Workplace productivity has increased 84% during the past 40 years because of advancements in digital technology. Of course, the increased level of panic when a new tool is announced is probably a direct correlation to that advancement. If there’s one thing leaders can all agree on, it’s that introducing new processes is one of the most stressful and controversial parts of the job. While the products are eventually adopted, productivity and performance can suffer. These 8 tips will help employees afraid of change stay on track while you introduce new, time-saving tech.
1. Be Realistic
The number one rule for all introductions to your organization, whether they are employees or processes, is to be realistic. Understand how your employees currently work and what seems to be causes for frustration, then be very dedicated to either easing those frustrations or explaining why a change, no matter how difficult, is necessary. Often, people are opposed to changes that will affect their daily schedules, so coaching and support are absolutely necessary to every step made from this point on.
Rule of thumb: However long you think the transition will take, add a month to the tail end.
2. Do Your Research
Before settling on a product, there should be a great deal of researching, demoing, budget conversing, etc. This is probably the biggest no brainer, but there are essential research steps many overzealous and time strained organizations forget when looking for new tools and it’s during the implementation that people regret the oversights. To avoid this, record all research. When looking for a new tool, you’re often considering multiple choices which creates the chance of confusing features of multiple platforms (it’s for this reason the ClearCompany solutions page is so detailed). Cut the noise by gathering as much information as possible and making notes in an organized place.
Pro Tip: Create a centralized location using DropBox or Evernote to allow everyone to contribute pricing sheets, recorded webinars, buyers’ guides and more so all the info is easy to access.
3. Choose a Point of Contact
Decide on a key person or people to act as a resource during the implementation of a chosen product. If these individuals cannot be a part of the selection process, the recorded research and information you gather in the demo stages will be great briefing material. Have these key contacts be a part of the onboarding process and train with the product’s team. If webinars or other learning classes are an option, ensure the implementation team can be present. This small team of core internal experts will be your employees solid resources to inquire from or troubleshoot with.
Choose the right person: Select someone organized (you know the person who LOVES making spreadsheets to collate information and create an email address that forwards to all the relevant team members so no one is dropped off the thread!
4. Create Curriculum
With all the research and training time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with information. This can be especially true when a product is consolidating numerous processes and departmental work. Instead of having all employees learn all parts, create curriculum with the core implementation team and separate the information out among the various departments. Of course, encourage questions or further exploration as long as goals and deadlines are met.
How are you implementing new technology in your organization? Give this a shot:
Save time: Try having one person on a different webinar, demo or learning session and then inviting them to teach their colleagues. Not only will they learn their particular tool or skill better, you’ll have an SME in each area.
5. Embrace Screencasting
You employ various learners, no matter the organization’s size. There are various opinions, but a simple approach is there are 4 different learners: visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinesthetic. As titles suggest, some people retain information better when they see it in action, others when they hear it presented, others need the chance to write out the process while some need to perform a project for themselves. A screencast presentation calls for one person to record themselves completing a task, their approach to the completion then share it with the team. The information is always available and provides a visual representation with voiced, step-by-step guidance, great for all 4 learners to adapt.
Use this training and learning process that works great for all 4 types of learners:
Build a library of guidance: Find a free tool like Screen-Cast-o-Matic or Jing and have each person record 5 minutes around the new process or challenge them to find the best process hack!
6. Communicate Transparently
Everyone, from the core implementation team to employee should know exactly why a product was selected, what features swayed the purchasing decision, what features will not be included, who will be affected, how they will be affected and who can be contacted for help. Even small details may eventually become bigger ordeals later, especially if your organization is one that encourages internal growth.
Encourage FAQs: Just kidding. Questions are asked less frequently when you answer all of them in an open thread, forum or wiki.
7. Compare to Established Tools
For particularly confusing features or processes, call on your team’s technological prowess or experience. Is there a current tool or social network with a similar interface? Making those comparisons allows team members to better grasp more foreign concepts and might help facilitate questions before they jump into the platform.
Try the movie pitch tactic: “It’s exactly like Jaws plus Twister.” Sharknado! You can use this when describing your new process or tool to your team. “It’s just like Excel but web-based and searchable from all vantage points.”
8. Set Incremental Goals
If you want progress in anything, set goals. Goal alignment helps employees stay on track and is a key driver in growth. Depending on the tool or department needs, goals may be numerically based or focused more on growth. Before setting those goals, allow employees to work within the tool for a week or two so they can familiarize themselves with dashboards, user interface and features. Create baseline expectations from that discovery period.
Track your progress: In almost everything, it’s the little things that keep people engaged. Focus on rewarding small goals and usage day by day and week by week to encourage greater participation.
No longer fearing new tech and want to start bettering your talent management processes? Look no further than ClearCompany. Our performance management system answers to all the small and large details of creating successful and productive teams. Schedule a demo and start your research in the meantime!
As ClearCompany's HR Business Partner, Laura focuses on all things HR including managing employee benefits, onboarding and engagement initiatives. With a keen focus on best-practices, she serves as a strategic partner to the leadership team by acting as a trusted resource on a wide variety of human resources topics including policy interpretation, creating and recommending enhancements to the HR process, and career development.