently new tools that cost so much? The answer could be found in these four tactics.
Involve employees in the change
Do not leave the IT manger and his team alone in the choice of the new applications. If you engage other employees in the decision making process, the result will be more productive. In this way, people involved in the process will be more enthusiastic in adopting and using new technologies. With a snowball effect, employees can even spread their enthusiasm and positive attitude to other colleagues.
Choose intuitive tools
Think about the most successful technologies, applications and tools that you know and use. Why do you appreciate them so much? Which features do you like the most? If the answer is: easy and handy to use, intuitive, useful, attractive, then you are right. Apple for example, has constructed his success and reputation on these characteristics. In business, it works exactly in the same way. Why should a company application be complex and difficult to use? The most successful tools require minimal training and foster the user’s intuition. In this way, employees will not be stressed: they just have to explore. User experience is fundamental in the change process!
Go step by step
You cannot pretend that every employee will use the tool from the first moment on. The process of user adoption is long and challenging. Moreover, people cannot use every tool and application offered by a new software. Think about Microsoft Office 365: there are more than 20 apps. Do you really think that your staff will use all of them? This is not going to happen. Priorities should be established, also based on employees needs in their daily work.
Find the right change management and user adoption strategy
You cannot even imagine that all employees together will adopt the technologies, just because you decided to change the methods and tools for working. The right adoption strategy consists on identifying different groups of people in the organization that have different attitudes towards technology and changes. Select the innovators: they will adopt the novelties immediately and are good influencers. They will act as ambassadors, spreading and explaining the tools to others. The second group will be composed by the early adopters, those employees that will accept the challenge from the innovators and adopt the new tools. Hopefully, champions will then appear as people who struggle with technology, but success in facing the issues, because they see the value and the benefits of the applications. Lastly, also other employees will be involved in the adoption of the new technologies, even if this does not mean that actually everyone will use the tools successfully. The user adoption is usually around 84%. There will always be a 16% of reluctant people, resistant to change. Do not forget that communication is important to promote early success and motivate more employees to join you in the change process! If this will be done in the right way, people will see the value to the company and will ask to be part of the challenge: resistance will become demand.
In conclusion, introducing new technologies, tools, software, apps in your company can be seen as a simple thing: just choose the tool and then tell your employees to use it. But in the reality, things do not go this way. The process of user adoption is risky and challenging. But leaders and managers know how to deal with it: the right strategy, planning and motivation. After all, is it true that the ability to inspire and motivate others is one of the main (and essential) features of a leader? So, arm yourself with these characteristics and fight for 100% happy user adoption among your employees!