When companies invest in new technologies, it can be an exciting venture but an overwhelming experience for employees. Each individual in a company has a different relationship with technology, resulting in different levels of proficiency. It’s important to be aware that digital adoption won’t happen overnight and a one-size-fits-all strategy just won’t work. For it to be successful, digital adoption plans should address three critical “justs” — just in time, just for me and just enough — in order to transition a workforce through the change.
To navigate the muddy waters of adoption one must:
- Identify the overall business objective for investing in the new technology to drive awareness and desire. Also answer, “What’s in it for me?”
- Ensure learning initiatives align with the desired behavior change and offer multidimensional, multigenerational options.
An adoption measurement plan should be established early on to identify how quickly employees are up and running on the new technology, how many employees are demonstrating buy-in and using the new solution, and how well individuals are performing compared to the desired business objectives.
Data Tells the Story
By tapping into consumption reports, businesses gain valuable insights to determine how a company is adjusting to the digital adoption by breaking down data at a department and individual level, per site and per software application. Using this information, management can identify two important metrics — who is and who isn’t using the new platforms. Using such insights, management can:
- Develop an outreach strategy to drive communications to those that are resistant to adoption and offer further training or resources.
- Identify the early adopters or “super users” within an organization who are showing high levels of consumption and provide them with advanced training opportunities. Businesses can also leverage these users by developing them into ambassadors to rally teams internally.
- Use consumption reporting to measure impact against learning initiatives.
Turning Numbers Into Actions
The data allows business leaders to pivot and adjust learning plans throughout the technology migration. For example, your consumption data is telling you that the marketing department is not leveraging Microsoft Teams for collaboration, but that they are accessing the training portals/learning resources during their lunch break. Knowing this data, learning leaders can develop a customized plan to provide learning options during lunch hours, with a curriculum that speaks to marketing-specific use-cases for collaboration using the application.
Timing Is Key
With technology migrations, expect the unexpected. The timing of training delivery is critical. There cannot be a large gap between the technology rollout and the application of learning the technology. For example, if you deliver training on an application before it’s is rolled out into the environment, employees will have a harder time applying what they learned, not allowing the organization to realize the full investment in the technology. One way to fill the gap is by using simulation-based learning — a tactic that allows individuals to put the software into practice, while at the same time receiving corrective actions, without having the actual software enabled.
This learn-as-you-go approach can also be used to measure the capabilities of an employee. In addition to data insights and analysis, an effective tactic for improved digital adoption rates and changed behaviors is the development and demonstration of future-state scenarios. Providing employees with the opportunity to use the new tools in hypothetical use-cases will help them to understand the value of a company’s technology investment and how it connects to their day-to-day functions. This, in turn, will improve the likelihood of changed behaviors. If they can understand how the software can benefit them directly, they will be more willing to use it.
Proving Adoption With ROI
Introducing new technology to your company isn’t beneficial if employees don’t use it properly. Employees must have an understanding of why a digital adoption is taking place and management must communicate this. At the same time, those in leadership positions must also take the time to analyze who is falling behind in the process, why, and what they can do to help ensure no one is left behind — leaving the investment in the technology useless.
When it comes to a successful user adoption strategy, knowing what to look for and how to customize the rollout can save a company time, money and additional resources — not to mention that what is learned can be leveraged to optimize future digital adoptions.