New technology can save your small business time and money–but only if your employees actually use it. Unfortunately, humans are hard-wired to resist change, especially if it affects their already busy workdays, writes Xerox’s Rieva Lesonsky.
Here are some tips for getting your team to willingly adopt new technology:
Give employees input into choosing the solution.
Employees will be far more likely to embrace new technology if they’ve had a voice in selecting it. Depending on the particular solution you’re investigating, the size of your budget and the knowledge of your team, you may be able to put employees in charge of initial research to come up with a shortlist of possible options.
If you’ve already narrowed the options down to a few products, you can still give employees a say in the final decision. Have them participate in product demos and ask vendors questions. After all, your employees are on the front lines so they may know better than you which features will be most helpful.
To minimise disruption, choose technology that works with your existing tools.
You’ll have smoother adoption and less downtime if you select technology that integrates with the essential technology you already use.
For instance, Xerox multifunction printers can work with your employees’ mobile devices using the Xerox Mobile Link app to boost productivity and streamline workflow. Choosing familiar and trusted brands, such as Xerox, will help employees feel confident in the value of the new technology and make it easier for them to learn.
Emphasise the benefits, not the features, of the new technology
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the cool features of a new tech tool. However, if all those bells and whistles aren’t convincing your employees, play up the product’s benefits, not its features. Just like your customers, your employees want to know, “What’s in it for me?” Will it save time, eliminate steps in a process, save money or reduce errors?
For example, your employees might not see the point of learning to use a new printer (“What’s wrong with the old one?”). However, when you explain that Xerox Versalink printers with ConnectKey technology can scan documents right into cloud storage apps like Dropbox and Microsoft 365 (and even make them searchable), employees will quickly see the benefits. Instead of making comments on paper printouts and passing them around the office, everyone on your team can access the documents at once, saving tons of time.
You can also show them how Xerox Web Capture Service reduces human error by scanning documents directly into business apps, such as Microsoft Office 365, QuickBooks Online, or FreshBooks, without the time-consuming steps of creating files, renaming documents and importing the data into an app. Or explain that Xerox Mobile Link app lets you create customised One-Touch Workflows to scan and send documents from Xerox MFPs to the cloud, email, fax and your mobile device with one push of a button.
Allow plenty of time to implement new technology
You’re asking for trouble if you try to introduce employees to new tech tools a week before your busy season starts. Plan ahead and give employees plenty of time to learn the new technology. This also gives you some wiggle room in case there are unforeseen delays getting the new solution up to speed or integrating it with your existing systems.
Reward employees for using the new technology
Make it fun, not punitive. Look for ways you can “gamify” the new tool to encourage departments and individuals to embrace it. For instance, you can hold contests for the department or team that makes the fastest transition, saves the most time, reduces the error rate, or saves the most money during the first month of using the new technology. Give every employee on the winning team a gift card, a cash bonus or an afternoon off with pay.
By taking some time to plan your technology upgrades carefully while keeping your employees involved, you’ll speed up adoption and boost your business in more ways than one.
* This article was first published on the Xerox blog