Meet The Parents: How to Introduce Teams to New Tools Smoothly

Brittany Pierce
Introductions are hard. We’ve all been there. At home, a child or sibling or cousin has brought a significant other to meet you, and you’re supposed to accept them into your family. Or it might be you doing the introduction, and you are sweating it. At work, your boss has decided to change the processes for doing your job, and everyone has to get on board. Now, you want to find and integrate a new tool to help your team members improve efficiency and outcomes. Suddenly you’re responsible for your regular duties and the introduction and the change. Change is hard.

Why Mess With a Good Thing?

You may be looking at your team and their tech stack and thinking to yourself, “They’re working well, so why upgrade?” A study by Qualtrics and Microsoft found that “employees were 121% more likely to feel valued by their company as a result of their modern tech experience.” It also revealed that team members were happier at work and more productive and engaged when they had access to modern technology. The takeaway? Regularly assessing and upgrading your tech stack will lead to happier employees and higher retention rates.

Steps for Finding and Adopting New Tools

To facilitate the transition to a new tool, use the following four steps to find the best tool for your team. Then, treat it like a sale. If you don’t sell to your employees properly, you will have low adoption rates.

1. Listen to Understand

Feedback is critical to understanding your benchmarks, especially from the employees using your tools and services daily. PwC found that 90% of executives believe they paid attention to their employees’ needs when introducing new technology, but only 53% of their staff agreed. Make sure you’re soliciting feedback and carefully considering it before you choose your tech tools.

2. Review Your Current Process

To successfully introduce new tools, you need to know how your team is currently getting the job done. What’s working well? What needs to be improved? If you can’t identify and demonstrate problems with the current process, employees will resist the switch to a new solution.

When looking to incorporate new tools, always ask, “What problem will this be fixing?” You might be sold on some shiny new tool, but adoption will be slim to none if the tool is not solving an identifiable problem for your employees.

3. Choose the Tool that Solves the Problem

Once you understand what changes are needed, you need to know how the new product will help. Spending the time here will prevent unnecessary purchases.

While researching, focus on what your team would like to know. The top three things most employees want to know when adopting a new tool are how it works, how it integrates with the current tools and what the personal benefits are.

For example, let’s look at the case for using demo automation software. It will dramatically reduce the time required to qualify leads. It will decrease the sales cycle by as much as 68%. These perks make it easy to get team member buy-in.

4. Communicate the Benefits

Using all the information you know about the new product and a clear visual of your team’s current process, you can create the bridge to get your team where you want them.

Explain how the new tool will upgrade your processes, highlighting the differences between the old and the new. Make sure to articulate how this change will serve both the company as a whole and your team members. Anticipate potential objections and be prepared to address them.

Treat Adoption Like A Sale

As you work to get your team onboard and help them adopt the tool, you might feel like you are assuming a sales role. In fact, you should. This is the best way to approach the adoption process.

● Find Your Champion: To help with onboarding, implementation, and adoption, select a few interested, tech-savvy team members to get smart on the new tool. They can become “superusers” leading up to your release date.

Not all superusers will be champions, but you will find at least one in the mix. They will be familiar enough with the tool to help everyone else and have successfully implemented all the changes themselves.

● Make an Onboarding Plan: For simpler tools, you might send a video of yourself teaching the team how to set up and use the tool. For more complex tools, you could have an outside expert offer formal training for your employees. Adoption won’t start until everyone is armed with the knowledge to use the tool. Having superusers help troubleshoot with team members allows the process to go more smoothly.

Review Regularly

● Have a Timeline: Set a reasonable amount of time to accomplish each step. It may be a week or month for your superusers to fully implement the change, during which time you can identify your champion. Add a couple more weeks for onboarding.

Set a review three to six months out to look at the new tool and assess the adoption process. Base your measured success on overall adoption, improved workflow, and desired goals. See if the expected value and actual value are aligned. If not, see where improvement is needed or if adoption levels are the problem.

Introductions and change can be uncomfortable—whether in a family setting or in the workplace— but a mindful process can make all the difference. Taking these steps to choose and implement new tech tools will lead to more efficient, motivated, satisfied, and committed employees. Show them you are making their lives easier, not harder. Show them what the new tool is worth to them individually, and you’ll see the clear benefits in increased overall productivity for your company.