Introducing new technology should be exciting and add to the success of your business! It provides increased efficiency, more engaged employees, and a competitive edge. Staying competitive in today’s tech-driven business world is essential, but new technology can add expense and decrease employee morale without two crucial components: employee training and change management.

The Impact of Inadequate Training
Imagine investing in a state-of-the-art CRM system only to see your sales team struggle instead of excel. You expected the CRM to simplify their tasks, but they can’t find key features, struggle with data entry, and miss deadlines. This happens because they haven’t been adequately trained. This scenario plays out in countless businesses, leading to significant costs:

  • Lost Productivity: Employees fumbling with unfamiliar technology lose valuable work time. Imagine lost sales opportunities if your team can’t process orders or generate reports due to inadequate training on the new CRM.
  • Costly Errors: Confusion and frustration lead to mistakes. Inaccurate data entered into the new system requires time and money to fix, impacting budgets and potentially damaging client relationships.
  • Unmotivated and Resistance: Struggling with new systems is frustrating. Untrained employees might resist using the technology altogether, clinging to outdated methods and hindering adoption.

The Importance of Change Management
New technology disrupts workflows, and without proper change management, employees feel overwhelmed and insecure. Change management addresses the “human” side of change, helping employees understand why changes are happening and providing the necessary training, support, and engagement to help them transition successfully. Organizations using change management are 67% more likely to achieve desired project outcomes. Neglecting change management can result in:

  • Low Morale: Change can be stressful. Without clear communication and support during the transition, employees can feel lost and undervalued, leading to low morale and a negative work environment.
  • Shadow IT: Employees may feel the new system isn’t meeting their needs, causing them to use unauthorized tools (shadow IT), which creates security risks and undermines the investment in the new technology.
  • Opposition to Future Changes: A negative experience with a tech rollout can make employees wary of future changes, hindering innovation and making it difficult for the company to adapt to evolving market trends. Without change management, employees tend to experience “change fatigue,” reducing productivity.

Building a Bridge to Success
The key to unlocking the true value of new technology lies in effective training and change management. Here’s how to avoid negative costs and gain the full benefits of your tech investments:

  • Invest in Comprehensive Training: Don’t treat training as an afterthought. Tailor training programs to go beyond basic features, including video tutorials, hands-on workshops, and ongoing support resources. This helps everyone feel comfortable using the new tools.
  • Focus on User Adoption, Not Just Features: Training should focus on how the new system benefits employees in their daily tasks and improves workflow efficiency. If employees don’t adopt the technology well, its full benefits are not realized.
  • Embrace Change Management: Communicate the “why” behind the change. Explain how the new technology will make everyone’s jobs easier and ultimately benefit the company as a whole. Encourage open communication and address concerns throughout the transition.

The Takeaway
New technology is a powerful tool, but it’s only as valuable as its users. Prioritizing employee training and change management helps bridge the gap between a shiny new system and the return on it. Well-trained employees using the right tools result in great benefits to your business, maximizing efficiency, boosting morale, and keeping your company ahead of the curve. Don’t let a lack of training turn your tech upgrade into a financial drain.