Employee Buy-In for New Technology Adoption
Why you need it and how to do it
It doesn’t matter how large or small your organization is, digital transformation projects – whether updating old technologies or adopting new ones – have a 70% chance of failure. That’s according to a 2020 study conducted by Boston Consulting Group. What does the impact of failure look like (besides the obvious)? Lower morale, loss of confidence in leadership, demotions, time and money lost, among many others.
The study also revealed that an organization-wide project is still likely to flop even when leadership is aligned. The biggest derailment? The people factor.
It is becoming increasingly clear that in this digital world, in order for organizations to continue to thrive, the adoption and transformation of technology systems must be modernized. Yet, adoption from employees is often slow and reluctant, if at all. With the hefty investments that some technologies require, organizations cannot afford to have their new initiatives fail. How can organizations ensure that their digital transformation and new technology has buy-in from their teams? We have four tips:
1. Start from the ground up
Many technology updates start from the top down, where decisions are made from senior leadership and within departmental silos. When employees are surveyed and included as part of the process from the beginning, and understand how it is aligned to their work and the company’s goals, they are more likely to be on board when the decision to make a technological change is made. Learning the nuances of each job function and how the new technology may impact them is also imperative. When an employee understands the functions of each department and how each are interwoven and depend on each other, company success is greater.
2. Ensure existing infrastructure is ready
Many technology upgrades fail because the new product is incompatible with existing infrastructure, causing delays and increased frustration with teams who are already resistant to change. If new technologies are adopted atop of already broken processes, the likelihood of success is low. Evaluating the current technological landscape, analyzing and mitigating risk and integrating necessary changes prior to the new technological overhaul will increase chances of success. When teams see that leadership is taking an active role in addressing issues from every angle, reluctance diminishes and faith is restored.
3. Communicate the project goals early on and clearly
American lecturer and author Dale Carnegie once stated that 90% of all management problems are caused by miscommunication. It should be no surprise, then, that if the goals of a technological or digital transformation project is miscommunicated, it leads to misunderstanding, and ultimately, failure. A 2016 POPIn study of CIOs found that only 18% of employees understand new initiatives completely and are “in lockstep” with senior management. The goals of the digital project should be stated clearly often and early. Even if it feels repetitive, communicating the end-goals and the measurements of success throughout the life of the project will help keep everyone aligned. How will this new technology make each department’s job more efficient or better?
4. Put your people first
Any technological transformation or adoption will require a mindset shift. While a new technology may provide a myriad of benefits to the company, the most important factor in the success of any technology overhaul are the people. This includes the organization as a whole, its operating model, processes and overall culture. Implementing new technologies will not change culture and processes unless culture and processes – the people – are considered first. When leadership is considerate of all its people and how each department functions independently and within the organization, cohesion and a culture of collaboration is the result. For team members who still may be reluctant or not as enthusiastic about change, management should provide training and education to turn them into agents of change.
Successful Technological Adoption
Introducing and implementing new technologies within an organization is no small feat, but executing these tips can tilt the success of the technology adoption to favorable. Organizations should also not hesitate to call in experts when help is required. CourseArc offers a la carte professional services, including custom development to minimize time to value, migration services, knowledge transfer, LMS support and other custom requests.
Download our checklist reference guide to keep your implementation on track.
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