Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Getting your team to adopt new technology should be a no-brainer. After all, your organization has invested a significant amount of money in a tool to produce improved results, increased efficiency, greater security, and happier workers. But, adopting software requires behavior change. And by nature, humans are resistant to change. True adoption takes more than learning navigation. True adoption requires a fundamentally different way of working.
Define a vision & communicate early on
For your team to adopt any change, they first need to understand, agree, and commit to the proposed change. Make sure you involve, consult, and prepare the people who will be impacted by the future solution. No worker wants to be blindsided by a totally new system, no matter how superior it is to their previous methodology. They want to be a part of the implementation process, conveying what they need to drive their daily performance. Plus, involving end users early gives you an opportunity to shape their expectations for what’s to come.
Get leadership support
In order to make sure your team is fully committed; leadership needs to be fully committed to encouraging (dare we say, demanding?) technology use. Owners, VPs, Directors, Managers— everyone needs to be on board and ready to put in the work to make sure the staff is prepared, motivated and positioned well to learn the program. By requiring use of the new system, executives can guide the company past the sometimes-painful training phase.
With internal software, the end user is the customer. Providing ongoing training opportunities is a key ingredient for user adoption success. Host group and individual orientation sessions to kick-off the implementation. Even if the new technology is very intuitive, different departments may use it in unique ways and sharing successful use cases between departments aids the speed of adoption. Learning from co-workers is one of the most effective ways to adopt new technology.
Research shows that people have a natural tendency to comply with requests when they fully understand the rationale behind the expectation. If users are not eagerly adopting a new change, it’s an indication that they may not understand the why. Designating a few team members as champions to sponsor and advocate for the new software internally can go a long way. Involve these people throughout the process, and empower them to help adopt the tool, helping with questions and training as needed.
For better engagement across the user base, offer tips and tricks to better leverage the new system or invest in additional training resources to help users become experts. Consider creating a certification program for the new technology or encourage users to participate in an existing vendor program. Be sure you provide recognition and share stories of internal success!
Engage users & provide value
Just as you seek customer reviews and testimonials, you want the same with your staff. Develop surveys to determine if you are working in the right direction to increase your user adoption. By engaging the end user to voice concerns and improvement requests, you will gain valuable insights and get a better understanding of pain points.
Surveys don’t have to be the only way to provide value. Some applications, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, have a built-in gamification platform to engage employees and drive top performance. Everyone can participate in contests, regardless of their role in the company. Participants can win awards, prizes, and bragging rights, which are helpful external motivators to drive their impact on business results. When you make teams, you create healthy competition among colleagues and foster team spirit.
Commit to the system
Don’t just plug in the tool and expect it to run on its own. Recognize that a roll-out is never really “complete” – even after your employees have switched over fully to your new technology. It’s important to check in with your users regularly, evaluate how adoption is going and be sure they aren’t slipping back to their old habits. Permanent change takes time.