4 User adoption strategies to help employees embrace new tech

Getting employees to adopt new technology should be a no-brainer. After all, your organization has invested a significant amount of money in something executives believe is going to produce even more significant results in the form of increased efficiency and productivity, greater corporate security, marked competitive advantages, happier employees, and more.

With so much to gain, you would think that employees would embrace new tech like an office puppy, but people are human, and humans, as a rule, are creatures of habit that see change as a four-letter word spelled W-O-R-K. So how do you convince them to take the new tech plunge? You take the “work” out of the adoption process and make it a fun endeavor. To help you feel inspired, we’ve outlined four user adoption strategies used by legendary leaders.

4 User Adoption Strategies:

User Adoption Strategy #1: Turn your new tech launch into an event

While there are several movies that attempt to tell the Steve Jobs’ story, most of what’s shown is debatable hearsay. What isn’t debatable is that he was a master at getting people excited about adopting new technology. Jobs was a leader who loved to promote the use of new tech by hosting special events.

To generate buzz for the new tech you want people to adopt at your organization, enlist the help of your marketing and PR people to build an aura of expectation and plan a fun event. To ensure your event leaves them wanting more, take a page from the Apple Special Events playbook and:

  • Have all employees stop work and attend the event in person and via video conference
  • Invite company leaders to share how the new tech will impact people in their department
  • Show employees real-life examples of how the new tech makes their life better

Plus, adding in a little free swag never dissuaded anyone from showing up. Try offering free t-shirts or other cool gadgets to get people excited.

User Adoption Strategy #2: Keep new tech on their radar

Tara Ryan, the Chief Marketing Officer at Coupa, a company that develops savings-focused procurement software, advises leaders to continually remind employees of the benefits of the new tech.

“Just like repeatedly exposing a target audience to a brand in a positive manner causes the audience to become comfortable with the brand, repeatedly exposing an initiative to employees will pave the way for its success. The key is to start advertising your initiative early, and to market the project’s benefits for the company and for employees,” said Ryan.

There are several easy and inexpensive things you can do to keep new tech a visible topic of conversation at your company, including:

  • Create a poster campaign that highlights key events in the adoption process, from the launch and ongoing training, to helpful how-tos and usage success stories
  • Invite employees to give feedback about the new tech via a weekly email, text or Intranet poll
  • Host lunch-n-learns and/or ice-cream socials that provide employees with top user tips and a relaxed atmosphere for a Q&A session

User Adoption Strategy #3: Put your game-face on

There’s nothing quite like a little friendly competition. So try it out as a user adoption strategy to get folks engaged in new technology. Hinda Incentives, a company that specializes in helping organizations reward performance, reports that employee incentive programs typically increase the frequency of the behaviors they reward by 22 percent.

Whether you pit entire departments against one another, or allow people to compete as individuals, you will want to set incremental measurable goals that allow people to move up in their level of adoption. This ensures the adoption process continues after each reward has been received.

Lynn Vojvodich, the Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce, recommends using incentives and rewards liberally to motivate employees to get with the program. Decide what behavior you want to reward most—such as proposals or on-site demos—and then reward the top performers as part of a game or contest,” said Vojvodich.

A few of the ways Salesforce customers have boosted adoption levels include:

  • Rewards programs that allow individual users to get points for good behaviors (i.e. log-in rates) and spend them at a special site that features items they can purchase using points   
  • Team competitions that break users into groups that meet on a monthly basis to collect and submit their best user tips. Judges award winning groups tickets to sporting events, dinners, etc.
  • Wall-of-fame programs that provide visible recognition for users that have achieved the most goals, provided the most feedback, mentored the most people in adopting the new tech, etc.

User Adoption Strategy #4: Provide ongoing training opportunities

Even if the technology you are introducing is very intuitive, different departments may use it in different ways and sharing successful use cases between departments aids the speed of adoption. For example, Lee Rocklage, the Director of Desktop & Network Services for Zeltiq, a company that develops and sells medical devices, originally purchased Highfive video conferencing to save time and cut costs associated with their in-person customer training programs.

As word traveled throughout the company that the Zeltiq training team was experiencing great results connecting with overseas customers using Highfive, other departments wanted to incorporate Highfive into their goals, too, from HR using it to conduct interviews, to engineers holding daily scrums with remote workers, and more.

“Adoption came really quickly — a lot faster than we anticipated, to be honest. Before long, people were asking for us to set up Highfive in rooms all around the office. We had a day or two of town hall sessions where employees could learn how to incorporate Highfive as a regular part of meetings, whether it was to learn a new product feature or just to check in with a team,” Rocklage explained.

Success is contagious, and when you share the success one department has had using a new technology, you increase the potential ROI from your tech because you inspire others to use it in new ways. Next time you introduce new tech at your office, you can fuel its adoption momentum through a variety of training modules, including:

  • In-person training sessions where top users share how they use the new technology
  • Online videos that teach users how to quickly use various features
  • Monthly communications such as emails and corporate newsletters that share user tips and innovative use cases from various departments and individual users throughout the company

Use technology to increase new tech user adoption

We hope this blog has helped inspire your user adoption strategies for an unprecedented new technology rollout at your company. We also recommend using technology, like Highfive’s all-in-one video conferencing solution to help spread the word about the new tech in your company. You can use Highfive to perform all sorts of adoption enhancing activities such as connecting everyone for live events, hosting training, conducting meetings, and more. Before you launch your next big tech initiative, give yourself a Highfive, and then sit back and watch those adoption rates soar.

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By Sara Moseley