Getting Over the Technology Adoption Hurdle
I am sorry to say that on more than one occasion I’ve seen a business invest significant time and money in planning and executing a new technology solution only to find that it fails at the implementation stage.
Whether you’re introducing a new system, like a cloud-based collaboration platform intended to streamline communication; or overhauling an old one, such as moving your bookkeeping from MYOB to Xero; you’ll find that all the careful planning in the world can’t guarantee that final necessary ingredient: team buy-in.
To smooth the bumps along the road and encourage your team to embrace the new technology tools, I suggest these steps:
1. Develop a vision
What is your vision for what the new technology will help your business achieve? What will success look like? Creating a short vision statement (a few bullet points) will help you keep your end goal in mind.
In order to get your employees on board, you need to communicate your vision. Communicate to employees how the new technology will help them save time, do their jobs better or otherwise positively impact their work.
3. Create a sense of urgency
Change is inherently stressful. The law of inertia means most employees will dawdle or outright avoid learning the new system if left to their own devices. It’s up to you to convey a sense of urgency so everyone learns how to use the new technology.
If it’s a replacement program for a daily work task (like MYOB to Xero), creating urgency may be as simple as nominating a date for complete switch-over. But that’s not creating buy-in, is it?
To get your team committed to your schedule, you need to include them in the planning process. Everyone needs to agree that the plan is reasonable and achievable.
Of course, there’s always at least one staff member who’s reluctant to embrace change of any kind. Ask them why they don’t agree with the plan, which elements cause them concern, and what would they propose as an alternative. This is an excellent way to overcome petty objections to change and help all members of the ream feel valued and positive about the project.
No matter how helpful new IT systems will be to your employees and your business in the long run, convincing your team to adopt the new technology can be a struggle. Treating such changes as projects, with implementation planning and employee consultation strategies ensures a smoother transition and better outcome.