How to Keep Employees Engaged with New Tech
For any IT leader or organization deploying a new technology, there is often an underlying concern about the deployment and adoption of the platform. Will the technology fall into disuse as employees are sluggish or even reluctant to adopt it? The feared result is that the resources spent on vetting and implementing the new solution end up being a waste, as no matter how great new technology may be, it won’t have its intended impact if it's not properly utilized.
At Fuze, we understand the critical importance of a successful deployment. Here are a few tips to help IT leaders implement new technologies, ensure their adoption, and, ultimately, help their teams stay engaged with the new platform.
Choose the Right Solution for Your Needs
It’s easy to be persuaded during the vetting process by a new technology that promises to achieve an IT leader’s lofty KPIs. Even if a technology can deliver everything an IT leader needs to embrace the digital transformation, it’s important to consider the needs of the whole organization and its end users. A technology that may seem like a godsend to an administrator might be a cumbersome burden to other employees in the organization. When selecting new tools and technology to employ, leaders must be sure that they are balancing their own goals and metrics against the needs of the whole organization. In carefully assessing this consideration, leaders will increase the chances of employees finding the new technology useful and intuitive, rather than it being another unwelcome mandatory task in their workload.
Leverage Your Champions
Similar to the larger tech landscape, promoting widespread use of a new technology relies in large part on securing a solid base of early adopters. For large enterprises, it is especially critical to identify an executive sponsor to help drive adoption across the organization. This executive sponsor should also communicate and ensure that shadow IT, or the use of unsanctioned tools, will not be tolerated. A CIO of a very large global enterprise with over 27,000 active users across hundreds of locations told me that his sponsorship, both at kickoff and throughout the project, is the key step in driving successful adoption across his organization. I couldn’t agree more.
Secondly, user personas and stakeholder interviews during the pre-sales process along with post-sales solution design are equally as important in creating adoption plans tailored to specific end user requirements. Early on in the deployment, identify key, influential team members who you can count on to promote the new platform to their colleagues. These people should be visible within your organization and work horizontally across a number of areas, as they will be able to showcase and advocate for the technology to a wider range of employees. With this core group of users employing the technology on a day-to-day basis and championing it to their teams, you’ll find that other employees will be more likely to see the benefits of the new tech and integrate its use more quickly.
Lead by Example
One of the best ways to get employees on board with new tech is to show its benefits in action. If you’ve recently adopted a collaboration and communication tool like Fuze, it can be as simple as integrating the function into your meetings to begin showing its value. Start having meetings in huddle rooms and encourage remote workers to jump on video to see firsthand the benefits of face-to-face communication. You should also try to build the new tech into existing processes, leveraging the new solution as essential to the day to day operations of your teams. In doing so, you necessitate that employees engage with the new platform and become accustomed to it by way of experience.
It’s also very important to keep the excitement and momentum that was created during pre-sales going, and ensure that any knowledge transfer captured early on is not lost during transition to the project team. For this reason, SaaS companies must tightly align their pre-sales and post-sales teams to be sure that any knowledge transfer is thoroughly understood prior to kickoff with the customer.
To keep the momentum going, think about sending email communications to market what’s coming soon, “tech touch” via the application toolset during go-lives, along with personalized user persona specific onboarding plans. Post implementation is where customer success continues and should be considered a infinite process to make sure that the technology and business outcomes are not only meeting the customer needs of today, but also adapting to the changing needs in the future. SaaS and subscription-based companies need to adopt this thought process in order to maintain and retain their customers long term.
Gamify and Incentivize
While leading by example can help employees engage new tech by way of necessity, gamification and incentivization are great ways to get your employees to want to adopt your new platform. Many platforms, including Fuze Discover, now offer data analytics. Tying engagement analytics to employee scores and measuring them against each other on an open scoreboard will tap into your employees’ natural desire to compete with one another. Offering a small prize such as a gift card or company swag can help drive engagement even further, as employees compete for the top spot. Further, during mandatory trainings, your organization can tie employee aptitude of the new technology to employee development, factoring into career advancement conversations.
Regardless which strategy an organization decides to pursue, there is no substitute for well designed training programs and regular follow up to make sure that all employees know how to properly use and engage with the new platform. Ultimately this will strengthen general productivity and collaboration, impacting your bottom line.