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Adoption of new technology requires strategic planning. Implementation is rarely smooth without this step because employees often resist any type of new changes. Resistance to new technology implementations is quite common.
The strategic end goal before the implementation phase is having employees on board with the planned changes.
It’s in Our Nature to Dislike Change
People are inherently resistant to change because change creates uncertainty, which in turn creates fear.
Change means going out of the comfort zone, the routine, and plunging right into the unknown.
Employees will resist new technology because they don’t know how it will affect their daily tasks and their job.
Here are some tips that will help you avoid and eliminate resistance to new technology:
#1 Be transparent
Resistance to new technology and change in general can easily be overcome with open communication. When you let everyone who will be affected by the change know about it well ahead of time, they will have time to prepare.
Just informing them about it is not enough! You have to ensure they are actively involved.
Ensure you have a fully open two-way dialogue so that anyone who is affected by the changes you wish to implement can voice their concerns. Be open to criticism from employees, and do NOT shut it down. When they feel safe to criticise, you get an opportunity to see what they worry about the most.
#2 Ensure everyone gets training
Most commonly, resistance to new technology is strong when participants feel they are not ready to work with new technology. You can eliminate such resistance by having participants undergo training – this gives them adequate preparation and they will feel confident working with the new system.
Have resources available online so they can access them at any time. This helps eliminate many slowdowns as they can quickly double-check a new process they are unsure about.
#3 Stand your ground
You might have an employee who is firm in their conviction and invests a lot of energy into resistance. Steer that energy in a different direction by giving them a key role during implementation.
Invite your employees to actively participate in making decisions about the new software when possible. When this is not possible, make sure to supply them with enough resources and have an active role in explaining the benefits of this change. When you explain how new technology will make their workday easier, they will be more willing to support change.
#4 Choose a soft rollout
There will be less resistance to change when the change is gradual. A soft rollout is the best way to implement new technology. Roll out the new tech in several phases. Move on to the next phase only when you are sure that everyone has mastered the previous one.
#5 Have someone in charge
Assign a person who will help employees during implementation. When they have a dedicated point person who can quickly help them with an issue and answer questions, they will master new technology and software much faster, and there will be less frustration and negative feelings towards it.
New Technology Helps Everyone
The most crucial point you must ensure that everyone understands is that new technology is what keeps the business going forward. Without it, you would stop in your tracks, and while you might be okay at this point, you will fall back soon enough. Therefore, soft rollouts and gradual changes are the best way to get everyone on board and master new technology without causing disruptions.