5 Ways to Improve Employee Adoption of New Technology
Introducing a new software system into a fleet-oriented business can pose many challenges. We often hear from fleet managers that they are concerned about their employee’s ability and/or willingness to adopt new technology. In our years as fleet management software providers, we’ve learned a lot of best practices for improving employee adoption of technology. Below are five of the most successful techniques we’ve seen used to ensure a smooth transition:
1. Involve your end-users in the purchase process
Explain the reasons for change and involve key end-users every step of the way, beginning with the product selection. Actively solicit input from those who will be using the new product. Find out what their current processes are and what could make their jobs easier.
Getting user input on which product to purchase ensures business needs are being met and gives the added benefit of reduced user resistance. Buy-in happens naturally when people feel that their opinions have been taken into consideration.
A software purchase made without consulting end-users can lead to the discovery that the application does not offer what they really need to perform their duties. Including your staff in the selection process as well as the implementation planning will help alleviate the fear of change as well as some of the resistance to it.
2. Choose and Leverage your Internal Champions
Once you have made a decision on software, select several staff members to be leaders of the new implementation. These staffers do not have to be your IT gurus. Find the influencers among your teams and work with them to get others on board. Once you have the team fully invested and passionate about the new fleet management software, they get other employees excited and motivated.
3. Involve End Users Early in the Implementation Planning Process
The software implementation process should consist of several phases: project strategy and analysis/planning, design and build, on-site training and go-live and support.
Beginning with project strategy and analysis, a critical step is having end-users and your internal champions discuss the company’s goals, user’s specific needs, training and system expectations. Ensure that everyone who wants to be involved is involved, whether they are members of upper management, clerical staff or field personnel.
Once expectations have been established and a road map developed between the internal implementation team and your software provider there should be a growing sense of ownership of this project by the team. This “sweat equity” can pay dividends far beyond the time spent planning.
Thorough system training is key to success. This is why collaborating early in the process with end-users to construct a solid, customized training and implementation plan lays the groundwork for a successful project.
4. Encourage Continuous Feedback
Perceived value is tied to successful adoption, so be specific with your employees about the advantages of your new system. By seeking continuous feedback with the early adopters, product champions and everyone involved you can ascertain from the early stages whether or not your goals and benefits are starting to materialize.
It is important to know if things are not going as intended or processes are not working. It is necessary to identify problems early on and address them quickly. For example, if your new fleet management software is supposed to integrate with your GPS system, but data isn’t flowing properly into the right buckets, make sure you address this with your software provider. Do not establish a “workaround” in the implementation process. Stick to you project road map and keep working toward your strategic goals. Adjustments should be made through employee feedback not because of software roadblocks.
Your new software is meant to make your employees lives easier. Champion the cause and you will win over converts more quickly.
5. Make Use of Available Resources for Continued Education and Training
Make use of the ongoing support and additional resources offered by your software provider. Most software providers have resources for new customers including different types of tutorials, webinars, white papers and product manuals that can be very useful to your staff after the on site implementation has ended. Software evolves, employees come and go, so it is important to consistently process new information from your provider and to onboard new employees properly.
Changing the software you use to run your company can be stressful, but the hard work you put into being transparent throughout the whole process will pay off. Make sure you involve employees early and often: explain the reasons for change, tell them what to expect during implementation, and make it known that it takes time to reap the rewards of such big changes. You will reap what you sow.
For a more in-depth consultation regarding how your company can easily transition to new fleet management software, please contact us to get in touch with an analyst.
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