Tech continues to play a larger and larger role in businesses and industries of all stripes. As companies bring on more and newer technology to help improve productivity, employees who were initially trained on older systems or who are new to a higher-tech workplace may struggle to keep up or even resist using the new tech at all.
1. Take a multi-pronged approach.
Implement a range of training systems, from written instruction to live video training, to accommodate different work styles and preferences. It’s important that executives lead by example by using the technology themselves and reminding employees of support and resources available on a regular basis. – Neha Mirchandani, BrightPlan
2. Create a sandbox for employees.
The one important strategy in any major wave of change is the willingness to create a sandbox for the employees. For any new tech—or non-tech—strategy to succeed, an appetite for and acceptance of failures and mistakes are required. People learn when they know their mistakes won’t cost them their jobs. They are more open to bigger challenges if there is an allowance for a learning curve. – Ruchi Kulhari, NIIT-Technologies
3. Implement annual skills evaluation.
Annual skills evaluation programs are a great way to keep employees engaged and motivated. Digital transformation requires core competencies for virtually any job to evolve. By evaluating skill levels and skill gaps, your organization can easily identify ways to ensure employees are keeping up with the competition. Employers must constantly update employee skills to match the pace of innovation. – Sameer Penakalapati, CEIPAL Corp.
4. Blend incentives with guidance.
Offer a stipend for technology adoption. Bookend it with some guidance so it is easier to manage across the enterprise—for example, here are the two tools for X, the three for Y, and so on. This ensures there’s some consistency in the process. – Megan McCann, McCann Partners
5. Share the ‘why’ and ‘how,’ and seek input.
Gather employee input early and often in any major technology change. They will readily adapt to the change when they see why the current platforms aren’t serving the needs of the business. Communicate the “why” and the “how” as much as possible to gain accelerated adoption. – Keri Higgins Bigelow, LivingHR, Inc.
6. Provide multiple training options.
For employees to successfully adapt to new technology, we must offer the content in different formats, as everyone learns differently. Additionally, repetition is important. Our strategy includes several tactics, such as both online and in-person training, on-demand how-to videos, skilled employees acting as tutors for other employees, and a help center that is available for questions after the training. – Tobin Cookman, ON Semiconductor
7. Encourage self-service training and follow-up questions.
Adopting and adapting to new technology requires repetition. The most effective way to enable this for employees is through self-service training. In addition to the initial live training, create video resources employees can refer to. In addition, ensure it’s clear whom the employees should go to with questions, and communicate that those questions are encouraged. – Natalie Rast, stensul
8. Teach employees how to be adaptable.
Organizations should focus less on the technology itself and more on training employees to be more broadly able to adapt to change. Technology will always be changing, and so will our workplaces. Organizations need to focus on helping their people develop the skills to deal successfully with change, become more resilient, unlearn old behaviors and adopt new ones. – Philip Burgess, C Space
9. Pair new users with a mentor.
From a practical standpoint, I am not supportive when learning that new technology is an immediate requirement for successful performance in a role. Working with leaders to structure co-ownership for deliverables with a super-user or mentor is key. Training is often generic, and employees will need help converting knowledge into specific workplace solutions until they can master the technology. – Erin Adkins, Sony Interactive Entertainment
10. Incentivize employees to become ‘technology champions.’
Think of out-of-the-box ways for employees to find joy and significance in the adoption. One way is to offer incentives to employees to serve as “technology champions.” A technology champion is a promoter of change who learns the new software in depth and serves as a knowledge source for other employees who will learn and utilize the technology as well. – Nakisha Griffin, Virtual Enterprise Architects
11. Create a series of quick how-to videos.
Create access to bite-sized learning opportunities both at the time of launch and on an ongoing basis. These how-to videos should be five minutes at most and easily consumable. Also, continue to push these out to people, especially aligning them with cyclical activities such as pay reviews, compliance training and bonus payouts. Take advantage of opportunities to improve the employee experience. – Paul Phillips, Avanade
12. Leverage fun and experiential learning platforms.
Making it fun and rewarding for employees to learn new technologies is the key to growth and adaptation. Employers should provide access to learning experience platforms that incorporate gaming, the ability to earn badges and micro-credentials, a sandbox environment for practicing as you learn, and so on. New features and functionalities are often incorporated into these platforms, which makes learning fun. – Heide Abelli, Skillsoft
13. Enable employees to take part in managing the change.
Applying a robust change-management strategy to all tech initiatives is extremely helpful. It is more than just communication—you should allow employees to ask questions and have workshops to facilitate the change. Empower employees to provide feedback early and often. Anything that the organization can do to enable employees to be a part of the change is always beneficial. – Susie Long, Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
Article By: Forbes Human Resources Council