Adoption of new technology in the workplace is a constant sticking point for many organisations. Despite the majority of us being no strangers to taking up new tech, many digital transformation initiatives fail to reach their full potential.
The question is: why?
Why are employees, who are overwhelmingly keen on working remotely, so resistant to new systems, software and processes that could improve their working lives?
Well, buckle up because we’re going to examine the most common obstacles to workplace tech adoption and how to overcome them to make the most of digital transformation.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Common Barriers To Tech Adoption
You have probably experienced this problem yourself if you are responsible for implementing new technology at work. It takes countless hours and efforts to craft a business case, win buy-in, form a team, set it up, and launch...only to end up failing when it reaches its target audience.
At best it’s frustrating after all of that hard work. At worst, it’s a waste of time, money, energy - and it damages your chances of introducing new digital transformation projects in the future.
The best way to get to the bottom of this common problem is to understand why. Why on earth are your employees - the majority of whom most likely have a new smartphone every two years and learn to use that very quickly - less than enthusiastic about using new technology at work?
Employee Skills (Or Lack Of)
Generally, consumer-grade technologies (such as iPhones and Netflix) are intuitive and user-friendly. Work technology, however, isn’t always as easy to pick up and run with.
It’s entirely possible that some, or all, of your workforce are lacking the skills required to make the most of even the most carefully implemented technologies. While it’s true that we’re no strangers to digital adoption in our personal lives, it's often a totally different ball game in the workplace.
Software that requires a steeper learning curve, without sufficient support and training is destined to fail. To ensure any new technology sticks, it's important to understand your team's digital literacy before implementing them. Even better if you can choose platforms that embrace consumer-grade user experiences and design that enables employees to pick up and run with the tech easily.
Resistance To Change
One of the most dangerous phrases in business is: We've always done it this way. While seemingly innocuous in a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of way, it’s also a reflection of an organisational culture that doesn’t embrace change. And this can be a key barrier to digital adoption - amongst other things.
Companies that remain static don’t succeed. On the other hand, companies that believe in the power of change from the top down have an innate proclivity for adaptation, which means employees are open to trying new things in the name of growth and innovation.
No Clear Goals
Take a moment to think about the different apps, systems, programs, software and technologies you use in your average working day. It’s likely to be a lot. Adding more technology to this already teetering tech stack can seem, at best, superfluous. At worst, overwhelming. You might feel confused as to how this new program slots into your working day or what benefit it can possibly bring.
Yes, technology is empowering. It is a fantastic enabler. But (and there’s always a but) it has to actually solve a problem to be effective. If it doesn’t, new initiatives are likely to just add even more complexity and contribute even more to digital fatigue.
The key to winning here is to start with the end goal in mind. Consider what it is you want the technology to achieve and then find the solution that moves that particular needle. But that’s not all, either. This should then be communicated widely to teams in order for them to understand why they should adopt the new technology into their day to day.
Improving Workplace Technology Adoption
So, there you have it. 3 key reasons why employees are less than enthusiastic about adopting new technology in the workplace - along with some actionable tips to put your best foot forward.
It’s important to understand that this challenge isn’t unique to your business. Lackluster tech adoption and slow burn digital transformation initiatives are a common stumbling block for a lot of organisations. What’s key is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways and means to better understand what employees need and implement new technologies with that in mind.
The pandemic and the rise in remote work is proof of this. In an immensely challenging situation, employees were able to adopt new technologies and ways of working very quickly. The difference is, in that situation, they had to do it in order to continue working effectively. Now is the time to continue that transformation into a long term strategy that is sustainable, manageable, and secure.
Want to learn more about how you can improve workplace technology adoption in your organisation and see a better ROI when it comes to digital transformation? Check out our latest blog filled with more tips and tricks: 9 Essential Tips To Improve Workplace Adoption.