Technology & Innovation
Quick Read
November 24, 2021

Breaking barriers: How to motivate your workforce to embrace new HCM technology

New technologies, from AI-powered insights to the latest HCM, are poised to revolutionize work. Here’s how employers can ensure a smooth tech implementation across the workforce, while overcoming learning curves, fears, and change resistance.

Table of Contents

Adopting new technology to drive business efficiency is no longer just a smart initiative; it is critical to the future of work, no matter your sector, region, or organization’s size. In fact, 89% of global companies today have already adopted a digital-first business strategy or plan to do so.

From intelligent process automation to on-demand pay, smart technology is rapidly expanding our individual capabilities. It is streamlining our processes, allowing us all to focus on higher-value tasks. The benefits of the new HCM tech are boundless: greater productivity, improved business operations, better business decision making, and a seamless customer and employee experience overall.

Getting your people onboard

Shifting your organization to a new HCM platform requires a solid strategy to ensure your people are fully onboard. It’s one thing to invest in new tech, but quite the other to ensure people are motivated to adopt the new tools.

According to a Dimension Data study, 54% of companies found their members to be resistant to the idea of digital adoption. They found that the greater the change, the greater the apathy in response.

There may, in fact, be a disconnect between management perception and the reality of employees. According to PWC, 90% of C-suite executives believe their company pays attention to people’s needs when introducing new technology, but only about half of staff say the same.

Why this resistance? It may be that over the course of the pandemic, there has been a lot of change and employees have struggled to keep up. In a recent survey, 41% of managers noted a higher gap in knowledge retention since going remote. Widespread adoption rates for new tools are also down, with less than 40% of CRM customers reporting adoption rates above 90%.

Fear of redundancy

The rapid advancement of AI and automation may be another source of anxiety for employees impeding tech adoption. Leveraging AI is already accelerating work for many organizations, but the fear that AI will eliminate jobs may be a misconception. A Gartner report says that from 2020, AI will create 2.3 million jobs while eliminating just 1.8 million, creating a net jobs gain. Clearly communicating this to your employees is critical for alleviating technology fears and moving forward with your adoption plan.  

Balancing employee hesitancy with the value of operational change can be tricky. Here are five sound strategies to help your workforce overcome fear and increase adoption rates of new HCM technology.

1. Conduct a baseline survey

Make benchmarking your first step to gauge the current mindset of your workforce regarding new technology adoption. With insights on what barriers they perceive, you’ll be better positioned to introduce a new HCM platform in a way that is appealing and empowering, rather than intimidating.

2. Communicate the value

Before thrusting new tech upon your employees, take the time to explain it in detail through a two-way dialogue. Let your people know you’re investigating a new system. Outline the benefits, how it supports and aligns with business objectives, and the positive impacts anticipated for everyone. Underscore the ways it will improve their quality of life at work.  How will this new system be more efficient and easier to use than the tech they are using right now?

3. Provide on-demand training

As the next generation enters the workforce, the world of old school training is long gone. A new breed of learning experience platforms (LXPs) are here that replicate the on-demand video streaming model of YouTube and Netflix.

Look to these learning systems to speed up adoption of new technologies and make training consumable anytime, anywhere. Learning experience platforms can curate and recommend training content based on the tech being introduced, and the employee role, work experience, goals, and personal interests. 

4. Choose a champion

Not everyone will line up to be the first volunteers in your technology transition. You’ll need to recruit the right beta testers for an early hands-on experience with the new platform. Select “champions of change” in your organization. Look for open, curious, and agile employees who are excited to embrace new tools and provide valuable feedback. These “super users” should also be strong communicators who have the respect and trust of their peers. They will be in the best position to lead the charge towards enthusiastic tech adoption and promote the experience to others.

5. Harness the right HCM

All the transparent communications and curated training in the world will not lead to success if the HCM you select fails to do the job. To succeed in tomorrow’s world, organizations will require a unified people platform capable of delivering an intuitive and seamless digital experience for all. After all, no-one needs a user manual to use Facebook or LinkedIn.

A human approach to tech adoption

When it comes to ushering in new tech, the human experience is critical. Cloud and AI are only as good as the people who leverage them as tools. Creative thinking, problem-solving, strategy, and delivering exceptional customer experience will always require a human touch. 

Show your employees that you value them and take steps to demonstrate how technology will improve their work. You’ll see the best results from your investment as well as from your people.

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