As part of doing business in today’s fast-paced world, inevitably we all have to adopt new technology to make things run more efficiently. Whether it’s a CRM, a call-tracking system, or a new DMS, it’s not usually met with a big welcome from all employees when the time comes to implement it. Most people don’t like change. Not necessarily because they are afraid of it, but because they have settled into routines, or have become used to software that is already in place.
So what do you do to maximize buy-in for new technology?
According to this article in the Harvard Business Review, the first thing management should do is explain to all employees affected by this new technology how it will help not just the business, but also each employee, to operate more efficiently. It’s important that employees understand the reasoning behind the change and the benefits that any new technology will bring.
Typically, when new technology is introduced into a business, management naturally looks to its most tech savvy employees to learn it. These employees are then expected to assist the rest of the workforce by coaching and/or teaching them. According to the article, however, the most important people to get buy-in from and train to use the technology are not in fact the business’s tech savvy employees. They are the influencers. These are the employees that people look up to and follow. These employees lead by example, have excellent communication skills and are listened to by their peers. By getting them to adopt new technology and use it, the theory is that their peers will follow their lead.
After you’ve achieved buy-in from these influencers, the next step is to make implementation mandatory. Employees need to know that the old ways are no longer acceptable and that the only acceptable production is output from the new technology. The article also suggests that “quick wins” are celebrated. Make public acknowledgement of small achievements through the use of the new technology. Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to change behavior. Create contests or offer pizza parties for compliance. Perhaps offer something of value, such as an assigned parking spot or recognition. Staff will begin to see the value it brings to the organization in real and practical use.