We’ve all heard the age-old cliché ‘you are only as strong as your weakest link’ – and the statement rings true in many scenarios. It can also be applied to the process of introducing your team to new workplace technology or IT infrastructure. This article takes you through why a modern infrastructure is critical, before giving advice on employee adoption and team buy in.
Why is a modern infrastructure important?
Introducing innovative and intuitive technology into your business can be beneficial in several ways.
Machine learning and automation increases efficiency and productivity through enabling employees to focus on core areas of work. This improves sales and profits, while a focus on data collection through new technology allows for more informed and faster decision making. This means businesses can become more agile, responsive and competitive.
Without your team, new technology is useless
If you have identified that your existing IT infrastructure needs to be modernised for your business to compete in current markets, it’s likely that you will need to begin executing a strategy to engage your entire team.
Team buy-in will enable the roll out of new systems and software to run as smoothly as possible. It will enable businesses to manage expectations; employees to see the benefits to their roles, and ultimately businesses to reap the full potential of technology.
Without complete adoption, a new infrastructure could be a wasted investment. In essence, you are as weak as the team member with the most resistance to change and least understanding of the new IT infrastructure.
Why are employees resistant to change?
Most employees will understand that a modern workplace relies on modern technology to function to its optimum level. They may even understand that this encompasses hardware, moving from out-dated on-premise servers and intuitive software that enables automation.
Although they may understand the reasons for modernising, they may not necessarily be chomping at the bit to learn how to use the new technology and software. Why?
Because it requires change and we as human beings are creatures of habit. This resistance can manifest itself in several ways from individuals expressing uncertainty, perhaps an act of sabotage or even out-and-out rebellion.
How to tackle objections
So how do you encourage early and rapid adoption?
Ultimately, it begins with a culture change. The key to modernising a business and embracing digital transformation is an overarching attitude to embracing new tools, technology, processes and ideas. There needs to be an environment that encourages and supports this.
However, when it comes to actively encouraging team buy-in, these are our top tips:
Discuss the plan
Communication is key. Present a compelling vision of the technology and the positive changes it’s going to bring to the business.
Acknowledge any frustrations with the current infrastructure and, if possible, quantify the time and money it’s costing the business with regards to tasks being repeated, lost work or down time. Alongside this, highlight the benefits that will be experienced by teams and departments. Contextualisation is key at this stage.
Provide as much information as you possibly can and provide any further reading or information points that employees can look at in their own time.
Encourage team input
Make it a priority to discuss the changes with team members, capturing their thoughts and giving them an opportunity to air their concerns. This will provide you with a feel for how the organisation is viewing the change and how receptive they are to it.
Asking your employees for their thoughts and input will make them feel included in the decision-making process and, as a result, more comfortable.
You could encourage input around how the implementation could minimise disruption to workflow, how they would like to be trained and anything they would like to see from the new infrastructure.
Harness the champions
You will need to harness the positivity and excitement from the ‘early adopters’ in the team who are invested in the introduction of modern technology.
Not just tech savvy individuals but people that have a positive disposition and are good communicators. People that are influencers to their colleagues are the people that you want to have in your network of champions.
Create a flexible strategy
Work with your IT provider to create a project plan to roll out the implementation.
This plan should outline the timeline from start to finish, clearly outlining the milestones that will be hit at intervals but should also be flexible enough to accommodate any changes in the business that can’t be planned for in advance.
Incorporate technology into day-to-day life
As soon as it’s viable, incorporate the new technology into the daily routine at your business. If you now have data tracking technology and run reports frequently - encourage data to be used in decision making processes for finance through to sales and marketing.
Provide opportunities for your team to see the value of technology by using Skype to facilitate meetings or Microsoft Teams to increase communication. Using it in such ways validates its benefits for the team.
Emphasise the importance of education and training
Of course, it’s important that you don’t adopt a blanket approach when it comes to staff training. Interest, understanding and eagerness will vary between each member. In order to address concerns it is vital to create customised training plans where possible, perhaps starting with group sessions and providing further coaching for those that require it.
Those who are keen to use new technology may want to explore the new systems and processes for themselves. It may even be that they could support colleagues in navigating their way through new technology and create training crib sheets.
Passion can be infectious and leveraging staff members that possess this is a smart decision.
How Chalkline can help
As an experienced team, we are well versed in guiding businesses through the adoption of new technology and migrating to modern cloud infrastructures.
We also pride ourselves on the way we challenge the traditional persona of employees at an IT firm. We don’t want to talk to you in jargon, we want to ensure that you receive a prescriptive, bespoke solution that will benefit your business.
Our dedicated project management team create meticulous and efficient plans that encompass detailed reporting, risks assessments and regular communication.
Our friendly team of ‘people’ people can be onsite to not only ensure the implementation goes smoothly but to also be on hand for team training. This extends to answering questions and providing practical advice, as well as personal tips for using the technology in its most productive way.
If you would like to learn more about and we can help you modernise and digitally transform your business, please get in touch and speak to a member of the team today.