Beat the Learning Curve: How to Convince Employees to Adopt New Technology

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is not what a CIO wants to hear from their organization. The effectiveness, availability, and scale of the newest technology warrant nothing less than a full-scale overhaul of the enterprise toolkit. Rebecca Knight writes for the Harvard Business Review about how to convince employees that new tech will make their work lives easier.

Choose and Persuade Wisely

Choose technology as if you were the average user. That means giving the most functional systems a pass for something more intuitive. If it’s quick adoption you want, nothing is worse than a massive user manual and a cadre of training programs. Once you’ve chosen your user friendly tech, the next step is promotion. Knight quotes Michael Mankins of Bain & Company and Didier Bonnet of Capgemini Consulting on the fine points:


Persuading your team to adopt a new technology requires putting forth a “compelling vision for what the technology is and what it’s going to do,” says Bonnet. First, you must demonstrate the new service offers “economic and rational benefits for the organization and the individual,” says Mankins. Perhaps it will help the company quantify its marketing efforts; maybe it will enable employees to track customer data more easily… Will it enable salespeople to meet their quotas faster — which gives them the opportunity to make more money? Or increase productivity in a way that reduces weekend work? The best argument for a new technology is “that it will make your life better,” Mankins explains.


Hit the Ground Running

If you’re not sure whether or not training is necessary for employees, ask them. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to training for tech adoption, so taking this nuanced approach will alleviate some of their worst fears of being pigeonholed. Additionally, speedy adoption has less to do with an interest in technology and more to do with handing the tools to influential innovators and communicators who can take an idea and spread it horizontally across organizational silos.

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