It’s hardly rocket science that people use the collaboration services they always have, that they know works for them and helps them get their job done. Who has time to add getting to grips with a new application to their to do list, or risk the embarrassment of a new tool not working on a high profile call?
Organisations spend money on tools that help make jobs easier, but employees aren’t always falling over themselves to use them. Why? Some simply don’t know the tools are there. And of the ones that do, our research found that almost half say they don’t know how to use them properly, or how they can help make their job easier. Introducing a new technology without getting your people on side won’t succeed. So how do you make sure no one is left behind?
Over the years, we’ve helped over 800,000 people adopt and adapt to new technologies. And it’s taught us there are some key things to consider:
Like planning a party, one of the top things on your to-do list should be making sure people know it’s coming. Team up with your internal marketing, and create interest, demand and share content that gets people excited about the technology you’re bringing in. And if you can get the people at the top making noise, all the better. Seek out, reward and highlight people or departments that have embraced the new tools.
Your organisation’s made up of a network of departments, each with their own needs, and all using technology in different ways. Maybe your sales team are mobile-heavy users, always out on the road. While your executives spend their days in meeting rooms. And your in-branch team are glued to their emails. But you want to cut down on those travel costs, save floor space and get people talking more.
To do that, you have to show your employees how it will benefit them in their role and answer that critical question “What’s in it for me?”
Once the technology’s in place, you need to educate and coach people, remembering that different people need different levels of support. Run a welcome programme that gets your people up to speed, and feeling confident enough to get stuck in straight away. Set your employees up with their new account details, run tutorials on how they can get the most from their new tools, sign them up for one-to-one coaching, and show them all the ways they can get help. There’s a lot to be said for starting off on the right foot.
By building a community, you can harness the influence of peers, create an online community that employees can visit to share their experiences, tout their successes, ask questions and give and receive advice. We saw that by sending a simple email, more than 50 per cent of employees took up a new bit of kit. When they could talk to a helpdesk, this figure went up to 80 per cent. Not bad when if you do nothing, you could be looking at uptake as low as ten per cent.
Technology investments will never fully rise to their expected potential unless people come first and technology second. You have to get to know how your employees go about their jobs, how you’d like them to be working, and keep an eye on where your business is heading. In this case, the key question to ask isn’t “What is it you want?” but rather “What is it you need?”
From there, you can specify the right technologies for each employee’s role in the organisation, which helps you avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to deployment, which often acts as a barrier to adoption. And that ‘user adoption plan’ needs to be on the agenda at the technical design stage and user adoption communications and training material need to be part of the UAT/pilot stage.
By keeping an eye on how employees are using the new tools, you can make sure they’re getting the most from the technology. And if there are certain things that aren’t seeing much of an uptake, you can tailor your content plan to help demystify them. Or, set up one-to-one coaching sessions to get to the bottom of even the trickiest challenges.
Time doesn’t stand still, and minutes spent getting to grips with new tools and technology soon add up. But you can head off the teething problems and the costs that come with them, before they even come up.
We launched an adoption plan with a leading bank, and saw 80 per cent adoption over four months. Then they signed up an extra 1,000 users when people started talking about how the new technology was a help, not a hindrance. And we saved one retailer £1.5 million. Once we’d got their users up to speed, it meant they didn’t need have to resign a contract that tied them down.
Technology plus user adoption equals success. But without user adoption, projects often aren’t a success, meaning you don’t deliver the ROI you want and your users don’t benefit from improved collaboration.
Find out more about how to increase collaboration to capitalise on your technology investment.