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Introducing technology in the workplace: How to do it?

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Feel free to follow a 'crawl, walk, run' approach by starting slow as team members warm up and get comfortable with the new technology

For 21st century businesses, the key to remain competitive in a tech-savvy socio-economic set-up lies in adopting technology itself. The recent impacts of technology on the workplace have been profound. Generative AI, data analytics and machine language have emerged as the ‘Holy Trinity’ for business leaders, when it comes to surfing through the ocean of market data to understand trends and customer behaviour, before making informed business decisions.

As per a January 2024 study by Tech.co, out of more than 1000 American business leaders it surveyed, just over half of the respondents (56%) reported high productivity levels, when it comes to technology making differences in their daily operations.

However, if a business decides to take a tech-savvy route, it will face resistance from its human staffers because of fear of the unknown.

What if they get replaced by machines? However, the truth is that the 21st century workforce must work with collaborative technologies like cloud computing and AI, which will only make the overall business profitable, apart from improving all operational aspects, be it scaling the business or increasing employee efficiency.

Overcoming worker resistance to getting new tech into the workplace can seem a tough task, but not an impossible one. The human professionals need to adapt, work and thrive with the tech. This article will talk about the strategies a business leader can take to ensure a technological transition for his/her venture, while taking the human staffers into confidence.

Know Your Requirements

Feel free to follow a “crawl, walk, run” approach by starting slow as team members warm up and get comfortable with the new technology. Compare the product to systems your team already uses to help make the new concept less foreign to them. Also, bring fun elements into the new tool by pointing out features that will make the platform more enjoyable and less daunting.

“Once your team has a frame of reference for the new tool, you can move on to a ‘walk’ approach. Implement a two-week trial period to see how your team reacts to the new software and see if it’s a good fit for your organisation. Oftentimes, you don’t know how something will work until your team members actually start using it,” comments AllBusiness.

Make the process of tech adoption an open-ended and democratic one. Discuss with your department heads the nitty-gritty of how their employees work, what are the main challenges they face, while executing their tasks. Take feedback about the task management procedure can be streamlined further and made an efficient one, cause tech will take care of these headaches.

Send a questionnaire to employees about the tech they currently use and what will make their job easier. Form a committee to determine how to optimise tech for each department. Asking employees for their input will not only increase the likelihood of them using the new tech but will also show that you appreciate them. Appreciated employees always remain productive.

Practice Empathy

Show your employees that you have already charted the route the technology will take to positively impact their work patterns. Create materials that will outline the benefits of the new tech and how it will positively impact the working culture in your organisation. Remind your team members that the tech is being deployed to make their working hours more efficient and productive.

Hold a workshop, which will provide an engaging environment for learners to develop their skills and enable you to gather vital data on how successful the training is.

The thing about fun ways like having a friendly competition where one team uses the old tech and another uses the new tech to see which is better. Use training software with integrated gamification to encourage employees to participate. Provide incentives like bonuses or a token of appreciation for those using the new tech.

Accommodate Different Learning Styles

As said before, not all employees will learn things at the same pace. Celebrate those adapting to the new tech quickly and get them involved in training those who are having problems learning the tool. Hold workshops that combine training with doing.

Instructors can give employees bite-sized chunks of information, following which the employees can try it out for themselves. Tailor workshops by department, so employees only learn what they need to do with the tech to streamline their work in an efficient manner.

If you have tech-savvy employees in your team, pair them with colleagues who are less confident with technology so they can help their colleagues learn things faster. Some employees need a hand-holding kind of training, while others learn best on their own.

Be Transparent

As the team members start using the new tool, they will have things to say about it. Hear that feedback to decide whether things require course corrections. Have a designated feedback channel to know what’s working and what’s not in real time.

Keep an open mind and always navigate your team through tech transitions. The success mantra for your business is to balance expanding your tech stack while also satisfying your employees. Have an employee-centric culture. Celebrate any success (even if it is a small one) earned by your employees using the new technology. Reward them and the satisfied employees, in turn, will boost your revenue flow. If employees know you reward success, they will be motivated to adopt the new tech.

“Being transparent and open is vital during the transition phase. Employees are more likely to accept new tech if you answer the question, what’s in it for me? So, if you think cloud computing will make remote sales management easier, tell people! Explain how the new tech will benefit them, and do your best to address their concerns,” said Grace Lau, Director of Growth Content, Dialpad.

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