Technology StrategyWhen it comes to new technology in the workplace, deployment is only half the battle. User adoption, on the other hand, is the Holy Grail. Too often, companies make technology purchases only to find a lack of internal adoption. This creates pressure on CIOs and IT teams to source and procure technology solutions that not only solve problems, but which make life easier for employees.

The secret to success is starting with a comprehensive strategy, especially when it comes to video conferencing or unified communications technology. Follow these steps to create a strategy that leads to a successful user adoption in your workplace.

Make Your Launch the Event of the Year

Each time Apple announces a new iPhone or tablet, there’s a flurry of excitement and anticipation. Users with perfectly functioning phones toss theirs aside and eagerly embrace the new model. Why? The answer is simple: Pomp and circumstance. Steve Jobs loved to host special events to launch his new tech, and you can follow his lead.

Enlist the help of your PR and marketing teams and create a fun event or events to celebrate the launch of your new technology. Stop work for a few hours and have everyone attend— and remember to include remote employees via video conference. Ensure participation by making sure company leaders are on board and that they’re all in on embracing innovating and the adoption of technology that will enhance communications for all. In your communications about the event and during the event, be sure to include-real life examples of how the tech will make the workplace better.

To avoid the feeling this is just another mandatory meeting, consider adding free food and “swag” to the mix. It will generate buzz about your technology and get people excited about the launch.

Gamify Adoption

Gamification of the workplace is gaining full steam, so use it to your advantage when launching a new technology. Hinda Incentives, a firm that helps companies streamline performance, reports that employee incentives help increase the frequency of desirable behavior by 22 percent.

Friendly competition will incentivize your company to adopt and explore new technology, and you can pit departments against one another, or let people compete as individuals. Either way, you can create measurable goals that encourage employees to utilize new technology for a reward. Some examples of how you can integrate gamification into the mix when it comes to an internal technology launch include:

    • Rewards programs that allow employees to exchange earned points for goods (similar to a credit card loyalty program).
    • A wall of fame that highlights employees for effectively using the new technology or posts on the company Facebook page showing off their prowess.

    • Rewards or prizes for “hacks” that encourage employees to discover and share shortcuts or interesting functionality.

    • Along those same lines, you can develop team competitions designed to gather best user tips with the winning team presented with movie tickets, a free lunch, or a trip to the local bowling alley.

Open Channels of Communication

As mentioned earlier, a lot of the success when it comes to rolling out new technology within the workplace is the buy-in and support from senior leaders. When leaders are excited about embracing change and enhancing communication, productivity, and innovation within the workplace, it’s contagious. When your goal is to foster internal buy-in and adoption, having open lines of communication will make a big impact. Here are some ideas on things you can do to establish open channels of communication:

    • Design a poster campaign that outlines the steps of the adoption process, from launch to training sessions. Augment this with similar information shared online, by way of your company intranet or internal communication system.
    • Setting up feedback sessions so employees can share roadblocks with the technology in conjunction with your IT department, who can assist with troubleshooting.
    • Creating a weekly email with utilization tips and tricks.

    • Augment your email communications with short how-to videos that make it easy for staffers who prefer video over written communications.

    • Hosting lunch-and-learns that allow employees to become acquainted with new technology in a casual atmosphere.

Most importantly, remember that the rollout and adoption of new technology within the workplace is a process, a journey, and not a one-time thing. When you can make it fun, show that senior leaders are all in and excited about change, and provide ongoing training for employees, you’ll find the road to adoption can be smooth. There will be hiccups along the way, but before you know it, your team will be old pros and looking forward to the next technology upgrade!

Photo Credit: adolfoarreaga Flickr via Compfight cc