Have you ever invested in new technology just for it to fall flat? Organizations today are increasingly migrating their business to the cloud, but too often poor technology adoption rates result in an unfavorable ROI. Or, stated plainly, leadership excitedly rolls out a new platform, but no one ends up using it. Before you ditch another app, take a moment to evaluate the adoption and training process. Below are eight tips to help support employee adoption of new tech.
Be the expert or find the expert
There are a few ways to go about the training process. Some business owners will want to fully immerse themselves in the app, learning, and understanding all components of the technology, inside and out. In this case, once you have learned the software for yourself, you will be able to successfully train your employees, answer questions, and troubleshoot issues that may arise. On the other hand, for many business owners, technology and IT just aren’t their areas of expertise. This is when a cloud-based accounting expert comes into play. A cloud specialist can integrate the software correctly into your current system and migrate everything to the cloud. So many of the frustrations that come with a tech stack are rooted in applications that weren’t correctly connected in the first place. A cloud accountant can both train you and offer ongoing support to varying degrees, based on the business needs.
Employee buy-in should be top priority
Employee adoption of new tech requires more than digitizing the business and letting employees know the new technologies exist. Integrated cloud-based accounting apps are designed to streamline, automate, and simplify processes, improving efficiency. If you’re adding the stress of requiring employees to learn the technology on top of their current workload, chances are it will always get pushed to the back burner. Here are some quick-hit ways to bring your employees on board:
- Set up designated training sessions
- Allow employees the time to explore and test the different features
- Take lots of questions
- Ask for suggestions
- Educate the team on how the software will benefit them—not just the company’s numbers.
If your employees feel as though they are a part of the process, have a voice, and understand how this will help them rather than giving them even more work to do, they are more likely to be excited about the upgrades.
Migration doesn’t happen overnight
Don’t just send out a company-wide email notifying employees that the upcoming changes will take place right away. Ease employees into the process by providing details, asking for feedback, and have a meeting to discuss questions and concerns. From there you can provide a timeline of when further meetings, trainings, and the eventual rollout will happen. Adopting a new app can’t happen overnight. If the company’s books are still in Excel, the books will have to get cleaned up, organized, and prepped for migration. So be realistic about deadlines, make sure the process allows for ample training time, troubleshooting, and is done at the most ideal time of the year for the company and employees.
Focus on the user interface
Most of your employees won’t need to understand the back end of the new system. Don’t overwhelm them by showing every feature. Focus on the features they will need to use. Many apps allow for customized dashboards, showing only what is needed to keep the user interface simple. One of our top recommended accounting apps, Xero, allows business owners to create fully customized dashboards, eliminating unnecessary distractions. Keep it simple, focusing on the aspects that will allow the users to become more efficient.
The marketing department doesn’t need to understand how the accounting department will use the app to simplify their process and vice versa. Rather than grouping all employees together for training, departmentalize it. This will help to make sure employees aren’t feeling unnecessarily overwhelmed and reduce time wasted learning features that some individuals won’t use. There may be some overlap when learning a company-wide app, but generally different departments will use the same app in different ways. This is also the case when adopting multiple cloud-based accounting apps at the same time. Operations may be integrating an inventory management app, such as Dear, while the accounting department is adopting an app like Bill.com to simplify the bill pay process.
Offer training incentives
The main goal of adopting new technology is to save money and improve processes. If you’re able to incentivize employees to become proficient, they might be more motivated to advance their knowledge. Consider offering bonuses, salary increases, or other benefits and rewards to help build excitement and emphasize the company’s priority on the new software.
It’s not a one-time training
No matter what, the initial training will be a lot for employees to take in. Basic functions that are performed regularly will come faster, but those that aren’t used daily might require extra practice. Consider resources that will help employees stay sharp on the platforms, and boost employee adoption of new tech. Some popular ideas include lunch-and-learns, video refreshers, weekly or monthly app features, and FAQ documents. Don’t forget to ask your team what kind of support they need!
Migrating to the cloud can seem exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. Focus on one step at a time and make your employees the priority, because if they don’t buy in, all efforts are wasted. Don’t hesitate to get outside help, even if your ultimate goal is to run the platform internally. A cloud-based accounting specialist provides the expertise needed to ensure a smooth transition and that all efforts pay off. We would be honored to assist you with migrating to the cloud. Send us a message to discuss the many benefits and how we can get your team on board.