Introducing a new tool or system at work is a big feat if your co-workers aren’t on board. But it’s not impossible, so keep at it. Try not to focus on the novelty of the solution and all its features. Instead, show them how it will make their lives easier.
I was talking with a friend the other day about her frustration with the “traditional tendencies” of her office, particularly the way they logged customer meetings: using a static calendar that not only requires a log-in, but can only be accessed by one person at a time. It was really painful, but it’s the way they’ve always done it. I offered a solution: a shared team calendar that everyone could access, along with the ability to integrate with Outlook and add open RSVPs so people can “opt in” to meetings…
… She stopped me and said, “I agree. I just can’t convince anyone else to use it.” It turns out we were actually having a bigger conversation about influencing behavior and driving change in an office that likes to stick to the status quo.
People won’t use a technology just because it’s new
Think back to a time when a new system was introduced at your company. It required a lengthy communications plan – including ongoing info sessions and a growing list of FAQs – and probably some strong-arming from the IT department just to get people to try it. That’s a lot of work – especially for a tool that was supposed to make things easier. Some people even felt offended that they’d be asked to take time out of their day to disrupt their current way of working. (The nerve!)
A new collaboration technology should really offer to help a company’s biggest asset: people. As the old saying goes: “Show, don’t tell.” If you can show them real examples of the way it improves the way they work, saves them time, or provides new access to information, you’re one step closer to changing their minds.
Influence behavior instead
The thought of convincing co-workers to use a new system can be very intimidating… and dare I say, a little unrealistic for many. Here are three suggestions to influence the office instead:
- Show them how easy it is. If people think it’s going to be difficult or time-consuming, they won’t even try. Walk them through the process and provide step-by-step instructions so the new task is dead simple.
- Move ahead. Even if it’s scary. It’s too easy to stall momentum because someone tells you no. Take on the challenge and charge forward, knowing you’ll be met with resistance along the way.
- Lead by example. Demonstrate how you’re using the system to improve the way you work. When they start to see the benefits, they’ll be more likely to follow along.
Success = Engagement
Implementing a new system may seem intense and time-consuming, but it really is the first part of the journey. All of the work that went into implementation can go to waste if no one actually uses it. It’s like hosting a party. You can send the fanciest invites, decorate for days, and stock the best assortment of refreshments – but if no one shows up, you’re left with a lot of beer and cupcakes, and some quiet time for introspection.
Download: Make it sticky
Here at Igloo, we specialize in modern intranets, and we've come up with a few ways to increase engagement that you may be able to use when introducing your new technology.Click on the image to download a PDF.