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How to encourage staff uptake of new digital systems

Digital transformation is one of the biggest trends in business today. But what exactly does it mean? And how do you go about implementing it?
Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager

Have you just invested in a new digital tool for your company, but are unsure how to introduce it to your staff?

Getting employees to engage with new systems can often be tricky, especially if staff members have been using a particular process or product for a long time. The truth is, some people just don’t like change. And not everyone is tech savvy!

Regardless, with technology delivering continual changes to the workplace, it’s important to keep your staff up-to-date and equipped with the latest systems and software.

So how can you ensure a successful uptake of your new digital system? Especially when it comes to transitioning employees away from outdated paper processes to shiny new digital tools?

Helping staff prepare for new technologies and tools

The first thing to note: with any new system, you’ll want to ensure that you’re encouraging employees – not overwhelming them. Throwing staff in the deep end is not the way to go!

Before you roll out any new tool, it’s your responsibility to make sure there is adequate support and training provided, right throughout the whole implementation process, as well as beyond.

Training will allow employees to gain a thorough understanding of how to use the system, and exactly how it relates to their daily tasks and work processes. It’s also important to let staff know how the system will be rolled out to them, as well as any steps of the implementation process they need to take part in.

By having the right training and support for your employees throughout the whole roll out, you can ensure a smooth and easy transition with the least disruption to your everyday business.

Demonstrate the benefits to your team

To encourage employee engagement with the new system, Dave Evans (Managing Director at software house Accessplanit) recommends showcasing the benefits to staff.

“This helps them to visualise exactly what the new tech can do; specifically, it shows what it can do for them,” he says.

For example, training management software saves time for more or less every employee in every department, so it’s easy to tailor the benefits to the individual. Show how new technologies can save workers time, in comparison to outdated paper or print processes.

Evans also suggests getting feedback from employees during training, to “find out what they like and dislike, what they find easy to use, and where stumbling blocks appear.”

This will help you know when you need to provide additional training or guided support, or in some cases, implement development changes to the system that address the issues.

After all, you want your staff to actually use the new system – but more than that, you want them to master it. When employees are provided with training that helps them to embrace and adjust to a new system, they are more able to use the technology to its fullest.

Using online training to implement digital systems

These days, the best way to deliver training to your employees is through online training. And online courses are particularly effective when it comes to encouraging staff to engage with new digital systems, increasing the chances of successful uptake.

That’s because online learning allows employees to practice new skills and processes themselves, in a ‘real-time’ environment.

Stephanie Hammerwold, writing for HR Gazette, agrees that taking a hands-on approach is the most effective way to train employees on new technology.

“Simply standing in front of a group and showing them the new technology on a screen does not give them the chance to test it out and get a feel for how it works,” she explains.

In contrast, online courses allow individuals to easily run through software updates, perform new processes, and use new systems – practicing until they are confident and comfortable they’ve got it right.

When it comes to particularly change-resistant employees, Hammerwold believes in meeting them halfway, and accepting that technology is a struggle for some people.

“Provide the training and tools to help them feel comfortable with learning the new process or skill. The more time and energy you invest in training resistant employees on new technology, the easier it will become to train them on such things in the future.”

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