staff surrounding a laptop at a desk

Communicating New Technology to Staff

According to the rule Moore’s Law, the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, though the cost of computers is halved, meaning that it is expected that the entire competence of our computers will increase every couple of years. The shelf life of technological advancements is getting lower and lower, thanks to technology. But this is intuitive – the more advancements we make, the easier it is to attain the next big breakthrough. Sure, this will eventually not be true, but that just means we’ll not be advancing at the current, crazy pace.

Upgrading to new technology is a fundamental requirement by every company willing to stay relevant in this highly competitive market. Regardless of the size of the industry, the pressure is huge because if you get left behind the detrimental results will follow. The hesitation to adopt new technologies can come from a number of reasons including budgets and resistance to change.

This article is not about how to avoid this hesitation, but rather about how to overcome this unavoidable feeling and help your employees adapt to your snazzy new upgrades. As important as adoption is to you, staying in the comfort zone is important to your employees. You may have asked them to push their boundaries, or to expand their zone holistically; to them, it isn’t as much of a need as it is their boss’ request.

  • They make money by being comfortable and feel no need to try anything else. Hence, make them feel the ease of use of your newest upgrade – the simplicity of it. Let them use it for a while and find out why it is a better choice than their previous preference. For example, cloud computing services are increasingly being implemented by businesses as a form of data storage and to encourage collaboration between staff. In this case, it is important for business leaders to provide tutorials and demonstrate to their staff the ease of sharing files and having a secure backup of all data.
  • To enforce the points given in the above paragraph, emphasize to them the advantages of your upgrade. Sure, the really uncomfortable ones might point out disadvantages – let them know that every piece of technology is flawed in some form or another.
  • Stress upon how it will drastically improve the efficiency of your product, and how it is profitable to them as an employee of your organisation. Make them understand how it is a better choice for a specific operation.
  • Rather than diving into the tempting new technical jargon that you understand about the upgrade, break it down. The goal is to make your employees understand why it is more intuitive and easier – to them, technical jargon is no better than, say, a remotely located tribe’s communication dialect. To them, what’s generally important is how this new and unfamiliar upgrade will serve them – both in the short and long runs.
mac desktop with a keyboard and a laptop and an ipad in front of it

Okay, so your employees understand the need for an upgrade and have accepted your suggestions, and now you’re planning on a rollout. How can we make this comfortable for your employees (making sure they don’t change their mind again)?

If your budget allows it, it can be a good idea to hire a managed IT service provider to implement your latest technological systems to ensure a seamless transition with minimal to no confusion.

A key tool, emphasised from the beginning of this article, is communication. A one-size-fits-all plan rarely, dare I say never, works. Communicate with – not to – your employees. Consider them in your plans. Some of them might want to know beforehand so that they can plan their outputs around it; some of them might be eager to try the new upgrades hands-on. You might want to conduct training sessions – ask them if they understand better in groups or one-on-one. Take a poll and suitably organise online and in-house coaching sessions.

Congratulations, you’ve now adapted to the latest market trends. For the long run:

  • Keep a temporary support line active for queries and remarks regarding your upgrade.
  • Try to personally help out those that are trailing along in the process.
  • Recognise employees’ wins and reinforce it to them.