New technology can help propel both productivity and efficiency within the workplace, but what happens if employees are reluctant to learn and adopt it?
In order to be effective, new technology needs to be adopted and used by all members of a company. To achieve this, user adoption initiatives must be taken from initial vendor selection all the way through the implementation process, training, and final sign off.
How can the employer make user adoption as easy and painless and effective as possible?
Employees and managers alike should be involved in every step of technology selection and providing constant feedback throughout the process.
Users must find the technology easy to use and intuitive, or be amicable towards training and changing their work practices.
Users must be incentivized to use the new technology and realize a benefit in doing so.
It all starts at vendor selection.
Management is more than capable of crunching the numbers and calculating the ROI, the labor reduction, and the cost savings connected with new technology options, but the caveat is that if employees don’t use it, little financial benefit may be realized. In fact, costs may go up if there is insufficient user adoption. For example, many employees might continue with their old practices so that their work has to be re-entered into the new system in order for management to obtain complete reports or to make business decisions. This is one reason why including users from all areas of a company, starting with making a prospective vendor list, can be critical.
Which users should you select to be part of the process, starting with vendor selection? In many cases it is clear which employees are the power users and influencers of the legacy system in place. They know intimately what works and what does not, and often what can be done to improve old processes. They often lead their teams when new technology or methods are put into place. For these individuals, winning their buy-in means winning the buy-ins of everyone else. They should have input into which vendors will be considered so that whichever is ultimately implemented has been vetted and accepted by them. This way, the users themselves take ownership. If they help choose it, they will likely find the selected system beneficial to doing their jobs better and more efficiently. They will be willing to train to fill any performance gaps.
The user must find a benefit in adopting the selected technology.
Including users in selecting new technology helps a company assure that it is keeping its employees happy with change. Putting new technology in place is often a major change and it is only human to resist it. Employees need to see a direct benefit from changing their old practices and to be committed to buying into new ways of doing their work. New technology needs to be both functional and user-friendly, and finding the right balance between the two can often be difficult. Employees will appreciate an intuitive and accessible system, something that doesn’t cause them to get frustrated after a week-long training session. They will be able to tell you what they believe the best options are, what works for them, what will save the most time, and what will ultimately allow them to do their jobs better than ever before. In some cases, the best technology choice might not be the easiest to use. It may require training. But when employees recognize how training is worth the results to their future productivity, they will be motivated to work hard at learning and adopting the new system.
The user must ultimately train with the new system, be incentivized to use it, and adopt it.
After choosing the perfect system or software, and implementing it, the next step is to truly achieve full user adoption. This is often where training is the critical piece. Even with complete buy-in from the users for a selected vendor, often only an exhaustive training approach will lead to full and effective user adoption. Management must be actively involved with both the vendor and employees through the training process. Here, as discussed above, user feedback is vital. Is the training going well? What are the points of frustration? Are the users finding that the new system is helpful towards doing their jobs more efficiently? Do they see the value in the company’s use of the new system? In some cases, it may be helpful to provide additional resources to users who have more difficult learning curves. Oftentimes, one-on-one training is helpful, either through the vendor or through co-workers who have a more intuitive understanding of the new system in place. Online training videos may be helpful supplements. Ultimately, communication is vital.
During the user adoption process, incentives can be very helpful. What incentivizes an employee? In each case it may be different. Some may be encouraged by financial motivators, while others may find time off more of an incentive. Remember that transition takes time, so rigid expectations and timeframes may not be as motivating as rewards and patience. Ultimately, flexibility and communication are key.
Any company that operates in any capacity on the Internet will come to learn the value of having a great user interface, design and functionality for its website.
Nowadays, there are almost an infinite number of pages and sites on the Worldwide Web, but the truly successful sites and pages are those that understand how important it is to provide an attractive, functional, and accessible website. Visitors, especially potential customers, don’t want to deal with a frustrating or unattractive site – there are so many other options on the Internet that they can turn to. Due to stiff competition, companies have had to learn how to up their design game, and those that have successfully mastered it are those who have followed a few key techniques. The importance of a great design simply cannot be overstated.
The best websites have a user interface and design that is, in a word, simple.
The less clutter your website has, the better – too much content is bound to confuse your audience, which can lead to frustration. It’s important to have a clean and concise presentation, one that can guide your audience, because it’s basically a first impression. Your site is, in essence, a presentation of your products and your company in general. If the presentation is cluttered or disorganized, then your products and services, by extension, will also seem subpar.
A minimalistic and beautifully designed page makes your services and products shine.
Simplicity prevents frustration within your audience. Too much detail or clutter is confusing and confusion leads to frustrated customers. They won’t make the purchase they desire to make, even if you have exactly what they want in inventory and ready to ship. Simplicity, minimalism, and a great first impression image is key to telling your potential buyers we have what you want and we will deliver it to you quickly. More and more having a digital presence and great presentation is vital to successful sales. Companies nowadays have no choice but to invest time and resources into developing an accessible and aesthetically pleasing website. First impressions matter.
Your platform needs to communicate quickly and clearly to your visitors and clients.
With the right design and format, communication between you and your audience is the primary goal – effective communication is needed to address any and all of your audience’s needs. Make sure that the platform you choose to present your ideas on will be accessible to all; otherwise, what’s the point of having a platform if it isn’t reaching the right people? Your buyers. Having a solid and functional design will go a long way in creating and fostering the right type of communication.
Be sure to focus on both form and function.
An attractive page is useless if it doesn’t perform relevant functions well. A functional page can be hindered by a lack of aesthetics. Customers nowadays want to see and visit a page that is both useful and visually pleasing to look at or scroll through. If it’s difficult to interact with, most prospective customers will most likely leave in just a few seconds, resulting in a loss of business. Make it easy for a customer to give you their patronage; after all, that’s why they’re browsing for services and products in the first place. Customers and prospects have to be able to quickly understand your message and easily communicate with you, and ideally via an easy and single click.
Your site must be fast and responsive.
Having a frustrating or laggy website can result in some serious consequences, such as lost sales opportunities. Customers simply do not have the patience to deal with confusing menus and hard-to-find links. As audiences become more and more tech-savvy in the Internet Age, they begin to expect more from companies that operate all or parts of their business online. As a result, having a good user interface design (and a good user experience) can truly be the deciding factor in a customer’s choice to support your company instead of your competitors’. Focus on providing a seamless and hassle-free user experience, and invest in creating a logical user interface design.
In all, it’s become more and more clear that designing a simple, attractive and functional website is key in attracting new and old customers alike. Keep it simple and intuitive – don’t frustrate your potential clients. With a great website, it’ll be far easier for your company to succeed, particularly in a competitive industry.