It’s not uncommon for business teams to become settled with their current tools and platforms. It’s easy to get a little too comfortable with how an organization usually works, and when a new tool, technology, and platform is introduced, it can be an uphill battle.
If you’re in charge of various teams or employees, you may feel a little dread creep in when it comes to introducing a new business tool. Even though you know it can promise improved work processes, better organization, or a happier working environment, there’s always going to be those unimpressed faces. With this in mind, how can you get your team to see the positive in bringing in new processes?
The below tips have been put together to help you when it comes to introducing a new tool, and working around any awkward responses:
Get a senior member of staff on your side
Everyone has a boss, so even if you are high up the ranking within your business, you will have someone to report to. The key here is to get them on your side and let your manager know when you are looking to experiment with a new process or tool.The worst scenario here is if you didn’t go through the new tool with your boss, and they heard it through someone else what you were trying to introduce. This wouldn’t go down well, so do take the time to run through everything with senior management first. Present the positives and how you feel it will make the work lives of your team much easier. If it’s rather costly, have advantages ready to share, and give breakdowns of where you would save money (for example, saving time results in faster work production, and no need to further recruit, etc.).
Build momentum and introduce gradually
It can be tempting to start off with a large meeting where you present the most complex of slides to the team. This will confuse people and can be too much information overload. People need time to take in new procedures and tools, especially if you want them to see it in a positive light.
Starting off small by introducing the idea slowly in a one to one with your staff members, explaining how you are experimenting with a tool that should make everyone’s workloads slightly more manageable. Build up the trust and keep reverting to the tool going forward in any upcoming work meetings.
When everyone seems to have an understanding, go out and hold a big introduction meeting, in which you give demonstrations and share your learnings. It’s wise to adopt the snowball method if there are a few people that are still unimpressed. Here, you start with the smaller and simpler projects being undertaken and start to migrate these to the new tool. Then, move onto a slightly bigger one. This might not have an immediate impact, but it gets people used to it without completely changing the systems all in one go.
Invest in training
When team members know that a new tool or process will have a benefit to them personally, they will tend to warm to the idea. Start by holding one-to-one meetings with your team. Discuss their progress so far, and how you see their personal strengths working with the new tool, and how it can free up more of their time for development (if time-saving is one of the benefits).
Speak to them about courses they might wish to do, which can further progress their future within the business. Take a genuine interest. The whole time, discussing how using new tools and adapting to change is vital for their career.
Perhaps they wish to further their education and aspire to be a company director. Ask them if they could benefit from online courses? If so, they could look into studying for an online masters in business analytics to make them stand out in the company. The more knowledge they have of real-time and hands-on tools in the workplace, the greater chance they have of excelling themselves in further education, too. It all links in.
Talk to the person on the team who will be most reluctant
If you have been working with a certain team for a long period, you should have an idea of one person who will be the most reluctant to the change. It could be the person who is mainly responsible for training and managing the existing tool that is in place or someone who genuinely loves the current processes. Book in time with this person first, and always be straightforward and direct with them. Go for a coffee, and always speak to them on their level without coming across higher and mightier. Your goal isn’t to convince anyone that your way is the right way, and theirs isn’t. It’s more about learning what fears they have about changing tools or processes, and why do they hold the opinions that they do?Try to break these down first and see if there is any way this person can be involved in the introduction of the new tool alongside yourself.
Creating change across the workplace will always have its sticky points, but when following the right method of approach, positive outcomes can happen. Remember that each person on a work team is an individual, therefore take time out to speak to each one on their own, adapting your approach to fit in with their opinions and how they work.