Posted on September 26, 2014

Adapting to a new technology—or any new system—can be difficult for your workforce, so effective change management is crucial to having the new tool adopted quickly and enthusiastically.

Here are three tips for successfully introducing a new tech resource to your organization:

1. Start off on the right foot

Before purchasing any new technology, ensure that your provider has a strong implementation program that will empower you and your staff through training and setup—for as long as you need. A bumpy implementation frequently means spotty client service down the road!

If the new technology requires new skills, account for training and ramp-up time with your staff, and build that into the implementation process. When employees feel unprepared or ill-equipped, they’re essentially set up to fail.

If your team knows the technology is a true solution—and that they’ll be trained to use it properly from the get-go—they’ll focus on the benefits, not on the growing pains associated with change.

2. Control the perceptions

Do some internal public relations around the new tool, tying its benefits to specific job functions and needs.

Perceived value has been tied to successful adoption, so be specific about the wins of your new system. General, “softer” benefits such as teamwork and sustainability don’t play as well as definitively answering the “What’s in it for me?” question.

For example, explain how new payroll software will ensure 100 percent accurate payruns or how a new HR application will streamline workflows and free up the staff’s time for other, higher-value work. Be clear about how “X” affects “Y” so employees can make the connection.

3. Identify change champions

In this era of social networking, we know that few things are more influential than the people around us. Select several staff members to be leaders of your new technology implementation—even if they’re not IT professionals. Look for positive, tech-savvy employees who can remain upbeat even during trying times and who have the patience to answer questions and spread the gospel about your new resource.

When peers have bought into something new, an employee is much quicker to get on board.

If the technology is particularly robust, or if you have employees who are struggling, consider creating one-on-one mentorships to facilitate learning and make it easy (and less threatening) to ask questions. This might also be an opportunity to explore reverse mentoring, in which a junior employee can be a change champion with more senior colleagues.

A technology implementation can become a great opportunity to build new relationships throughout your team and offer professional development for the change leaders you select.

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Sources: Intuit, npENGAGE