Technology permeates our lives – making many tasks easier both personally and professionally. In fact, Pew Research reports that 42 percent of Americans credit technology as the biggest improvement to their lives over the past 50 years over any other advancement.
So when it comes to investing in technology solutions that boost company productivity, why are employees often hesitant to embrace them in their day-to-day workflow?
According to Paul Sems, general manager of Blue Technologies Smart Solutions, the answer is simple: the fear of the unknown. Your staff may be afraid that a technology solution could threaten their job, or their control over tasks and data.
To avoid defensive reactions and get buy-in from your staff, he says it’s important employers explain the benefits of a new solution to both the company and individual workers – and provide proper training to get associates comfortable with using the technology.
“It’s the employer’s responsibility to help staff understand that there are more valuable things they could be doing, with the right technologies to field low-level tasks – and that if they are doing more valuable tasks, that then makes them a more valuable employee to the company,” Sems says.
But with your initial case made – how do you effectively follow through with your team’s support?
Read on as Sems shares his five-step process to successfully roll out new technology investments with the support of your staff.
1. Define the ideal future process
First, ask yourself where you want to be and what you want to have achieved, Sems says. It’s vital to define what the ideal internal process should look like once a new technology solution is implemented in order to build a path toward that end goal.
However, don’t simply strategize with your leadership team to determine the answer. Sems emphasizes fostering open conversations with employees involved in daily operations.
“You need to not only define the ‘bigger picture’ of what business improvements you’re looking to realize, but the individual steps involved,” Sems says. “Your staff are best positioned to fill in the granular details that compliment that big picture.”
2. Look at your current reality
Once you know where you want to go, you then need to define your starting point. Where you are today, and what obstacles must you overcome to move forward?
“Document or review existing problems you’re looking to solve with technology – the disconnect within your company,” Sems says.
“You also want to focus on what tasks are low-value or boring, where you can use technology to automate those and shift employee focus to more engaging, value-added tasks. Here again, open communication with key players is crucial to the process.”
3. Develop a Plan
With a thorough understanding of your starting and end points, your company can then move on to developing an action plan to bridge the two.
Sems recommends investing in proper training for your staff as part of this process, so that each individual has a customized learning experience with the new solutions – and feels some ownership over the success of implementation.
“It’s also helpful in the planning stage to work with a technology partner who has expertise in this area,” Sems says. “While you know your business best, your technology advisor can help you apply that knowledge effectively to ensure technology implementation follows best practices.”
4. Implement your plan
With your implementation plan defined, it’s time to take action – focusing on making the transition as efficient and easy for your team as possible.
Sems reiterates that your technology partner will play a crucial role, ensuring the success of new technology adoption.
“They can help you develop a plan to roll out the final solution to the rest of your employees, minimizing disruption to day-to-day operations and maintaining the focus on your primary motivators behind the transition,” he says,
5. Team member follow up
Once a new technology solution is in place, your work isn’t done. You must periodically evaluate its adoption and performance within your workflow, and get feedback from employees to keep them engaged.
This follow-up step is often overlooked, but it is arguably the most important, Sems says.
“Ask yourself: Are employees able and willing to use it properly? Is it achieving the desired results to boost productivity and performance? Are their any issues that need resolved, or areas where cam improvements can be added?”
If the expectations you set forth for the solution aren’t met, your staff is likely to revert to old habits.
Start enhancing your technology portfolio – with your staff’s support
For more information on how to improve the productivity of your operations through best-fit technology solutions – and ensure your staff is engaged to help drive improvements – contact a Blue Technologies expert today at (216) 271-4800.
You can also request a free business assessment by filling out our online request form.