5 Tricks to Ease a Technophobe’s Worst Fears

Field service managers know that adopting new technology has major benefits: increased productivity, higher sales and smarter decision-making. But getting a whole team on board with new tools isn’t always easy — there will always be Luddites and naysayers who prefer to stick to the old way of doing things. The Harvard Business Review outlines a few best practices for leaders to help ease employees’ technology adoption pain.

1. Prioritize User-Friendliness

When you are weighing different options for buying new technology, keep your team’s interests in mind, says Michael C. Mankins, a partner at Bain & Company’s San Francisco office and leader of the firm’s North America practice. “Make sure you’re using the most approachable, most intuitive system possible,” Mankins suggests. Prioritize user friendliness and approachability, and try to get a sandbox environment from each vendor so you and your team can do trial runs before making a decision.

2. Show the Benefits

To get an entire team on board with a new technology, they must understand why it’s so critical to master the skills needed to use these tools. Whether the new tech will help drive more sales, improve customer relations or increase productivity, demonstrate exactly how it will make your team’s life better.

3. Customize Your Training

If you want widespread adoption of new tech, tailor your training program to meet employees’ different needs and learning styles. Some people will be comfortable with a simple online training session, but others may need more handholding and coaching. Remember to lead by example and show your team that you’re also invested in learning the new system.

4. Assemble a Cheerleading Squad

Having an internal group of advocates for the new technology goes a long way toward encouraging adoption and regular use. Gather “evangelists” from across your organization who have good communication and networking skills to coach others and help them through the transition and on-boarding.

5. Establish a Routine

As soon as you can, “institutionalize” the new technology and make it part of the routine at your organization, Bain & Company’s Mankin says. Ask for weekly updates on the data from new sales software, for example, or use only your company’s new internal communication software even if people continue to send emails for project updates.

In addition to these tips, Mankins says it’s important to reward employees who adopt the technology and celebrate quick wins, which will encourage further adoption. Penalizing employees who don’t comply, Mankins says, should be used as a last resort and can backfire, reinforcing the idea that new technology is a ha

Hat tip: Harvard Business Review 

ABOUT Preeti Upadhyaya

Preeti is a multimedia journalist with expertise in technology, economics and markets reporting. Her work has been featured on Marketplace, Chicago Public Radio, MarketWatch, the Wall Street Journal and other publications. Preeti has a M.S. in advanced business reporting from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.