New software often promises serious improvements to efficiency, the bottom line, or both. Based on these promises, companies purchase and implement the new software only to face a virtual employee revolt. You can take steps to seamlessly introduce new software to employees and sidestep an uprising.
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Get Employee Buy-In
All too often, employees get blindsided when a company introduces new, mandatory software. In scenarios like this, employees balk as the change disrupts ongoing work and because people instinctively resist change. You can avoid resistance and the slow adoption it creates by securing employee buy-in. Introduce employees to the problem. For example, the company’s data is fragmented. Introduce the new software as a solution that will improve everyone’s efficiency. By soliciting employee feedback about the proposed change and addressing their concerns, you significantly reduce resistance and speed up adoption.
Employees often receive limited or no training on new software, which leads to underutilized software and employee angst. Comprehensive online tutorials, provided on your intranet or via a third-party provider, such as Global Learning Systems, can smooth the way. You can set up the tutorials to provide an overview of the software for everyone, as well as job or department specific tutorials to deal with specialized needs. For example, the software features the sales team needs to worry about are not the same as the features the human resources team must understand. Online tutorials also allow employees to go back and review training on-demand, rather than needing to pin down a co-worker or trainer for every problem.
Another option splits the difference between typical, vendor-provided training and online tutorials. Blended learning divides this training process between classroom learning, media-rich online tutorials, and one-to-one coaching sessions. This approach addresses a cross-section of learning styles, but it is a resource-intensive approach that may prove overkill for many software implementations. For example, a new version of a software package that introduces new features probably does not call for a blended learning, as core functions remain intact. For an entirely new program that changes essential workflows across the organization, however, employees will benefit from the more expansive training options.
On the whole, employees want to do their jobs well and will welcome technology that enables them to improve performance. You can avoid employee discontent over new software by securing their buy-in ahead of time and providing them with the appropriate tools to learn the software.
By Annette Hazard