Like with any investment, businesses are excited to reap the benefits - implementing a new CRM or marketing automation system is no exception.
However, employees are often creatures of habit, especially when it comes to the workplace. Overcoming employees’ resistance to change can be more difficult than implementing the new technology itself.
The majority of IT project failures (opens in new tab) aren’t due to the technology, but the inability to effect change and a lack of communication. While you’re thinking about how this new technology will transform your business, your staff are thinking about how time consuming or difficult it can be to master a new platform.
Investing in a new platform can be expensive and on-boarding the entire organisation is crucial for achieving return on investment (ROI). Recent research (opens in new tab) suggests leading organisations realise that an investment in solutions that positively impact employees’ lives, naturally drives engagement and adoption - boosting employee performance, efficacy, and their ability to own customer moments.
Here are five steps to get your team well-versed in the new technology and increase their engagement in the workplace:
- Make training mandatory – The training of all employees on a new system is imperative to get staff on board and drive adoption of the new system. If you don’t invest in training for your team, it is unlikely staff will make time for themselves to use the new tool. Furthermore, 66 per cent of trained employees will recognise training as a catalyst for their productivity. (opens in new tab) Make training an indispensable part of a technology implementation; your employees will be more engaged and more empowered in their jobs.
- Align technology training to professional growth – Employees take their own professional education seriously - thriving organisations invest in high calibre training opportunities to satisfy demand for professional growth. To successfully train your employees in new technologies, align organisational training to their professional growth and objectives to ensure the learning applies to not only their day-to-day activities and beyond the initial training session, but also their ambitions to climb the career ladder.
- Timing is everything – Plan your training rollout carefully – timing is key. For example, if your employees are busy focusing on end of quarter, the training will not be as successful. You cannot expect them to abandon their tasks and jump into training, even if it’s compulsory, because you didn’t adequately plan the training into the roadmap. Iron out any kinks and issues in the implementation test stage before training. Constant use is the only way to truly learn a new platform, but if the platform isn’t ready to use, employees will forget what they learnt in training very quickly.
- Choose the right training method – Poor quality training is little better than no training at all. To ensure you receive the ROI your business needs, invest just as much time and energy in the training as the platform itself. Nobody feels engaged whilst sitting in a room and listening to someone read slide after slide. Choose a variety of methods to obtain high levels of engagement, such as interactive exercises, team conversations, or even creating custom scenarios to ease the transition from the old platform to the new one. Also, remember that hands on practice drives competence. Ensure you have takeaway notes, which include prompts and reminders of how to use key parts of the platform.
- Create a sandbox environment for your team to practice – Letting your employees loose on a brand new platform is a scary thought. We all learn by our mistakes. But to minimise the risk of important data being lost or changed, create a sandbox environment - a fake environment whereby your employees can trial and gain full use of the platform with mitigated risk and minimised fear of interfering with sensitive data.
The value of training is often not given enough credit by companies when looking at on-boarding a new system. It’s often thought of as the last phase of implementation and one that is not crucial to the success of the business. But don’t underestimate it. The risk of a misstep with a client increases exponentially if training is inadequate.
If employees are not trained correctly on how to use the platform, it can lead to a decrease in productivity and unsatisfied customers.Training should be ongoing and in constant review — take the initiative to make it a priority.
Vera Loftis, Managing Director UK, Bluewolf (opens in new tab)