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industryinsights The Speed of Tech How to encourage the workforce to embrace technology By Tim Harnett Upgrading technology (especially learning technology) is a key priority for HR; 64 percent of HR professionals believe learning technology will be a priority for their organizations over the next 18 months.¹ Also, 39 percent of HR professionals need to use technology to improve productivity at their organizations in the coming year.² However, purchasing new programs and training employees on their use doesn’t benefit anyone if adoption doesn’t happen. For HR to maximize the ROI of its technology investments, it will need to involve stakeholders in the selection process, ensure programs are easy to use and make sure employees understand the benefits of any new program. How can organizations increase their technology adoption? New technology acquisition can take time, from researching new programs to soliciting bids or demos from vendors and securing funding. However, the process doesn’t end once the new program has been purchased. Introducing new tools to the team requires training and employee willingness to adopt the new technology. Many managers agree: digital adoption is critical to organizational success. But while they see the need for adoption, they also acknowledge the reality: 63 percent don’t believe technological change happens fast enough at their organization.³ While the majority seem frustrated by the pace of their organization’s adoption, there are plenty of ways to motivate employees to embrace technology. Involve key stakeholders in the acquisition process Early technology adopters are good groups to start testing new programs. One of the greatest challenges HR professionals face with technology is attracting and retaining employees with critical technology skills and competencies.⁴ Technology acquisition should start with these stakeholders. Ask early adopters about their current and future needs and listen to their challenges.

Having firsthand stories can better prepare HR when requesting demos or bids from vendors. If employees have the chance to test out demos, there’s a greater likelihood of full adoption down the road. Choose approachable products and talk up their benefits Adoption happens quicker when technology feels intuitive. Employees often don’t have time to internalize a long instruction manual. Consumer products have taught people to feel at ease with products that are easy to use right out of the box, and that expectation carries forward to the business world as well. Ensuring technology adoption starts with a healthy amount of communication. Employees should know all about the benefits the new technology will bring. When employees realize the benefits themselves, they’ll be quicker to embrace the new technology. Communication doesn’t end at the introduction of technology, either. Championing employee successes with any new program will have a positive effect on adoption as well. When employees see the benefits to themselves and others being shared, they’ll be more willing to use the new processes. Having a gamified aspect to the new program makes championing success simple and adds a fun and competitive component to work processes. Change doesn’t always come easy. Many employees prefer predictability to the difficulties of learning a new process. However, the rapid pace of work makes technology adoption inevitable. Employees must embrace technology adoption to ensure their organization remains competitive. By involving stakeholders, communicating about benefits and celebrating successes, HR can ensure that new products will be used and not forgotten. Learn how Speexx can build you a cross-border platform for maximum efficiency at Speexx.com.

CLO 2017 Learning State of the Industry Survey. Ibid. 3 Fitzgerald, M. et al (2013). “Embracing Digital Technology.” MITSloan Management Review. 4 CLO 2017 Learning State of the Industry Survey. 1 2

Speexx helps global organizations drive productivity by empowering employee communication skills across borders. Speexx offers cloud-based, online language learning solutions for Business English, Spanish, German, Italian and French. More than 8 million users in 1,500 organizations – including Saint Gobain, Adecco, Vodafone, Generali, Daimler and Credit Suisse – use Speexx to learn communication skills in a smarter way. Speexx was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Munich with offices in London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Sao Paulo, New York and Shanghai. www.speexx.com

Profile for Chief Learning Officer

Chief Learning Officer - November 2017  

Carra Simmons transformed learning at State Farm once. Now she’s leading the insurance company’s learning into a tech- enabled future.

Chief Learning Officer - November 2017  

Carra Simmons transformed learning at State Farm once. Now she’s leading the insurance company’s learning into a tech- enabled future.

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