Employee Engagement
February 12th, 2021

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You and your team may be spending hours researching and testing new software for your transition back to the office, such as visitor management software that incorporates contact tracing.

When you find that perfect solution, it won't mean very much if technology user adoption is low.

If you’re dreading the pushback you know you’re going to get from some of your company’s employees, relax. The crossed arms, heavy sighs, and disgruntled muttering during your rollout can be avoided if you prepare the right way.

Leaders versus laggards: the technology user adoption curve

If you want everyone to jump on board, you have to combine strategy with empathy. Before rolling out new software, you need to do your research in these two primary areas:

Identify your allies

Who in your office stays up until midnight to get the latest iPhone or knows about new apps before they hit the mainstream? These are your early adopters. They love staying on the cutting edge and don’t mind tinkering with new technologies.

Others in your office may be in leadership roles, but they might be laggards when it comes to adopting new software.

Perhaps they feel they’re too busy or the current software works. They might even be insecure about their ability to quickly and successfully transition to using something new. Not everyone loves technology.

Make a list of your tech leaders and laggards. Invite your leaders to a special preview of the new software. If you haven’t already made your decision, have them test it out. To make sure solutions work for your organization as a whole, the tech leaders group should include people from different departments outside of the IT team.

If you can win over a few leaders before the rollout, they could become your best advocates. They can help you get your laggards on board in a way that your team may not be able to. In this situation, you are seen as the salespeople whereas the leaders are the happy customers.

Who do you trust more when buying a product, the person who stands to benefit from the sale (salesperson) or the satisfied customer?

Identify the pain points of your laggards

If you want to “sell” the software adoption to your “customers,” you need to understand the root of the resistance, which will vary for each person. In other words, get to know your audience so you can develop empathy.

For example, here’s how two people might react to a detailed presentation on new visitor management software.

Employee A: A gregarious salesperson with 30 years of experience who is confident giving presentations to hundreds of people but feels “old school” when it comes to technology and is more afraid than ever because the software seems complicated.

Most of the features seem irrelevant to his job. Why should he care about visitor management software when so many of his appointments are off-site?

Employee B: A busy, Type-A director going in 10 different directions hates unnecessary meetings and doesn’t want to waste time learning about the details. That’s what her assistant is for.

While both are “laggards” when it comes to adopting new technology, their reasons are different, so the way you approach these two employees needs to be different, too.

A case study in technology user adoption

Imagine the following case scenario:

Due to the impact of COVID-19, your company has decided to track all visitors coming in and out of the office. But here’s the issue: There won’t be anyone at the reception desk.

The guest check-in software your team selected offers the following features:

  • Tools to help hosts prepare guests for their visit, such as pre-registration, to reduce wait times in the lobby
  • A designated device at the reception desk that allows guest check-ins upon arrival, including the ability to create their own photo IDs
  • Immediate alerts to the host upon guest arrival
  • Secure documentation for contact tracing
  • Ability to electronically sign important documents that can be filed for future use
  • Storage capability so returning visitors won’t have to fill in their information again
  • Analytics to see guest traffic patterns in the office
  • Increased office security through watch lists, alerting the appropriate people when those on the list register

Look at the features you want to emphasize with certain individuals and departments and de-emphasize with others.

Your salespeople may not care about the analytics, but they will care about making their guests wait. Their primary concern will be customer service.

People in management positions will want to understand the analytics for planning and risk management. They’ll also want to know how it helps them follow best practices for visitor management.

Your early adopters or tech leaders may want to know about all of the features right away, regardless of their role.

The laggards may need to learn a few features or functions at a time. They also may not feel comfortable asking questions in groups if they don’t understand how something works.

Consider rolling out the software to teams rather than the whole company so you can tailor your presentation to the needs of your audience.

Another option is to give a quick overview and then meet with teams and individuals for mini demonstrations and hands-on training to drill down on how the software helps solve a problem for them or their department.

In this sense, you move from the role of salesperson to educator, recognizing that everyone has different learning styles and priorities.

When you invest in technology that's easy to use, integrates with the tools employees already use, and improve their experiences in the workplace, you'll increase your chance of success.

If you haven’t decided on visitor management software for your company, improve your technology user adoption rates by finding one employees will love.

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