It is highly likely that every business owner would agree that in order to stay relevant, your technology has to stay relevant. Of course, not every business can afford to upgrade every time a new system or device comes to the market, but it is good practice to at least make sure your company isn’t running on software, hardware, and/or processes from the stone age.
Unfortunately, improving a business’s tech is a lot easier said than done. There are many challenges that rear their ugly heads including training, complacency from employees, and technology that is hard to replace.
All of these challenges, though, can be overcome. Joseph Jedlowski, former president and owner of Milestone Retirement Communities, LLC and the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Distinctive Living shares his best tips and practices for tackling these challenges and implementing or upgrading to the newest technologies.
Just like high school, the culture and atmosphere within a business can be determined by just a few popular people. If one or two people decide the new technology is a waste of time, too hard to learn, or that they just really enjoy the old ways of doing things; this could impact the entire company.
This means morale will be low, and everyone will view learning the new tech as a chore, not an opportunity.
To curve this, Joseph Jedlowski points out the importance of being proactive. You, as a leader, have to know who is the most respected in your workplace.
Champion these people, get these talented team members on board, make sure they know why you’re implementing this technology and how it benefits not only you, but them. Once you have these top dogs fully behind you and the changes, their peers will be eager and ready to learn.
Nothing is worse than sitting through a long, drawn out training session full of corporate mumbo jumbo, and bland presentations. Some shining stars may learn something from this, but for the most part this type of training will go over most employees’ heads.
Training is important to integrating new technology because if your employees do not know how to use your new tools, they’ll be less productive than they were before, and thus want to revert to the old ways.
Joseph Jedlowski emphasizes the importance of training that engages the participants, whether it be through a “lunch and learn”, or through a humorous presentation, or any other idea that you think your employees would love. The trick is to make it fun specially when the trainings are done online, so they won’t even realize they’re learning.
Couple this with treating the trainees as individuals and tailor the exercises to their personalities and learning styles. Some people learn by doing, while others will be fine just listening and watching.
Some people love change and look forward to learning new and better ways of doing things, some people live by the motto “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. It’s up to you, as a leader, to understand how they think and adjust your approach accordingly.
Finally, it’s absolutely integral that everyone involved sees the changes coming from a mile away. New technology should not be sprung on anyone out of nowhere.
Doing so would be a recipe for disaster and hard feelings. Communicate with everyone from employees to stakeholders that you’d like to upgrade and change the ways certain things are done.
Gather feedback and ideas. Jedlowski assures that this is one of the most important steps in implementing new technology for your business, and it ties right back to the theme of being proactive.