Technology has come a long way in the last 15 years. We can order food with a touch of a button, get a cab with a geo-tracking app and monitor our fitness with a smart phone connected to a wrist band. Dial-up internet is the thing of the past. We no longer use travel agencies to book our trips. Technology has streamlined and improved numerous aspects of our both lives inside and outside of work.
However, not all of us adopt innovation in tech at the same pace. Everett Rogers’s Diffusion of Innovations theory offers a perfect illustration.
So, be honest, are you one of the people, when faced with a new piece of software or technology, refuses to try it out because of the ‘that’s how I always did it’ mentality? If so, you definitely fall into one of the two categories on the right side of the graph – the “late majority” or the “laggards.”
While no one is forcing you to start using Uber or post selfies on Snapchat, we do urge you not to let your business get affected because you are not willing to embrace new technologies. We have prepared a few tips that will hopefully help you and your team with the adoption process.
1. It is not as scary as it seems.
Change is difficult. We get it. Most of the time it stems from the fear of the unknown. However, most tech these days is created to be intuitive and user-friendly. What you have to keep in mind is that after you get over your initial stubbornness and give it a try, you will be able to simplify and automate a myriad of processes in your life. Easy log-ins, data input and upkeep, information communication are just some of the examples of processes you can automate with a touch of a button.
2. Understand and explain the benefits.
You may keep hearing about an increasing number of companies moving to the cloud. However, do you understand the advantages of cloud computing? Does it make sense why it increases efficiency and reduces downtime? Before transitioning your entire office to a new piece of software, fully understand the benefits and prepare to communicate them to your staff. Your employees are a lot more likely to commit time to learn a new tool if they understand how it will simplify their daily processes as opposed to the ‘because the boss said so’ rationale.
3. Lead by example.
Your staff will not be motivated to use a new piece of software to its fullest if they see the lack of commitment from their managers/supervisors. The key to a successful adoption is to explore and understand its every feature. While in the first few days it may slow down regular processes as you and your staff get adjusted, it is crucial that management takes the lead in powering through this initial stage.
4. Take advantage of the tutorials.
There is a reason why software companies offer trainings and tutorials when you purchase their product – to make the transition for you as painless as possible. Don’t neglect this opportunity. Make the time to talk to the company’s representatives or watch a few tutorial clips. You will be amazed by how much more comfortable you will feel with a new tool.
5. Make learning more fun and motivating.
Much of the success of tech adoption depends on how fast you embrace its various features. If you simply purchase a new software and tell your staff to start using it, you’ll end up wasting much of their time as they try to figure it out on a job site or by themselves at home. Instead, plan a couple of hours for the first 2-3 weeks for you and your staff to learn and master it. Try to make it fun. For example, use the last two hours of a Friday work day to take your staff for a round of drinks and walk them through the software. Create a small quiz to test their knowledge of the software and reward the winners
6. Allow a member of your staff to lead the process.
If you are not the most tech-savvy person, it may be difficult for you to learn a new piece of software, let alone teach it to your entire staff. However, you probably have a couple of people on your payroll who are. Let them take the lead. It will both empower them and make the process easier on everyone.
7. Collect feedback.
Make sure to check in with your staff as much as possible during the early stages of adoption. Are there any features that they find particularly useful? Is there a feature that presents a challenge? Adoption is a process, so make sure to stay involved every step of the way.
So, it’s time to shed the scepticism about technology and adjust. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and the businesses that survive are the ones that learn how to be flexible and adopt new tech, processes and modes of operation at a fast pace.