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How to get employees engaged with new technology

Elissa Dennis
29th April 2019
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The HR tech market is booming. Over the last decade thousands of new tools have been developed to help manage everything from recruitment and onboarding to performance management and employee development.

However, tools developed to make life easier for employees and save them time, can only be effective if employees clearly understand why and how they should use them. Communicating the benefit of these tools is vital. Without this important step, adoption levels could be lower than expected, and the company is unlikely to see the full potential benefits from introducing the new technology.

At our last Appraisd Community Forum on 3rd April, Marc Earnshaw from recruitment specialists Robert Walters, and our Customer Success Team, who have been working closely with him, shared their experience of rolling out Appraisd across their global workforce.

Here are their four top tips:

Do the groundwork which will set the tone

The most important thing to decide before acquiring new technology is deciding what you want to achieve. Develop a clear answer to the question: “What is the benefit to employees and the company?” This will give you an objective that will help you get support from key stakeholders and define what success looks like. Speak to people across the business and find those employees who will be champions for you. This will provide a network to advocate for the new technology and help you communicate the benefits to your employees.

Spend time on scoping the most appropriate configuration

You know your people and your organisation best, so trust in your own knowledge and stay focused to what you want. Spending time working with your supplier explaining what you need will help you develop a tool that fits the needs of your employees. If the solution solves the problems they have now, saving their time and reducing their frustrations, they are much more likely to adopt the tool quickly. Don’t rush this part, go at your own pace. You don’t have to implement everything at once. Taking a step by step approach can help to keep things simple and avoid overloading employees with a barrage of information.

Plan the launch to staff like a campaign

Treat the launch of a new piece of software in the same way you would the launch of a new product. Take time to plan your communications, considering all the channels you have available to reach employees. Think creatively about how you can put the message across, using graphics, videos and supporting facts to build a compelling and intriguing campaign. Form a project launch team with people from across the business who can help spread the message and ensure it cascades through your organisation. Ask for feedback from this team on the tool and encourage them to share their ideas on the best way to communicate the benefits. Have an event for the roll out so it cannot be ignored. This is not an HR initiative, but one that will benefit the whole organisation.

Keep focus and build momentum

The launch is only the beginning. If the tool is to make a lasting difference to your organisation, it’s important that it remains at the forefront of your employees’ minds as much as possible. As well as creating a launch plan, also look at on-going activity, linked to key dates or events in the organisation that make relevant hooks to remind employees of the benefits of using it. It’s important that you share with the stakeholders and employees any early success so they can see the positive benefits for themselves. Setting up a steering group can help maintain this impetus, both reviewing progress and putting forward ideas for future developments to ensure the tool evolves with the changing needs of employees and the business. Any forward-thinking supplier will be only too happy to work in partnership with you to ensure you make the most of their technology. Take advantage of all the support and innovations they have to offer.

New technology can really enhance your employees experience at work, transforming their performance and motivation. However, don’t rely on the system to do all the work for you. Putting time and effort into an ongoing communication plan can dramatically increase thateffect.