There’s little doubt we live in an increasingly tech-savvy society. But not everyone in the workplace is an early adopter of the latest apps and software. In fact, when Pew Research Center categorized individuals into a tech adoption spectrum, 52 percent considered themselves “relatively hesitant,” with 14 percent of those declaring themselves “unprepared.”
With this in mind, how do you encourage tech adoption in your organization? Is it best to try to change an employee’s habits? Or to set Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that permit people to adopt tech in the workforce—or not—at their own pace? If you decide it’s best to standardize your organization on the same platforms, how can you convince your teams to embrace “the new way” rather than resent it?
This is the human side of tech adoption. Understanding how to manage it is imperative and can help today’s HR professionals be more successful in today’s heavily tech-dependent marketplace.
First, Build Trust
There is definitely some apprehension when it comes to tech adoption. People believe robots or Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs will take over our jobs, which makes many leery of technology. While chatbots and other machine learning technology may seem creepy on the surface, the technology is really “more a tool than a replacement for jobs,” says Rob Light, an AI expert and research lead for G2 Crowd.
Employees need to understand how technology can help improve their productivity without making their skills obsolete. To help your workers, talk about the ways apps can save time, streamline communications, and even give people the freedom to work from home—or anywhere.
Integrate Technology Slowly
Some of your staff may be hesitant to learn the new skills required for digital transformation within the organization. Start slowly, perhaps introducing one or two productivity apps employees can use on their own mobile devices, before moving on to AI-based chatbots and other more sophisticated technology. Don’t be afraid to hire new talent with the skills necessary to help the rest of the team adapt to new tech.
Using an intranet system like Igloo Software, a digital destination that connects entire organizations, can dispel much of the confusion that often comes from employees using multiple different apps and solutions. Igloo integrates with your employees’ own apps. It also offers its own suite of tools for communication, collaboration, and file storage. Employees can access the intranet from any Internet-connected device, from their work computer to their tablets and smartphones. Using a centralized portal may encourage your teams to learn and adopt technology at their own pace, especially when they see what’s available within the solution.
Give Employees Choices in the Technology They Use
Giving people options when it comes to tech adoption can shorten the learning curve. But the use of many different apps can also create digital silos within your organization as well as compatibility and security issues. That’s why it’s useful to explore software solutions like those provided by Igloo. An intranet solution that allows for the seamless integration of third-party apps, as well as proprietary apps and widgets, makes it possible for your employees to access multiple solutions through one user interface from any place they might be working, whether that’s at home, on the road, or in the office.
Designate Training and Practice Time
It’s normal to become frustrated with tech adoption if you have to take time away from your regular duties to learn a new app. So, be proactive. Plan to counter this frustration by scheduling time for training and allowing for this time in your workflow by adjusting other deadlines. Offer various means of learning, including self-guided instruction through video tutorials or written material, as well as webinars or live training.
Harness the Human Side of Tech Adoption Through Digital Transformation
Over time your employees will become comfortable using the new processes and software. They will realize the time-saving benefits of tech in the workplace. And that’s when they will start considering themselves in the growing minority of “digitally-ready” employees who can help teach others and guide your organization into digital transformation.
When HR and IT teams work together on the human side of tech adoption, the entire organization benefits through the use of robust and easy-to-use tools that increase productivity and employee engagement.
Meghan M. Biro is a globally recognized Talent Management and HR Tech brand strategist, analyst, digital catalyst, author and speaker. As founder and CEO of TalentCulture and Founder of #WorkTrends, she has worked with hundreds of companies, from early-stage ventures to global brands like Microsoft, IBM and Google, helping them recruit and empower stellar talent. Meghan has been a guest on numerous radio shows and online forums, and has been a featured speaker at global conferences. She is a regular contributor at Forbes, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur and several other media outlets. Meghan regularly serves on advisory boards for leading HR and technology brands. Meghan has been voted one of the Top 100 Social Media Power Influencers in 2015 by StatSocial and Forbes, Top 50 Most Valuable Social Media Influencers by General Sentiment, Top 100 on Twitter Business, Leadership, and Tech by Huffington Post, and Top 25 HR Trendsetters by HR Examiner.