Do you remember the last time that you had to fumble as you fed a printed document into a fax machine? Not knowing if it had reached its destination? Thankfully, it is a tedious process that we don’t have to deal with anymore. It makes you wonder how we coped with office administration before email.
One of the growing pains of modern workplaces is incorporating changing technology into a business to save costs and increase productivity. The biggest challenge for organisations is convincing staff to adopt new technology. There is no shortcut or easy solution, but there is a better way to manage this type of change.
Recognising changes in the workplace
The first step to implementing change is to identify areas that are most conducive to change, where it will be easiest to implement. One of the best ways to ensure a smooth transition for teams is to evaluate the demographics first.
Everyone handles change in their own way and different age groups have different attitudes to technology. Some people will adapt to change faster and those ‘early adopters’ can be encouraged to act as champions of change or teachers, helping those in the team who might need more time or support to be comfortable with new software or new systems.
Developing learning strategies to suit your team
Chances are some people will never have used a typewriter in the workplace. Start by grouping your employees into two groups: those that are tech-savvy and those that are not so savvy. Doing this will help you develop the learning strategies and syllabus best suited to each group. For example, an older employee may prefer having printed reading materials over podcasts and eBooks.
Testing the reaction of small groups or departments before you implement change across the entire organisation is a good way to see how the business might handle it.
Using this low-risk strategy gives you time to see what works well in an environment that is easier to control. You can try out education techniques, training and communication strategies.
Once you have confidence that the right support and tools, as well as an effective communications strategy, has been developed you can roll out the change across the ensure organisation.
You will also have a section of the business who are confident using the new technology. The test group will be more experienced and proficient than the others and might even be good advocates for change.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to deal with change and other business-related matters, why not check out The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Small Business Owners – and work smarter, not harder on your business.