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Training Employees To Embrace Technological Tools Effectively
A report by McKinsey Global Institute suggests that around 60% of the jobs consist of at least one-third of the activities that could be automated for focussing on strategic aspects of the work
It is known that digital transformation with technology is the fundamental base of success in today’s VUCA world. Organizations, big or small, across industries cannot be imagined without technological tools. The best workplaces are constantly competing to harness world-class, cutting-edge digital tools to enhance their productivity, simplify decision-making and ensure staying level ahead. According to a report published by O2 Business and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), business softwares are continuously improving productivity, which is expected to rise by 22 per cent in the next seven years as new tech products enter the market. Furthermore, a report by McKinsey Global Institute suggests that around 60% of the jobs consist of at least one-third of the activities that could be automated for focussing on strategic aspects of the work.
With such promising statistics and proven results, organizations are encouraged to continuously upscale and invest in high-tech products. This was well reflected in Gartner’s estimates at the beginning of the year, which expected IT spending in India to increase to US$ 101.8 billion in 2022 from US$ 81.89 billion in 2021.
While technology has become ubiquitous across the globe, the actual adoption of new and emerging technologies across most organizations continues to be less than optimal. Some common reasons for this are:
1. Resistance to Change
The only constant thing in today’s working world is changing technology. With multiple changes and upgradations happening time and again, it is humane to resist the change. People often tend to overlook training on systems improvement and park them for later when the need arises.
2. Encouragement from the Top Missing
While the world discusses digital disruption and the significance of technology to succeed in the contemporary era, ironically, adoption and encouragement from leaders are often observed as missing. This reprimands the urgency and the need to upskill oneself technologically.
3. Long Formats of Training Sessions
Training that are one-directional, long and continuous are bound to make people averted from them. As a result of this, people often skip such sessions. In case these sessions are mandatory, it is not a rare sight to see people inattentive and lethargic, thereby defeating the purpose of the training.
4. Lack of Refreshers
Another prevalent miss here is making it a one-off session. A single session may not necessarily motivate individuals to use the tools effectively. Moreover, it may not be sufficient enough for the information to stay with the audience for its best use.
Technological tools are deployed with a dual aim to delight customers efficiently & effectively and assist the talent in quality operations. No matter how prime the tool is, if people do not have the information to use it and/or don’t leverage the tool for better business prospects, the ROI of the tool not only diminishes but also makes it an underperforming asset for the organization.
Therefore, workplaces must empathise and think holistically as to how the information and learning can be transferred to people for its best usage.
Here are some ways that shall help companies train their people to embrace technological tools effectively:
1. Communicate the Vision and Benefits
Organising training sessions on technological tools as mere compliance modules may not solve the purpose. We must share why we want to introduce a particular tool, how will it make our lives easier, what would some tangible benefits of it be, etc. with our audience. This shall help in the alignment of the vision and moreover help people to understand the benefits that the tool shall bring into their work routine.
2. Endorse It from the Top
Change management requires bringing a sense of urgency. How we position this urgency is also crucial. Making leaders accountable for this change by adopting and inspiring their teams to take up that course, use the tools in day-to-day operations, etc. can be a key accelerator in this endeavour. People look up to their managers and leaders. They tend to follow in their footsteps. An exchange program between US and Japan revealed that people believe the ‘right’ corporate identity will induce the ‘right’ behaviour. Hence, psychologically what is not actively endorsed from the top is not considered important.
People managers must encourage their teams to use the tools, talk about it, etc.
3. Modernise the Training
Making learning sessions a monologue may not interest today’s workforce. Training sessions can be made two-way, which would make them interactive. Learners should be able to ask their queries and bring their concerns forward. Instead of making it a one-time session, one could divide them into shorter sessions, making it quick, easy to remember and re-iterative. Trickle snippets of the session or features and pros of the tool through internal communication channels to create an impact. Studies show that focussed microlearning allows information to flow from short-term memory to long-term memory, helping in better retention.
Keeping periodic refreshers and creating graphical usage guides may also solve the purpose of real- time learning and ensure that it is not forgotten.
4. Publicise Wins
While on one hand, we may have communicated the benefits at an initial stage, however, we must continue sharing the victories that people may have experienced to reinstate the purpose of the tools. This will lead to a more realistic and objective communication of what the product brings in for the people of the company. Publishing testimonials and discussing the assistance it brings to the table are some of the ways to create noise about the wins of the tool(s)
5. Take Feedback and Work on It
Taking feedback and working on it, shall solve the purpose of making sure people are utilising the tool and understanding disconnects if any. Listening and responding to feedback may also make our people feel heard leading to greater satisfaction and engagement with the purpose of such interventions.
6. Make it a Way of Life
Lastly, workplaces should make it a part of their culture to talk about technological improvement and be excited about learning the same. Make it a talking point in meetings, HR connects, town halls, and formal and informal communication channels. When it becomes a part of being, the transition from one tech tool to another automatically becomes seamless!
Tech companies around the world are introducing exceptional products year after year. As companies become more determined to invest in these high-tech tools, the adoption of the same by their talent must not be forgotten. The success of tech tools lies in their maximum usage. Communicating benefits, endorsing usage from the top, re-looking at training methods, sharing quick wins, taking feedback and making it a part of your culture are some ways to step up the game and make people embrace technological tools to their greatest potential.
(The article has been exclusively written by Rohit Hasteer, Group CHRO, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com for BW People publication only)