A recent McKinsey Group survey found that business responses to COVID-19 significantly increased the adoption speed of new technology by several years. This is especially true for small businesses and many of these changes are here to stay. As the world made a pivot to working remotely, small businesses were thrust into technology decisions that would help them not only remain up-an-running, but also competitive. For employees, this means rapidly adopting new tools, new gear and understanding new policies. Rather than the usual months or even years of adoption, business owners had weeks to fill crucial informational and operational gaps. As plans start to emerge for a return to the office -- in whatever form that may take in 2022 -- business leaders are once again faced with decisions about which technology is permanent and which is not, creating even more uncertainty for employees. For some, this increased adoption of the "new" is a welcome shift that will create more productivity, collaboration, and efficiency. For most, however, the velocity of change is a frightening prospect that adds opportunities for mistakes, embarrassment, and lack of confidence. Business leaders need strategies designed to help employees acclimate to the ever-changing world of technology and maintain their positive contribution to the challenge.
Here are some.
Communicate, Communicate and Communicate
Everyone feels more secure when they know what is going on. Moreover, everyone likes to understand the reasons behind the decisions that impact them. The less your team members know about the change and its impact on them, the more resistant they become. When you bring employees into the loop early, especially when it comes to technology investment, the dynamic changes from forcing their adoption to partnering with them. Their feedback flows more freely and the whole business benefits.
W.I.I.F.M. (What's in it for me?)
Employees are more willing to embrace something new when they understand the benefits. For example, a salesperson may resist an edict to utilize a new CRM tool, but if there is an investment into demonstrating the value for them and how it could help them become more successful, their reluctance may change.
Rather than thrust fresh solutions upon employees, business leaders may consider the value including formalized training as part of the introduction. The value of understanding and how to best use new tools is a powerful motivator, especially if you designate one person to become the “trainer” for everyone else. Remember the old saying, the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else.
Most importantly, do not wait for employees to come to you. Periodically ask them their input, opinion, and feedback on how the technology is working for them to ensure they stay engaged in the process and excited about their progress. This is also a fantastic way to uncover additional needs that can lead into further improvements.
Roark Tech Services is a dedicated Managed Service Provider serving the small business community since 1998. We are experts in what we do and are uniquely qualified to help small businesses stay safe & competitive. Always consult with us first.
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