June 9th, 2021

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Nobody understands the importance of adapting to new technology in the workplace — or the challenges that come along with it — better than IT leaders. 

With return-to-office initiatives on the horizon, getting your workforce on board with new workplace tech is a top priority. But as employees transition from remote to office-based work, the last thing you want to do is add more disruption to their lives or create a negative experience around your return.

If you're looking to improve end-user adoption in your workplace, IT teams can ensure a smooth and successful process by helping to support employees as they adjust to new systems and applications.

Here, we're helping break down the steps for getting everyone on board to help you boost technology user adoption for your organization.

Before we dive into best practices, let's touch on the importance of increasing technology user adoption in the post-COVID workplace.

Why is user adoption important?

End-user adoption is one of the factors that directly impacts your ROI. Even if you identify a solution that perfectly fits your team's needs and are then able to get all key decision-makers to sign off on the purchase,  ultimately, it won't matter unless the intended users actually use it.

The COVID-19 outbreak set off a chain of events when the workforce went from working in offices to working from home virtually overnight. Since the usual resistance to change wasn't an option, survival came down to successful user adoption. And that experiment showed us that out of the necessity of change, the barriers to technology user adoption were actually easier to overcome than they had been previously.

Adopting new technology for the post-pandemic workplace

As a result of the pandemic, some major gaps in businesses' workplace technology stacks were exposed, leading them to increase IT budgets and rethink their strategies. As digital transformation efforts ramped up, there was also a huge shift in the way employees viewed work.

Digital and cultural expectations evolved simultaneously, which caused leaders to reprioritize their goals and focus more heavily on supporting a hybrid future of work and more flexible work arrangements.

CIOs are under a lot of pressure to get a leg up on the competition, be more agile, and continue adopting new technologies, according to The Wall Street Journal. And at the same time, IT spending will be subject to increased scrutiny for the foreseeable future.

It seems pretty obvious: low technology user adoption translates into less return on investment. And in the current day and age, there's not a lot of room for companies to fall behind on adopting new technology or to waste limited IT budgets on systems that won't end up being used.

Getting technology user adoption off to a good start

If you're wondering how to increase technology adoption, find ways to make the implementation process easier for your end-users. Here are some user adoption strategy best practices to help you get started.

Figure out what's standing in the way of workplace technology user adoption

The important thing to remember is that you can't convince people to adopt a new system unless you understand what's making them resist it in the first place. Put plainly: You can't fix what you don't understand.

So ask yourself: Why do your employees resist new tech? To find the right solution for low user adoption rates, you'll need to dig into the root cause of the problem and identify the reasons people don't want to use new technologies.

If you're suffering from a low software user adoption rate, is it because you have too many systems? You may need to consolidate your workplace solutions if you have several that perform the same or similar functions. Are all the solutions needed?

Are the solutions difficult to use or challenging to learn? If you're investing in new technology, make sure you choose a solution with a user-friendly interface and intuitive user experience. Otherwise, the employees might find it frustrating to use and prevent them from adopting it.

Convince skeptical employees to adopt new technology

Convincing skeptical employees to adopt new technology is the first step to success. In order to get this right, you'll need to do a good job of communicating the benefits of adopting new workplace technology.

Recently, we asked 300 IT leaders about their new workplace technology priorities. The biggest priorities all centered around supporting the new ways employees experience work, including tools to support remote/on-site work, creating a positive employee experience, helping employees stay productive, and other employee-centric solutions.

Whatever the reason for implementing a new solution, make sure your workforce understands how they'll benefit from high user adoption rates.

Introduce new technology gradually

The importance of adapting to new technology can't be overstated. But these are difficult times, so it's also important to minimize the amount of disruption the new technology causes for employees. You can do that by introducing new technology gradually. 

Consider how to train employees on new technology in a way that works for everyone. It might make sense to start by rolling out your new software to your "allies", the people who enjoy learning new technology. They might be tech-savvy employees, early adopters, or those who have the most to gain from the new solution. Get your allies ready to use the software so they can help get hesitant employees on board and even assist with training.

When you take time to implement new technology intentionally and in a more structured way, you can reduce the number of times employees contact you with support and troubleshooting requests — which has the added benefit of making your life easier throughout the process.

Ways to help increase technology user adoption in 2021

The simplest way to improve your technology user adoption rates is by finding workplace technology solutions your employees will love. To maximize new technology user adoption, consider investing in workplace solutions that:

    • Are user-friendly and have an intuitive user interface
    • Include a mobile employee app for reservations and wayfinding
    • Make collaboration easier than ever with on-demand and in-advance space booking
    • Integrate with your existing workplace tools to reduce the feeling of “app overload”

 

Stay on top of emerging trends that will impact your workplace. Download your copy of our 5 Workplace Technology Trends eBook to learn what technology trends experts say will change the future of work.

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