4 Tips for Painlessly Training Tech-Resistant Employees
While some employees may be open to new ways of communicating, others can be very resistant to change. This appears frequently in large teams with significant age differences. While millennials are used to adapting and going with the flow, if you have older employees who are set in their ways, it can be harder to draw them into the fold. While obviously, this isn’t always the case, it’s a common enough occurrence that you should be prepared.
Delivering training to staff via video is an effective and interactive way to enhance know-how. This is especially true if you’re dealing with a large company where you need to administer training to a large group of people.
Most contemporary communication solutions come equipped with the capability to share information and collaborate remotely (the millennials love it – in my experience). This opens a window for training, educating and developing new resources in a virtual situation – killing many sorts of physical restrictions. Obviously, the acclaimed human touch is missing, but we can’t get closer than that and keep our budget-oriented manager/owners’ pockets happy. The immensely valuable cloud computing and communication tools have put business interaction to a dynamic previously unforeseen level. Evidently, it is imperative to stay in the game even though you have most of your fingers in different jars.
Training and development of technology (energy) challenged feels like an omnipresent thing – yet, marketing folks like me strive every day to make it count. It creates room for enhancements in not just corporate training and business interactions, but also the culture and decorum of the workplace. Newer project management tools like Slack are a big example of the point I’m trying to make – change is inevitable. There’s always scope for improvement and the sooner one makes that adjustment, the better their chances become of achieving success.
Here are a few tips about how to get technology resistant employees to retain an open mind and get with the program.
#1. It Starts with Engagement and Company Culture
While the most obvious reason why an employee would be resistant to technological advancements and change is due to being set in old ways or a fear of the unknown, in fact, it may be something else altogether, and far more reaching. Baseline Magazine cites a recent study that highlighted one reason some employees in today’s workplace are disengaged is due to a disconnect with leaders, dull internal communication, and training that has no lasting value.
Take the new BlueJeans OnSocial for instance, which is taking video to the Nth power. It’s definitely worth exploring for cross-cultural interaction and interpersonal exchanges. Taking the social route for training – well, if it works fine, then why not? If you’re experiencing employees who are usually good workers being resentful or resistant to training for technology like video, it might not be solely about the technology. Company culture plays a huge role in attitude development. If you’re finding training staff on new programs and systems to be a wider ranging problem than you first anticipated, you may need to look at other aspects of your management practice and see if there are gaps you haven’t noticed.
#2. Choose a User-Friendly System
The more difficult a system is to use, the more resistance employees will have to it. The bottom line that will help staff warm up to new technology is if the tools make their job easier, or simply add yet another thing on their to-do list that’s been ineffectively implemented. Since most people are already dealing with heavy workloads and limited time, asking them to dedicate parts of their day to train on a new type of technology should basically be worth their while. This doesn’t necessarily originate from an attitude problem or self-entitlement, but rather from mistrust in staff if you’re routine is hindering, rather than helping, employees to have access to the tools they need to do their jobs. That’s why choosing a video conference services provider that uses a clean interface and is compatible with multiple devices is a good choice.
#3. Utilize the Tools at Your Fingertips
One of the biggest things that has changed with video conferencing in the last decade is the all bells and whistles now attached to various systems. Tweak Your Biz recommends that one way to engage employees in training is to use such features as content and screen sharing. For staff looking for the latest and greatest advancements in corporate technology, this will appeal on an innovative level. However, it can also work for your tech-resistant employees due to the fact that it provides a much more user-friendly introduction into new technology.
This is especially true of screen sharing, where an employee being trained can actually see the process of what they need to learn in plain sight. One of the most frustrating aspects for employees who are resistant to change is when they simply can’t grasp abstract concepts to which they’ve never been exposed, making them even more resentful of embracing new tools of industry trade.
#4. Plan Ahead
Don’t wait until the last minute to identify which employees might have issues learning new technology. By making a plan ahead of time and singling the employees out, if only for your own purposes, who you already know will have resistance issues, you’ll save yourself the process of navigating a minefield. These colleagues may simply need a little extra time or training to get them on board, but once they understand that the new system will make their job more efficient, their resistance will begin to break down.
While not all employees are going to be stubborn of new technology, if they feel like it makes their job harder, it can breed resentment. In a world where many professionals are already overworked and might even be doing two other people’s jobs without a pay raise, the last thing you want to do is add extra work by requiring new systems that aren’t effective. The best way to get everyone on board with a new technological tool is to show them how it can actually make their job easier, and be willing to work with a staff person who you want to keep around. Not only will it allow them to ease accept new systems more easily, but patience will also make them feel like their work and contributions to a company are valued.
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