New IT systems for a growing business can be an exciting prospect and deliver many benefits, but how do you convince employees to embrace them?
Technology is constantly evolving and keeping up with new systems can be a challenge for businesses, not least because of the resource involved in getting the workforce up to speed. However, new IT systems are necessary and despite change not being welcomes by everyone, it is possible to introduce new technology into the workplace and keep employees happy.
Before committing to a new IT system for the business, consider who will be using it most regularly and invite some of these employees to be part of the process of choosing the technology. By doing so they will be able to apply a perspective that may otherwise be missed. By including frontline employees in this part of the process they are more likely to be engaged and confident during the transition phase.
Employees probably already have a heavy workload during a working day so when they receive notification about attending a training session for a new system, they may not be very enthusiastic and could consider it a hindrance to their current work commitments.
Senior management can support employees in this respect by ensuring staff are able to take time out to attend the training session and that it doesn’t just add to their workload. Make training a priority for the organisation by allocating sufficient resources. Of course, if employees are involved from the outset as described earlier, they are more likely to understand the benefits of the new system and be more enthusiastic about learning how to use it.
There is nothing worse than attending a dull training session and leaving none the wiser. If employees are to feel positive and confident about new ways of working, it is imperative that trainers really understand the subject they are teaching and are able to talk about it from a business perspective so staff can fully understand the system and its benefits.
Also, it is unnecessary for trainers to share too much information, not everyone needs to know the ins and outs of the technical specification of an IT system. Instead trainers should keep employees engaged by delivering just what they need to know.
Everyone learns new things differently, that is why it is important to deliver training that meets individual needs, otherwise it is likely to be a waste of time and resources. For training to be successful there should be more than one option available – say a practical demonstration, e-learning with videos, a presentation with handouts are some real-world examples that could be used. It may even be necessary to schedule in repeat training sessions once employees have had a chance to start using the system and discover where their weaknesses lie.
Don’t make the mistake of rushing the introduction of a new system. Set realistic deadlines and communicate early and clearly what the implementation schedule will look like. Employees like to know what is coming up and will approach tasks with a more positive attitude if they know it is something they were expecting.
It is OK to ask for help. If you want to concentrate on running your business, consider enlisting the help of change management consultants to support the business through a time of major change. Alongside this professional support, it is also helpful to appoint champions in the business who can support the roll out and training as well as continue to promote and deliver ad-hoc training as required for colleagues. Champions should be individuals who want to be involved, can manage the additional responsibility and already have the right skills.