The importance of driving adoption
When implementing a new workforce management solution or adding a new products, adoption of the system and processes is key to success and to achieving optimal return on the investment. In any business or organisation, a lack of adoption by users can render the purchase a waste of time and money; something that must be avoided at all costs. Paying careful consideration to the changes the new solution will have on day-to-day lives of user, and helping them adopt change effectively, is key to driving high levels of engagement and adoption across all departments and roles. Being mindful that some colleagues will adopt changes quicker than others is important!
When implementing change, you will need to define the following:
- Why the change is needed?
- What the change is?
- When you would want the change to be made?
The final question to answer is ‘How do we make this change a success?’. Focusing on how you will successfully achieve ‘adoption’ through a carefully management change process sits at the heart of this question.
Seven steps to successful system adoption
1. Understand the current status quo
What do your colleagues think and feel about the current state, i.e. the current systems and processes? What issues do they face currently? What do they like about the current processes? What could make their lives easier?
When asked, people will generally have lots of issues to share regarding issues they have with current systems and processes. However, when you introduce a new system, some may dislike it even more. Often this is unrelated to the new solution but more to do with the process of how they are being asked to move through the change curve.
2. Effective and constant communication
It’s essential that change is communicated consistently and often. Doing so will help you:
- Build awareness and understanding of the need for change, the drivers for change and key factors that have been considered.
- Achieve a shared understanding of the steps that will need to be achieve change solution adoption successfully.
- Gain employee commitment to support change and being actively engaged.
Different methods of communication should be considered to account for the different ways by which individuals absorb and process information. Adopting new and creative ways of communicating is a good way to grab attention!
3. What is going to change, when, and what will I need to do?
Giving clarity on the change, and the expectations for individuals, will help employees move through the change curve easier and quicker. Transparency will drive engagement and lead to positive adoption. Remember, no one likes surprises!
4. What’s in it for me?
The question on everyone’s mind is ‘What’s in it for me’?
Being clear on the benefits the new solution will deliver for employees personally will answer this question. For example; describing how the solution will make their jobs easier in the long term; how it will give them more flexibility; how it will give them more time to focus on their customers; how it will empower them to take action without needing to ask their managers; etc.
It is also important to prepare for potential negative questions that may be asked. For example; will people lose their jobs as a result of this change; will my working hours need to change; how will this impact my work / life balance; etc.?
Answering these questions clearly, honestly, and consistently across the implementation, and during the embedding process, will ensure faster adoption.
5. Overcoming resistance to change
Resistance from some people is inevitable. Having a plan to manage resistance to change starts with understanding the common types:
- Vocal communication of unhappiness
- Demonstrations of disengagement to change
- Sabotaging change
Being conscious of these and putting strategies in place early to manage resistance will help maintain the pace of adoption.
6. Nurturing your champions
Certain users or groups will engage with the change process and adopt new solutions faster and more fully that others. Spotlighting and nurturing your ‘change champions’ will help drive the wider adoption by other users and groups. These are colleagues who will be constantly demonstrating and communicating the benefits of the new solution to their colleagues, answering questions, and offering supporting. Be mindful, they will be doing this in addition to their day jobs, therefore recognition and due praise should be bestowed. Your change champions will also play an important role in providing feedback and helping to measure how well change is embedding.
7. Measuring progress
By regularly taking the temperature of how well change is being adopted it will give you a clearer vision and understanding into the levels of engagement and commitment at any one time. This will allow you to make the right intervention, at the right time, to maintain the pace and adoption. Four key points worth measuring are:
- How your employees are engaging with the change?
- Are people generally supportive of the change and feel positive about it?
- What are the levels of readiness for the change, do people feel prepared?
- Are the required activities being completed?
Maintaining focus during the implementation process on the business problems your project set out solve will help steer you along the path to successful solution adoption, and a strong return on investment. Several useful documents to help your change management project can be found on the kronos.co.uk resource pages.