Smoothing the Way for Employees to Adapt to New Technologies
As mentioned in last week’s blog, getting employees to adapt to new technologies has been challenging well before the pandemic. However, remote work has definitely brought this issue to the forefront. How can companies make learning and adapting to new technologies and digital platforms easier and smoother for their workforce?
Here are a few tips you can use to introduce new technologies. Implementing some of these strategies can make things go a little smoother for everyone.
Show Them the Big Picture
Show your employee’s how the new software will help them and the company. Consider their needs, their problems, and how this new tool addresses them. Your employees need to connect with the value of the new technology before they can accept it. Take time to create a comprehensive presentation that really highlights these benefits.
Get Their Input Throughout the Process
Companies implement new technologies to help the operations run smoother, improve efficiency and increase production. Employees are not in a vacuum. They realize that change in inevitable. However, when management just drops new technologies and processes on them without asking for their input, opinions or concerns, employees feel disrespected. So, as much as possible, bring the ultimate users of the technology into the development loop. The more they are part of the process, the more likely they will champion the change and work harder for its successful implementation.
Get Your Early Adopters to Tackle the Change First
Some employees take to new technology better than others. This is true no matter the industry or the type of job. So if you can get your “early adopters” to fully learn and support the new technology, they can be a close resource for those that struggle. It is one thing to have IT support that you can call, but having someone in the cubicle right next to you available to help is so much better.
Make Training Relevant and Enjoyable
There are a number of ways to make technology training more effective and enjoyable:
- Show specifically how the new technology can improve their work lives – Don’t just give canned generic training, use situations that they will face in their work.
- Accommodate different learning styles – Incorporate demos and hands-on activities along with traditional lectures.
- Make the event special – Give employees a change of scenery, add in some free food and drink and a little socializing, and you will automatically have a more festive vibe.
Listen to Feedback
Make sure that you have a strong feedback systems in place. If employees know that their ideas and suggestions will be listened to, this will boost engagement. But be prepared for both positive and negative feedback. Introducing fresh tech will almost inevitably come with some issues and teething pains, or may conflict with established systems and practices.
Give It Time, But Be Willing to Reassess
There will almost always be some resistance to change at first, but if your employees have done everything they can to learn and adapt to the new technology and the results you are looking for are just not there, it may be time to reassess. You may need a competing product that works smoother, or this area may not be the one that you should be adding new technology to.
In both business and in life, change is inevitable. However, by keeping communication open, highlighting the real benefits of the change and making sure that everyone is supported, changes can be adapted to more smoothly. By helping your employees adapt to technology changes as smoothly as possible, they will know that you care and will be more willing to learn and engage in the process.
By Ann Condon, Marketing Manager
Ann Condon has been with Dion for 17 years, working in Dion’s Marketing and Business Development Department. Although this was her first position with a jewelry manufacturer, she has learned a lot over the years. Ann enjoys getting involved in “All Things Dion” from volunteering at the Dion Golf Tournament to being a part of the Dion Diamonds Relay for Life Team. She has quite a number of Dion event t-shirts to show for it!
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