5 ways to help your team adapt to new technology

BY: ALBERTO LUGO

Every time someone offers you a new SaaS tool, they say that the primary value of this software is to help you make your company move faster, increase sales, and many other promises to convince you to purchase their product.

What they seldom talk about is how will your team adapt to this new tool. Are they welcoming it with open arms? Or will there be resistance? If there is resistance, does the software come with instructions manual on how to help your employees adapt to new technologies?

Having your team adapt to new technology is hard. Employees are so accustomed to a way of work that even the slightest change, fills them with anxiety, causing resistance.

A study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting found that many companies need to adapt to new technologies or face competitive obsolescence. However, even though employees know that it’s an important matter, they feel their leaders lack urgency or fail to share their vision on how to make the transition. Or maybe they have tried to implement new technologies with little or no success.

If you want your business to move forward, it’s time to help your team move from a steady routine to innovation. These tips can help make your employees and your company more receptive to new technology:

1. Re-think the way your team works

Sometimes employees are so focused on specific tasks that it’s hard for them to take time to learn how to use a new tool, or even to think that it exists. When this happens, it’s important to explain the big picture: how will the new software help them and the company in the future?

Take time to create a comprehensive presentation with HR. Think of the team’s needs, their problems, and how this new tool addresses them. People need to connect before they accept. This will help you avoid an uphill battle against the new tech and will help you reach your goals faster.

2. Introduce the tool as a project

Get the people who adopt the best to work on it. This project should have clear KPIs so the success of the implementation can be measured. We often create how-to videos and involve people from different departments, so they feel engaged with the new vision.

That will also help the group to understand the technology better and give proper support to the rest of the company. Make sure someone from IT and HR are part of the group so they can add their input to the presentation suggested in step 1.

3. Implement a culture of learning and change

Business change every single day, and so does technology. It is essential that your team understands that new tools that optimize performance, communication, and workflow will be added to their daily routine. Ask employees to present new software or new ways to use existent tools more efficiently. That will make them feel appreciated and involved in everything your company does. At the end of the day, regular learning and training should be part of every employee’s job description. The most successful implementations are the ones embraced by the management team. When management is involved everybody pays more attention and feel like they are not the only ones having to change the way they work but everybody is doing the same.

4. Give it time, but not too much time

Sometimes resistance can mean lack of effectiveness. If your team has done everything in its power to adapt to the new technology, but results don’t come in, it may be time to rethink.

  1. Ask for their feedback

Set individual meetings, send surveys or private emails to ask for your team’s feedback. Some people are introverts who have a hard time expressing their opinions in public, and these can be ways to help them communicate openly.

New technologies and change help businesses stay relevant and successful. Finding a way to reduce resistance will make goals happen a lot faster.