5 Smart Ways To Help Train Your Staff To Use New Technology
Businesses must leverage technology to remain competitive. Case in point, researchers from the Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava note how managers and entrepreneurs alike rely on technology for the more efficient management of resources. After all, the world is connected by and through technology, which makes keeping up with the latest trends in technology imperative to stay ahead. However, the fear of adopting new tech can be a hindrance to implementation, which makes proper training vital. The following tactics can help:
Implement change management
Use of new technology should begin with change management, defined by The Balance Careers as the transition from the current state to a desired one. This will ensure a seamless transition towards technology adoption by reducing distractions, notably employee pushback.
Central to change management is finding the right leaders who are knowledgeable both in technology and how it functions in the context of work. Even so, you’ll need to find these right people. Microsoft did so by appointing its third CEO, Satya Nadella, in 2014. Through his leadership, the tech company started to embrace open source, then began investing in cloud technology. Not coincidentally, Microsoft’s revenue exceeded $100 billion in 2018.
Next, you’ll need to provide actual training for upskilling. Training should be hands-on, so that not only do employees get to try out what is being taught, but they also get to see first-hand the benefits of using the new technology. Dogtown Media co-founder Marc Fischer also recommends documenting successes and best practices, as they can serve as effective guides.
Providing training means finding someone who is knowledgeable not just in technology, but how it functions in the context of work. The right trainer can make all the difference, but that in itself is a challenge, with Maryville University noting how there’s now a growing demand for training specialists who can bring about change in an organization. That’s because more businesses are now seeking tech-driven employee training methods in their own efforts to promote tech adoption.
Leverage your tech champions
Your tech champions are those who learn and adopt technologies easily. Once you identify them, designate them as transitional training leaders, and then let them peer-train tier-two tech users. This setup ensures continuous learning, often in casual, informal settings. Consequently, the transfer of knowledge can be scaled, and expedited.
You can also utilize members of the IT staff, who can be on the frontline of any tech knowledge transfer. In this case, you must provide training to your IT team, then let them take charge of training the rest of the organization. Just make sure you give your IT team and tech champions incentives for their efforts (see last section).
Focus on tech that matters
We explained in ‘Is Having Online Booking Effective for Businesses’ that no company wants to waste time and funds implementing technologies that either won’t be effective or are too complicated or time-consuming to use (AppointmentCare is neither, so you should definitely use it).
Having said that, you’ll need to identify technologies that will actually benefit the company, like the use of collaboration tools such as Slack and the implementation of online booking systems. In this way, you will be able to focus training on technology that will actually make a difference in the company. You’ll also be able to avoid shelfware, or having software features that are left unused.
Incentivize tech use
Michele Gonzalez-Pitek of Best Friends Credit details that organizations need to tie training to job requirements. In doing so, learning the new technology becomes a prerequisite for, say, a promotion or pay increase. Alternatively, you can give incentives to tech adopters, like additional vacation time, flexible working hours, or cash bonuses.
Before this, you must find out what incentives will spur on your staff, as not all staff in different industries want the same thing. Samsung, for instance, regularly gives out cash bonuses to staff who utilize new technologies, while Hewlett Packard hands out the Golden Banana award to innovative employees. As you think of these incentives, make sure you establish guidelines in how learning is gauged and how incentives are dispensed.