Every good manager or business owner knows that every time we introduce a new tool or technology in the workplace, its purpose is to make day-to-day operations run more smoothly, add convenience, and streamline things for everyone. But when new technology is not introduced properly, it might create the opposite effect. Instead of helping your company or business run faster or more smoothly, it might cause more chaos, confusion, and frustration—especially if your team was not properly briefed or trained to use it.
One example is office automation. If your team has always been used to creating, collecting, storing, analyzing, and sharing data by themselves and if all they’ve ever known was accomplishing daily tasks on their own, working with a new technology that does not require human intervention might cause whiplash. Another example is transitioning to smart fixtures or internet of things (IoT)-powered buildings. Experts suggest our post-pandemic world will transition to more digitized workplaces, and your team might need help making that adjustment. Not everyone is used to working with artificial intelligence (AI), so your staff members could use all the help they can get.
People are not machines, and managers need to help employees ease their way to technological changes in the workplace. Here are some key tips to help your team adjust to new technology.
Build the office culture around adaptability, learning, and change
There’s a saying that goes, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This simply means that it doesn’t matter how solid your vision or strategy for your business is if the people in your company are not on board or have not caught that vision and the culture required to succeed. Consider partnering with a culture coach or expert to help you help your team navigate these changes.
At the same time, it’s a wonderful time to remind your team that for the company to succeed, it must evolve with time and technology. A key part of this is everyone being willing to learn and get with the times. Make regular training and learning a regular part of your business operations. Your staff members will surely appreciate feeling like you are also investing in them. Don’t just throw them into the water and expect them to be able to swim without going through the process of learning everything they possibly could about the new technology.
Launch the technology as a project everyone will work on together
Like everything in business, even this new technology must have clear and concise key performance indicators (KPIs). This is crucial so that you and your team can measure the success and effectiveness of the tool. Once you introduce the technology as a new project, it will also get your team more involved and will give them opportunities to understand how the tool works. They will also be able to provide adequate support. Enlist your IT and HR departments so that they can also incorporate their input.
Ask for feedback
There are plenty of ways to get your employees’ two cents on the new technology:
- Set individual meetings. Sometimes, not everyone speaks up at group meetings. Therefore, talking to people one-on-one might cause them to open up more.
- Send out surveys. Not everyone has the gumption to be brutally honest about what they think when talking to their superior or boss face-to-face. Hence, anonymous surveys might be a good way to get genuine feedback from your employees.
- Private emails are also an option and might seem more personal. This method can communicate that you truly care about their opinion.
Listen to your team’s critical views and train your mind to appraise their views objectively. It’s easy to take their feedback personally if any of our ideas don’t seem to work. However, if you want your business to succeed, listening to your team’s views is crucial. It’s especially important to listen to those who have been in your company for a very long time since they have context on what works and what doesn’t.
Be patient and give it enough time
This is especially true if the new technology was introduced quickly and there wasn’t much time to ease people into it. Another reason the tool might meet resistance is if it caused some layoffs or hours of work being cut off. Extend patience and understanding to the members of the team who are struggling and provide support whenever you can. At the same time, avoid sticking to your guns even if it’s not working. Accept feedback and partner with experts and your team to cut your losses.
Adjusting to new technology will take time and effort. But if you all work together, it might just achieve the results you’re hoping for.