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And other musings on humanizing the workplace
5 Tips for Enhanced Workforce Tech Adoption

5 Tips for Enhanced Workforce Tech Adoption

September 25, 2017
Charlie Judy

Do you remember when you got your first trapper-keeper? Or your first Franklin Covey Day Planner? I know: relics of a past mechanical-age. But relevant nonetheless. The very prospect of that tool making our lives more manageable - easier, even - was rewarding enough. If you're like me, you used it religiously for a few months...and your life indeed seemed under control. But then you started to hesitate, slip, falter, and forget. The planner collected dust.

Poor adoption rates plague the workplace. We spend untold zillions of dollars on tools and technologies that are supposed to make our jobs easier, stronger, faster, better. Yet, they largely go unused. There are of course myriad fixes when it comes to this challenge. Here are some we've come across when working with our subscribers.

  • Stay Current: Apparently, close to half of the companies out there have workforce software that is more than 7 years old (Source: Bersin by Deloitte). Chances are, your users are getting tired of its kinks and quirks. The clumsier the interface, the stronger the retreat from it.  
  • Generate leading – not lagging - indicators: Find and use technology that helps you identify workforce drivers, and ditch those that solely measure outcomes. If your tech can positively affect workforce behavior, it will be used. Period.
  • Establish stewardship: Don’t fall into the trap of letting one person or one department “own” the software. If it’s worth paying for at the enterprise level, it’s worth owning at the enterprise level. Embolden a cross-functional team of people who can hold the organization accountable for exploiting it entirely.
  • Don't let it eclipse the human dynamic: I’ve always said that those managers who are best at using the performance management system are the same who are worst at delivering meaningful feedback. Workforce technologies should not replace the human operating system. They should merely augment, complement, and facilitate it.
  • Kick the tires: Now-a-days you shouldn’t have to buy it before you try it. Ask your vendor for a trial-run. And make sure that trial includes all the bells and whistles. Open it up to a select group who are in the best position to evaluate it. And, by the way, if it’s hard for the vendor to configure a trial-run, just imagine how hard it will be for them to configure it for full-implementation.

Like much of what we should be doing for our workforce, intentional nurturing go a long way. As long as human beings are the end-users/beneficiaries of technology, that kind of intentionality is a must-have. Let us know if you have other tips to share!

Image courtesy of ACCO Brands

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