7 Steps to Introduce Reluctant Employees to New Tech Solutions

No matter how advanced and efficient a new technology solution is, it will not be as effective if the key users are not 100 percent on board.

Getting employees enthusiastic about new technology can be easy if everyone is open-minded and eager to learn how to use new tools. However, not everyone is always open to new tech tools, especially if those tools would significantly change how they work. Whether you’re switching to a new platform or implementing tech that automates manual processes, there will always be someone who is hesitant, has doubts, and has anxieties about new tech. Coming in with these feelings can negatively affect how well they learn how to use these tools and can reduce productivity.

You’ve spent weeks researching new tech tools to implement in the office. You’ve done the calculations on ROI and how much it will boost productivity. However, no matter how advanced and efficient a new technology solution is, it will not be as effective if the key users are not 100 percent on board.

Here are some important steps to keep in mind when trying to win them over—and they start long before you actually introduce new solutions.

Keep Them in the Conversation

As the shot caller of this particular decision, the final say on implementing this new tool is yours and yours alone, but it’s still important to broadcast to all those affected by your plans to make changes. Clearly declare why you think change is necessary, why the current status quo isn’t working, or how it could greatly be improved. Then gather feedback.

As you research and narrow down your choices for a solution, keep them part of the conversation and informed about your thought process. Let them know the benefits and disadvantages you believe are most important for the company’s needs.

Not only will this help inform what kind of solution would work best for your team, it will help you identify early on who may be hesitant about replacing old processes for new ones.

Find Your Advocates

Just as announcing your plans early on can help identify employees with doubts, you’ll also find those who are enthusiastic about change and will make great advocates for the tech. Identify these individuals and recruit them as your advocates who will champion the changes and be leaders. Have them be among the first to train with the solution and see the advantages. These advocates will boost morale among others about the software and also help train everyone else on how to use it.

Communicate the Value

Be sure you’re expressly clear about the value a new tech solution will bring, not just to the company, but to them as employees. Long-time employees can feel anxious about how their roles will change when a new tech solution is introduced, so it’s important to convey how much of a positive impact this can have on their growth as an employee. For example, if it’s a tool that’s meant to save time on certain processes, reassure them that they now can spend their time on more productive tasks for the company.

Create a Roadmap

Big changes don’t happen overnight, nor should they. When you’re ready to roll out your new solution, you need to come up with a solid plan to transition from your old process to the new one. Create a clear timetable with dates and stages of implementation. Then stick to it. If plans change, be transparent and keep your team informed.

Stages can include an exploratory period, the first round of training, a pilot period with a handful of users starting to use the solution, a second round of training with everyone involved, and a hard deadline when the solution is completely implemented.

Give Them Time

Growing pains come with all changes. Give some time to employees who at first struggle with new tech. This is where your advocates come in. They can lead the charge and help out their coworkers who have a tougher time adapting to the change. As long as they’re willing to learn, it’s worth it to invest in additional training and compromise with them when it comes to getting their work done the traditional way as they continue learning the new way.

Incentivize Change

Sometimes it’s necessary to sweeten the deal. Incentivize employees to take part in the process of implementing a new solution. This can easily be done by providing lunch with training sessions, implementing a reward program for users of the solution, or promising recognition to those who exhibit open-minded attitudes toward change and adopting new tech.

Continue Listening and Changing

After a successful implementation, you still have a long road of adapting your office’s workflow to one that seamlessly integrates your new solution into your everyday processes. As employees get used to the new way of doing things, continue taking in their feedback. Accept new ideas about how the solution can be used in different ways that both improve efficiency and accommodates employees who are used to doing things in certain ways.  

Communication Is Key

Changing, adapting, and implementing new tools to grow your company is the reality of business. There are some attitudes that are less open to change, but it’s important to provide a means to take those baby steps toward new ideas so they can continue helping the business become more successful. Throughout all the steps noted above, communication is key and will lead to a much smoother transition than an unexpected, abrupt shift in how people do their jobs.

Andreas Rivera is a technology writer with experience in both reviewing and marketing tech services and products. His areas of expertise include writing about B2B, SaaS (software-as-a-service) companies and how they best address the pain points of businesses. Since early 2019, he has been the marketing content writer for eFileCabinet and has become well versed in how document management software helps businesses reinvent their manual processes and spur growth. Contact him at: arivera@efilecabinet.com.

Training magazine is the industry standard for professional development and news for training, human resources and business management professionals in all industries.