How to introduce new technology to an organization: 3 critical steps to take
A modern technology experience drives productivity and helps employees feel valued. Take these three steps to optimize and introduce new technology at your organization.
What would you – nay, any of us – have done without video communication technology during COVID-19? Thanks to easy-to-use applications like FaceTime and Zoom, we’ve been able to stay connected with those we care about.
It’s no surprise people also expect the same great, frictionless experiences from their workplace technology. Today’s remote, distributed, and hybrid workforces require more collaboration – and technology that enables more proactive, autonomous behavior. Delivering a great employee technology experience often means introducing new technology to the organization.
But how do organizations know what new technologies employees need – and when? And what’s the best way to deploy said tech? We’ve covered some of the benefits and challenges organizations can expect when introducing new technology, plus three critical steps to take in order to be successful.
What are the benefits of introducing new technology to an organization?
A joint study that we carried out with Microsoft found when employees’ foundational technology set up works well, they’re more engaged, more productive, and happier at work. The study found that 59% of employees agree that a modern technology experience lets them better serve their customers and work more productively.
Employees were 121% more likely to feel valued by their company as a result of their modern tech experience.
Furthermore, an employee’s productivity in their daily work and job enablement are key requirements to making business progress happen. Research conducted by PwC revealed that most employees prefer tech-first solutions for common work tasks so they can gain valuable time back to do more engaging work. These common work tasks include scheduling time off digitally (51% of employees preferred using a tech-first solution to do this) and online benefits enrollment (53% of employees preferred this).
The bottom line? Getting to do engaging work makes for happier employees – and higher levels of productivity.
The challenges of introducing new technology to employees
We now know employees expect their work-related devices, applications, infrastructure, and services to give them the digital dexterity to make progress in their daily work.
Employees, especially high performing ones, also expect to be enabled to be as productive as possible. And if they're not? They leave. According to research conducted by Korn Ferry, “a low sense of enablement is the biggest risk for employees classed as the organization’s most talented. Talented employees can be more sensitive to barriers, yet suffer in silence. This lack of enablement prevents high performers from achieving their best, resulting in them becoming frustrated and potentially leaving the organization.”
So, what enables employees to achieve their best? To start, new technology.
93% of today’s largest workforce segment (millennials) say having modern, up-to-date technology is one of the most important aspects of a workplace.
However, there’s a gap in what organizations believe is happening and what’s actually happening when new technology is implemented. According to PwC, 90% of executives say they pay attention to employee needs when introducing new tech. Yet, only 53% of their employees agreed.
How have organizations missed the mark on delivering what employees actually require to get their jobs done? If your organization doesn’t have a culture of feedback, chances are no one asked them. (And if you do, it might require a more holistic approach to employee listening.)
Three steps for introducing new technology in the workplace
To meet (and exceed) employee expectations, organizations must empower IT, technology, and HR leaders to think holistically about the employee technology experience. This includes asking what employees desire from their technology experience, as well as delivering on those wants and needs.
Before you embark on introducing new technology to your organization, consider this three-step framework to optimize your success:
Step #1: Listen
Gather continuous feedback from your employees. It’s important to collect feedback and data inputs from everyone, including your technology support teams, business leaders, implementation project teams, and most importantly, your employees who are using your tools and services on a daily basis.
Using employee listening to understand your initial benchmarks – i.e. what’s going well in your current employee tech stack, in the project rollout, in IT or HR services/support – helps organizations find areas to improve and optimize.
Learn three innovative ways to approach employee listening.
Step #2: Understand
Next, consume and analyze employee data, pulling out actionable insights and learnings. With the help of employee experience management solutions, organizations can collect insights and conduct analyses of feedback – which provides deeper understanding of the issues and priority areas to focus on – in a single, easy-to-use platform.
This step allows you to pinpoint where critical technology experience gaps lie and identify those that have the most impact on productivity and motivation.
Step #3: Act
Once you have these critical insights, the most important step is to take action – and communicate plans and results out to the organization so everyone can see and feel the progress.
Here’s a quick checklist to help get you started:
- Before discussing feedback with your team, set aside some time to digest the results and prepare some talking points for your discussion. These points should celebrate the wins, but also start a conversation around low scoring areas.
- To address feedback quickly, integrate discussions of employee feedback into your regular IT team cadence. (Tip: Carve out 30 minutes in your regular team meetings to discuss the feedback.)
- Use your results dashboard to guide the conversation. Using the dashboard is beneficial, as it will enable the team to see the results directly and therefore have a more open discussion.
- Identify and agree on actions as a team, so the IT service delivery, project rollout, or internal software support can adjust to meet employee needs and expectations.
- Make team members aware of their responsibility and accountability for providing ongoing feedback as well as taking action on the areas within their control.
- Utilize resources and additional feedback from other touchpoints to further explore results. Where possible connect feedback with operational data, and discuss results directly with employees.
- Communicate results and progress to employees and leadership on a regular basis.
- Start connecting IT actions and tech improvements to larger business outcomes, like employee enablement, productivity, motivation to go above and beyond, retention, and the bottom line.
Your employees require essential resources to do their jobs well—especially in times of change. Thankfully, this simple three-step process – listen; understand; act – is all it takes to elevate your workplace technology experience to ensure it truly meets employee needs. Doing so won’t happen without challenges, but your organization will benefit when new tech helps increase employee engagement, drive productivity, and ultimately, deliver better business outcomes.
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