It doesn’t matter how state of the art, best in class, high tech the solution you just installed is, if you haven’t gotten your employees to use it effectively, or even worse they aren’t using it at all, you are not going to be able to achieve the desired business results of your investment.
Just like buying a book about dieting doesn’t automatically make you skinny, implementing new technology doesn’t automatically make your company more profitable, improve customer service or improve productivity.
The number one factor that will negatively impact the success of an implementation is lack of user adoption, and one of the main factors that impacts user adoption is resistance to change.
How can you overcome resistance to change and engage users? Here are 5 key strategies that will help improve user adoption and achieve desired business results:
1. Business Alignment – First and foremost, ensure that executives and senior management agree on the strategic objectives of the implementation. This seems self-evident, but oftentimes the strategic objectives haven’t even been clearly defined, let alone articulated to business owners and users.
2. Communication – How well do your employees understand why the new technology is necessary and how it will affect their jobs? If workers understand the big picture for the business and its vision for the future, they can more easily comprehend and support the need to adopt new technologies. The message should be delivered consistently and regularly throughout the implementation process and even after. To have the biggest impact, this communication should be delivered by someone internally who has authority, respect and credibility. If leaders don’t relay the right messaging, employees may be left feeling disinterested and aloof.
3. Training – This step is critical! End user training should be a requirement for everyone who will be using the new solution. Training should be provided both by job role and by process, and should be conducted as close to go-live as possible. Make sure your employees know where to find user guides and/or training videos. Remember, it doesn’t matter how awesome the technology is or how much leadership likes the idea of the solution. If employees don’t understand how to use it, they are not going to use it. That will make it very challenging to meet the goals of the project!
4. Performance and Measurement – Clearly defined metrics are crucial to the success of a technology implementation. Know your KPI’s ahead of time, and determine how they’ll be measured and reported on. Share the results with employees. System launch is often viewed as the finish line of an implementation, but the actual finish line is when the company achieves its goals for the project. If you’re not measuring/monitoring results, you don’t really know how successful your implementation has been.
5. Reinforcement – The biggest challenge after launching new technology is obtaining sustainable results and integrating long-term changes into your organization. Provide ongoing support focused on enabling users to adapt to change and integrate it into their daily routines. Consider short-term support such as a help desk and ongoing communication messages; follow that with long term support such as online help, new-hire training and reinforcement communication and training.
To maximize the benefits of a new technology solution, remember that the results you achieve will only be as good as your user adoption. Let us know how your organization has navigated user adoption. Please leave us a comment below. Thanks for reading!