How to improve user adoption of new workplace technologies.

May 18, 2016    Andrew Peers     ,

Negative reactions to new workplace technology generally result in poor user adoption. It makes sense. So does the flip side. High user adoption comes from user-friendly systems and employees that understand the benefits they deliver to their day-to-day working lives.

But if employees feel a new system has been forced upon them without knowing what it will achieve for the business or them as an individual, adoption will always be hampered. Here are four tips to ensure that investment in new workplace technologies is met with a smile and increased productivity, rather than a grumpy set of technology-resistors.

Involve the users

Where possible involve employees in the decision making process. If you’re looking at several systems involve influential and vocal team members in trialling, reviewing and selecting the right solution. This will help to ensure ownership and adoption of the new system.

Make it intuitive

Thanks to smart phones and tablets we expect our technology to be super-intuitive. If you’re investing in a new system make sure you’ve thought about the user experience – it might provide great business intelligence but if it’s an onerous, cumbersome and time-consuming system you’ll be met with resistance. Think about how easy the new system is for your team to use.

Explain how the new system will benefit your employees

Make sure you can answer the question ‘what’s in it for me?’ If video conferencing facilities will help your team reduce the nights they spend away from home, or a new shared document system will reduce time spent formulating internal reports then spell it out to your team in those terms. If they can see the personal and business value of the new system they will be much more likely to embrace the new technology.

Give widespread training and advice – use mentors and champions

One of the biggest complaints from employees is that they’ve not been shown how to use new systems properly. Whether it’s a relatively simple room booking system or new project management software, appoint mentors or champions in each department to help colleagues get to grips with it. Without the right training and support you can’t expect your business to embrace a new way of working or technology fully.

Incentivise its use – particularly useful to combat people reverting to the ‘old way’

Encourage your team to invest time and effort in the new system. If you don’t they might revert to the ‘old way’ which flies in the face of the sizeable investment you’ve made and can lead to greater process inefficiency. Incentives might be based around rewarding early adopters, thanking self-adopted mentors or providing a company night out following a period of new system integration.

The best user adoption occurs when systems look good, are intuitive and mobile and build efficiency into the individual user’s working day. Investing in technology and infrastructure is only half the job – make sure your employees know how to make it deliver.

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