Companies of all sizes are feeling the pressure to upgrade their technology in order to stay competitive. New technology can help your employees be more productive and can boost your sales. The struggle comes when trying to get every employee on board. Any new software you choose will only be as good as the users behind it.
Every year, leaders at America’s largest companies spend millions of dollars on technology that can help them keep up in a quickly-changing world. Words like personalization, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are difficult to wrap your head around if you’re not already a part of that world. With business adoption AI-powered technologies expected to triple by 2021, it’s vital that you’re ready to adopt some new practices and get your team ready.
49% of dealers say staff resistance to change is a top challenge for them, so how can you convince your team that new technology can help them improve? Here are some tips on how you can encourage your team to embrace new tech:
1. Customize training for all skill levels
Technologically speaking, your employees probably aren’t all at the same level. Your team might include industry veterans along with some fresh faces. Make sure you provide quality training to the whole group. More tech-savvy employees might do better with online training modules, while others will benefit more from an in-person coach who can guide them through the software and answer any questions.
With the introduction of any new technology, you can expect people to face challenges. Some may even get frustrated. As a leader, make it clear you are investing time in learning the new system as well. You don’t want a technologically challenged employee getting to the point where they feel overwhelmed.
Provide quality training with enough time for questions and concerns and you’ll see a decrease in resistance to new technology and a quicker adoption of the new process.
2. Find your champions
Early adopters are key to success. Sometimes all it takes is one employee taking the plunge for others to catch on and start using the new technology as well. Naysayers can hurt your cause by influencing other employees. Champions do just the opposite. Acting like influencers, they can show how great the new software is and how much they gain from it. Early adopters can help everyone by becoming advocates and assisting you in the training process.
It also helps when employees see executives and managers using the new tools. Lead by example to see an increase in adoption rates across the entire company.
3. Emphasize benefits of new tools
Resistance at brick-and-mortar firms typically looks like this: “We’ve always done it this way and it works, so why should we change anything?” Persuade your team by creating a compelling vision that demonstrates the benefits this new service will offer, rather than focusing on the product’s features. Employees can sometimes feel like they’re obligated to learn something new solely for company profit.
Help your employees understand how a new technology can make their lives easier. It might help them reach their sales goals faster or be more efficient than their existing workflow, thereby reducing the number of weekend work hours needed. Celebrate wins like these to demonstrate the value of the newly adopted technology.
4. Weigh your options
Not understanding your customer is the biggest threat to your business. Choose technology that works in tandem with your customer-driven focus. In other words, don’t get new tech just because the company trying to sell it to you says it’ll make you wildly successful. Instead, look for technology that enables you to create stronger connections with your user-base.
As a decision-maker at your company, your inbox is overwhelmed with marketing messages all saying the same thing: “Buy me! We’re better than those other folks!”. With all this noise, it can be difficult to make a smart decision. Not every piece of shiny, new tech will fit in at your organization. That’s why it’s important to remember the big picture. Any new product should add value to your existing business strategy and work with your current processes.
Furthermore, you should look at how simple or difficult the onboarding process is. If you’re unsure about a product, consider its onboarding process. Does the company offer support throughout the introduction phase and beyond? How hard is it to integrate this new technology into your existing business? Sometimes the complexity is worth the effort if this new tech will solve a critical problem for you and your company. Knowing what type of solution you’re looking for can help you answer a lot of questions.
Your team may be enjoying the status quo, but changes are necessary in order to stay competitive in your industry. You can’t implement new tech and hope employees will catch on. Make it clear to your employees they will thrive with these new changes. By creating a positive environment you can ensure any new tech you introduce gets adopted seamlessly.