When employees fail to understand or properly utilize important tech tools in the workplace, it can have far-reaching implications and may even impact an organization’s bottom line.
In a workplace, somewhere, it’s happening right now. The company implements a new timecard system to track hours. The HR team socializes the tool with the company executives and then plans a company-wide rollout. Everyone gets the launch email — except those who are away on vacation, or sabbatical, or who just miss the memo. The new system is, well, new, and some find it hard to understand. Adoption is low, and the financial investment in the tool fails to meet stakeholder expectations. To catch late adopters, additional funds are poured into change management solutions — pushing the project over budget. By the time word gets back to corporate, the month’s time & attendance figures are a wreck delaying the processing of payroll and potentially paychecks. It’s a massive waste of funds, energy, and time and employees suffer…
When employees fail to understand or adopt important technology tools in the workplace, it is often referred to as a lack of digital adoption. Lack of adoption happens for a variety of reasons, but its end result is often the same: a loss of efficiency, a tangled mess of emails, disillusioned stakeholders, and frustrated employees. Sometimes, the lack of digital adoption can also cause significant financial impacts. Fortunately, it’s a problem that can be remedied. Here’s how.
Today, many mid-sized companies are faced with a tough choice: should they use a single overarching core system for tracking performance, hours, human resources, learning, compliance, and payroll? Or, should they combine a set of bespoke, niche tools that are more specialized for their particular areas?
Whatever they choose, employees are affected on a daily basis by these digital tools. And now, given the pandemic and more employees working from home, employees feel more isolated when they’re dealing with digital tasks. Imagine an employee who needs to track hours, update performance goals, use messaging tools, and navigate other necessary systems where they complete daily tasks.
“If a company chooses several digital tools for these tasks, it can feel disjointed,” says Kelly Suhr, Enspira’s Head of Technology Products & Services. “For instance, they’ll have to remember numerous logins, which can be an annoyance at best or potentially even a barrier to access when completing critical transactions.” On the other hand, using a single overarching tool meant to “do it all” might result in less flexibility or functionality for individual tasks. Either way, it can deter employees from getting done what they need to get done on a daily basis — and thus prevents your company from getting done what it needs to get done.
The biggest pain point for many employees, Suhr says, is trying to get their daily tasks done with as few clicks as possible. “In my experience, workers who are less tech-savvy are most likely to get frustrated — and tend to have low digital adoption — when a task is perceived to require an inordinate number of ‘clicks’.”
Anyone can experience low or reduced digital adoption. “It is possible for workers of all ages and generations to experience digital disconnect,” said Michele Lodin, Vice President of Total Rewards at Enspira. “Especially in the remote work environment, receiving in-person tech support or benefiting from peer learning is increasingly difficult.”
But to better understand who is most commonly affected, we must understand the modern workforce, which is made up of five generations: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. The breadth of American workers in age — and technological savvy — make the current workforce the most diverse in American history. Each generation has unique tendencies in regards to technology.
Still, employers should be careful not to oversimplify generational desires. “Ultimately, it depends on the employee’s work style and preferences, not their age,” Suhr said. “You’ll need to meet each individual worker where they are, depending on their tech savviness and access to technical support.”
Collectively, these approaches to streamline and enhance digital adoption fall under “Change Management,” an important approach all its own in the workplace. “Whether it’s a system or an organizational change, Change Management refers to how a company understands, handles, and communicates moving from point A to point B,” says Jeremy Corlis, Associate Director of Technology Products & Services at Enspira. “Do not wait to consider Change Management needs until you’re ready to roll out the change. Changes, and how those changes will affect employees, should be considered and noted from the very beginning as the company is designing their new solution.” With proper change management, companies can stay ahead of the digital adoption curve and help employees stay efficient and confident in their daily tasks. That’s a win-win everybody (tech-savvy or otherwise) can love.
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