About the Author
John is the Senior Content Strategist, part of the amazing Content Marketing Team at CompanyCam that focuses on developing and crafting valuable content for contractors and contracting businesses. When he’s not thinking about the next great content idea to share with the world, he builds and plays guitars, enjoys working on classic cars/trucks, playing golf (sometimes well) and spending time with his family.
“We’re not a software company, we’re a contracting company.”
Imagine this scenario: You’ve decided on software that you feel will help your business in a variety of ways. But you’re met with a statement like the one above from one of your employees.
As a business owner, a response like this can shift business-bettering software excitement to apprehension about the whole decision.
For business owners trying to improve the efficiency of their teams—specifically contracting companies—new and improved project management software is one of the most popular avenues explored. A more effective tool can unlock incredible value for your business to grow in ways it hasn’t in the past. However, your biggest challenge in implementing this new tool is getting your team to fully buy into that new software you’re super excited about.
To your employees, new software can get broad-brushed as just one, very large change …a shift that will disrupt the current way of doing a job.
Routine is ingrained into the daily habits of your teams. Core workflows are established and then stick in place for years. Add it all up and you get a whole lot of things not changing in your business, which provides a level of comfort to your team.
New software can get a first-glance reaction of disrupting all that trusted routine and comfort.
But “change” doesn’t have to equal “challenging.”
Software doesn’t have to sit in the same sentence as “scary” for you or your employees. The right software should benefit your business by making things easier. That means saving your team time and saving your business dollars.
Want your employees to celebrate, not dread, your new tech? Follow our guide to guarantee a smooth transition to a new software.
Plan, Plan, and Don’t Forget to Plan Some More
You will have a hard time selling the value of the new software if the onboarding process is long and arduous.
Before you even decide when to implement your software, you should lay out a detailed plan of how you’re going to get your team integrated.
That also means looking at how each team member may use this new software differently—from senior management to your new hires.
Having a well-thought-out plan will increase the chances of your team being positive about jumping into a new tool.
What’s the Point?
You decided on new software. You announce it to your team. You set the implementation date. Oh yeah, you even have that plan we just talked about too!
The launch date comes. You roll it out and send out general training documentation for your team.
There is one key element missing here, and it is crucial to the buy-in of your entire team: what’s the point?
Your employees are far more likely to be champions for new software if they understand the value of what it brings to their job and the overall company in general. You’re trying to get your team members to think of it not just working on the business but in the business.
Simply put: they want to know why you made this decision for the business.
Users will take ownership of a product if they understand the big picture of why leadership chose it.
It can be the difference between a team member looking at this software as a critical tool for their job versus just some app they have to use for work.
Different Paths to the Same Destination
Your employees have different levels of technological aptitude. Some may have had poor past experiences learning new software. Others may really enjoy diving into the challenge of a new addition to a tech stack.
To meet your team where they are in this journey, have different types of training tools available.
Don’t just rely on one or two face-to-face sessions to check software training off of the list.
Prioritize having an online resource that helps guide employees through the features.
There may be other employees that process training by working with others. You can nominate an employee or two to help other employees along and provide a positive voice about the new software at the same time.
The recipe for easing resistance to new tech is to get off on the right foot. Training that meets your employees’ different learning styles is a crucial ingredient.
Early Success Showcases Value
But what if you can show any and all team members the value of the new software by quickly taking the completion time of one task from one hour to say… 15 minutes?
That employee—regardless of their skill in using software generally—would be much more willing to take the time to learn how the software works. They will buy into something that they see quickly helps them quickly complete a task
Employee adoption is easier when verifiable value is clear to your team.
Software Support is Ongoing
Initial training is only the beginning.
As your team begins utilizing the new software, learning is still ongoing.
You may identify gaps in learning between employees.
As well you planned to roll out this new software (remember that tip?), you may find that your plan needs tweaking as you get to week two and month four with the software embedded into your team’s daily routine.
Many other software companies offer How-To documentation or videos that you can always tap into as a resource for your employees.
The beginning isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning. Remember to keep the lines of communication open when it comes to employee education about this new software that is designed to make the job easier.
Did we take the scary out of software for you and your team? New tech shouldn’t equal new problems. It should create new solutions. If you minimize the fear factor for your team with a great plan, clear communication and an evolving training plan that is founded on transparency—adoption replaces apprehension.