On a scale of 1 to “ugh!” it’s not hard to guess where IT managers land on convincing employees to adopt new technology. After all, spearheading user adoption initiatives can be a pretty thankless job. But with many organizations accelerating their digital transformation initiatives in the wake of the pandemic, IT managers have no choice but to roll up their sleeves and look for ways to get everyone on board.

Thinking about the best ways to encourage user adoption is enough to give even the most experienced IT manager a deer-in-the-headlights look. But sometimes taking a new approach to a task you dread can make all the difference.

Here are 4 things IT managers dread most about rolling out new technology initiatives and tips for making the change management process more efficient, effective, and maybe even fun.

1. Wearing all the hats

During a new technology rollout, IT managers play the role of project manager, teacher, technician, sheriff, firefighter, and cheerleader. It’s exhausting. 

Depending on the scope and complexity of the project, they could spend weeks or even months primarily focused on ensuring everyone in the company knows how to use the new product, understands why they need to use the new product, and actually uses the new product. And because day-to-day IT functions don’t stop during a rollout, IT managers have to pop on their IT team member hat too, just for good measure.

Solution: Recruit a technology champion

Recruiting technology champions to take over some of the non-technical roles frees up more time for IT intervention. Technology champions can help others become more comfortable using the new software by offering encouragement, demonstrating the value of the new product, and identifying roadblocks that may slow user adoption.

2. Convincing leadership to model the right behavior

During a new technology initiative, it is crucial for company leaders to be seen using the new product. 

Modeling desirable behavior is a proven driver for maximizing user adoption down the ranks. But here’s the catch: A lot of high-level staff are too “busy” to be early adopters and learn the new tool, so it is on the IT team to convince leaders it’s worth their time.

Solution: Make it about the bottom line

The fastest and easiest way to get executives on board is to explain how widespread adoption of the solution will directly impact the company’s bottom line. Whether it’s a 30% increase in productivity or $20,000 savings on data storage each year, putting a real number on product usage will improve the rate of leadership adoption.

3. Engaging unenthusiastic employees

Many employees already feel overwhelmed, so convincing them to add yet another task to their overflowing plate isn’t going to be easy. 

Yes, training can be mandatory, but there is a huge difference between an employee going through the motions so they can get back to work and an employee who is actively engaged in the learning process. Guess which employee is going to give the company the best ROI on the new technology?

Solution: Make learning fun

Remember in elementary school when your teacher would sit the class on a rug to play a game, and the next thing you knew, you had mastered long division? This type of learning isn’t just for kids. Gamification is an effective strategy for teaching adults, too.

When lessons have an element of fun or friendly competition, motivation increases and retention rates go up. Solutions such as BrainStorm’s QuickHelp combine customized learning paths, games, and challenges to keep users actively engaged in the learning process. 

4. Overcoming resistance to change

Resistance to change can be frustrating when you have a project timeline and specific goals that must be met. But humans are creatures of habit, and few willingly move out of their comfort zones, especially when it comes to adopting new business technology

Although it’s hard not to take pushback personally, if you dig a little deeper, resistance often stems from a lack of understanding. People want to know:

  • “Why do we need this new tool?” 
  • “How will this make my job easier or more efficient?” 
  • “Is this the best time to make such a large process change?”

Solution: Offer empathy (and incentives)

Approaching the change from a place of empathy rather than authority will reassure users that their concerns are valid and that the change is a smart, necessary business decision.

It doesn’t hurt to offer prizes for quick adoption and hitting milestones or to publicly praise early wins. Calling attention to and rewarding the positive, rather than focusing on diffusing the negative, sets a more constructive tone for the project.

How BrainStorm can help

BrainStorm builds tools that make users want to learn. For example, the QuickHelp platform provides a highly personalized learning environment that helps organizations reach their goals by: 

  • Simplifying change management
  • Reducing IT workloads
  • Preventing user frustration
  • Increasing engagement and retention 

Believe it or not, change management can be a positive experience. Learn how partnering with BrainStorm to deliver individualized, engaging, and effective technology training can maximize your clients’ user adoption rates and minimize IT managers’ feelings of dread.


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