I know that adopting new technology for my business is one of the best ways to improve our overall efficiency; getting people on a new dashboard or introducing them to a new app can dramatically improve conversational efficiency, keep people organized, and give us access to more data so you can make better high-level decisions. But how can I do it efficiently and effectively?
Great question. It turns out that there are sometimes key challenges standing in the way of the integration of new tech tools in any company or organization. Namely, it’s difficult to train your team in a way that allows them to use those tools productively, consistently, and stress-free.
Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to make that training process easier—and dramatically increase the productive potential of your new tools.
Choose More Intuitive Tools
Everything starts with your choice in tools. There are hundreds of tech tools available in every category, so weigh your options carefully, and go with a solution you feel would be easy for your team to learn and adopt. For example, if you’re looking for a reporting tool, you’ll want to choose an option with a forgiving learning curve, or one with enough automated features that your team won’t have to take much manual action. Most tech tools allow you some kind of free demo before you purchase the full version, so give it a try for yourself—are you able to figure out how to use this within a few minutes? Or did you have to search for answers on how to handle even the most basic functions? Try to integrate new technology that’s relatively easy to understand.
Prepare for a Phased Transition
Next, create an action plan for a phased transition. You’ll either be moving from entirely manual processes to a tech-assisted or digital process, or you’ll be transferring from one app/system to another of a similar type.
Either way, you should set this up in a sequence of “phases," of at least a week each, such as “become familiar with the new system," “migrate data to new system," “rely primarily on new system with old system as backup," and “rely exclusively on the new system." This is less jarring for your employees than an overnight switch, but will also ensure you stay on track and aren’t overly dependent on the old system.
Make People Comfortable
Take the time to make your employees comfortable with the new system, one way or another. If possible, you can make them an active part of choosing a new system, giving them options and asking them to try each to see which they prefer. You can also discuss with them any concerns they have in private, and work proactively to make them feel excited about the transition. Make sure to emphasize how this is going to make their job easier or better.
Host Workshops in Advance
Well in advance of the transition, host a workshop or two that allows your employees to work with the new system, hands-on. Think of this as a trial run for the full launch; not only will you acquaint people with the new design and new features, you’ll also get a sneak preview of the common issues you’re bound to run into during the transition. Start with a live demonstration by someone very familiar with the new tech tool, but also make sure everyone has some one-on-one time to learn the ropes themselves.
Create Video Tutorials or Recommend Existing Videos
Hopefully, the tool you choose will have some documentation on how best to use it. Written FAQs and guides are helpful, but it’s even better to have a series of video tutorials to walk people through what’s required of them, and highlight what makes the tool unique. If there aren’t any to call upon from the app developer, you can make some of your own. Either way, make sure your team has documents to rely on when learning the new tool so they can discover new features and educate themselves when they encounter a challenge.
Have a System in Place for Technical Support
Finally, understand that almost every employee you have will eventually encounter a question, a bug, or some kind of hiccup that interferes with their productivity while using the new tool. When this happens, make sure you have a system in place for technical support, whether that’s an onsite IT professional who can guide employees through the basics, or the tech support offered by the app developer.
Integrating a new technology doesn’t have to be intimidating, nor should it be. Be proactive in addressing your team’s concerns, apprehensions, and potential learning curves will allow you to create a much smoother transition—so you can all start benefiting from the advantages of the new technology faster.