So you just took the plunge and spent a good chunk of this year’s budget on a great new cloud based SaaS product that was supposed to make your employees the epitome of productivity. The only problem is, it doesn’t seem to be catching on among your workforce like you hoped it would.
Before you decide that the product just isn’t working out, you should follow some basic steps to get your employees interested in using it. In this post, I will help offer some ways that you can address this problem and get your employees to the productivity level you were aiming at.
Give One on One Training Sessions
You might have already set aside some time for training where either you or a consultant from the company you bought from walked through all the great features and best practices of the tool, and helped people with initial setup of their accounts so they can get to work! The problem is, most of us zone out way too easily during these sessions and probably spend the whole time worrying about actual work we need to be doing today, or whether Jenna from accounting just winked at you or has something stuck in her eye. Yea, nope she’s definitely got something in her eye.
Fortunately, you have other options. One on one training sessions have proven to be significantly more effective in helping people learn and absorb new systems. There’s a reason why Apple offers sessions just like this to help customers learn how to use their shiny, new, expensive Macs. This type of practice may also have attributed to the success of all these famous people who were homeschooled. Anyway, the object of this post is not to advocate for education reform in the American public school systems.
You might be saying things like, “but I don’t have time to train every single employee one on one!” Well, luckily you don’t have to. If you’ve had this software for a few weeks or months, you’ve probably noticed that the Pareto principle applies here. Most likely, 10-20% of your employees are actually using the tool actively, while the other 80-90% is fairly passive. Your job is to identify the handful of people that do love this new tool, and schedule some time for them to sit down with some of those that don’t, so they can evangelize it for you! The best part is that these people already know the best ways to use it and will likely spread their enthusiasm to the rest of the team if you give them a structured way of doing this. Another option is to hire a few consultants that are experts in this product, or even squeeze in free training sessions as part of your contract. The key is to make sure training is consistent and ongoing, rather than one and done.
Lead by Example
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. But we all know that just because you tell someone it’s their job to do something, doesn’t mean they’re going to do it. Many people are resistant to change and need more than just a nudge to do something new, and adopt it as a daily habit. The surest way to get employees to realize that a new process or program is crucial to the company is by making sure that their managers are practicing what they preach.
If the managers aren’t using the new systems, then you might have a bigger problem on your hands. But every problem has a solution. If this is your issue then the only way things will change is if you have executive buy-in on this new product and the benefits it brings. If your C-Level people say that something is important, then your managers are much more likely to think so too…and the trickle down effect sets in. Hopefully you did your job when buying the software and convinced your C-suite of the value already. Unless of course you, my fair reader, are the CEO yourself. Then I’m sure you’re doing this already and I have just wasted a paragraph’s worth of your time.
There are a few ways you can incentivize your employees to use the software that will hopefully end up driving your revenues through the roof, proclaiming you as the smartest person in your company. (You’re awesome and we all know it)
One way is to prove to the end-user the value of the product by showing them how other employees who actively use it have been successful. There’s a bunch of tools out there that help track what your employees are doing with their time, but we at Tascit think that’s a tad too creepy and makes employees feel like you don’t trust them. Instead, you can accomplish the same thing by sending an email digest to all your employees showcasing the success of the few who have benefited from the tool(s) already.
Here’s another idea: why not set aside a % of the employee rewards budget on rewarding people that actively use the software tools that are supposed to help them? If you surprise people with a gift card here or there if they’ve been really good about using these tools, you will not only have a more engaged workforce, but will likely find that others will follow suit. This ends up being a fairly cheap way to make sure that the likely huge investment you just made is going to be paying dividends to your organization faster.
Do you have any suggestions on how your team has been successful in adopting new software or processes?