By Hannah Price
Introducing new technology in your organization isn’t always easy. There are many considerations, from finding the right tool for your needs (be they communication, marketing, engagement, or any other), to gaining leadership buy-in, and launching it. To make sure you get the most from the time and energy you invest in rolling a new technology out, we put together a list of tried and tested tips that are sure to make a positive impact.
#1. Get your CEO involved
Your CEO sets the example of what is and isn’t acceptable in your organization, and other employees look to them for a reference point.
For your new tech to take off, you’re going to need your CEO’s buy-in. You may already have needed their stamp of approval to cover the cost of this venture, but you’ll need more than that.
Your CEO needs to visibly be on board and actively involved in introducing new tech, particularly in the early days. Their involvement is a signal that this is something your organization is committed to.
The good news is, their input is symbolic – not administrative. Your CEO won’t need to do the heavy lifting to put this new tech in place, so it shouldn’t take up too much of their time.
3 ways your CEO can be involved
- Announce the new tech is coming: Whether by email or a company-wide update via your intranet, this news is best if it comes from your CEO (and with enthusiasm!).
- Attend the launch: I’ll give more details on ‘the launch’ in a moment, but one thing that’s crucial is your CEO’s attendance. Their involvement shows support and encourages other people to get involved (especially those with reservations).
- Be a keen user: After the tech has been rolled out, it’s important your CEO is an active user. If it’s a communication tool (e.g. Jostle), they should be making comments and liking posts. If it’s a recognition tool (e.g. Bonusly), they should be handing out small bonuses frequently. This will set a great example for others.
#2. Have a team of product enthusiasts
Unless your organization is very small, your CEO shouldn’t be the only champion for your new tool. You’ll also need additional advocates for the product. These people are given extra insight into the new tool and their role is to build positive anticipation before it arrives. They’ll also encourage the uptake of the tool once it’s been rolled out.
We recommend choosing people from different corners of the business. Not only will this maximize the reach of the message, but teams are more likely to listen to someone from their department.
Finally, make sure you split this work evenly and allow anyone to get involved. This combats early resistance to change and encourages a sense of teamwork in the workplace.
3 things your product enthusiasts should do
- Build anticipation for the launch: Before you launch your tool, there should be some level of anticipation. In the weeks running up to the launch, your product enthusiasts should be sending out emails and chatting with colleagues to create a buzz around the benefits of the new product.
- Help with troubleshooting: One of the biggest reasons behind a tech flop is lack of user knowledge. Everyone has different tech capabilities and it’s easy for people to get frustrated and give up if they don’t know how to use something. Create a path of least resistance with knowledgeable product enthusiasts who are on-hand to answer any questions.
- Encourage activity and use of your tech: Product enthusiasts are key to adding a bit of oomph in your early tech uptake. If applicable, they should be active within the tool, and sing its praises in person. This will give everyone a good example to follow and encourage a grassroots adoption of the new tech.
#3. Have a Launch Plan
Now you’re at the stage when your new tool is all set up and ready to go. It’s an exciting time — but, how do you get everyone else as pumped as you are? Answer: the Launch.
Launching new tech is an important step in the process. If you just “turn it on” one day, the reaction will be lukewarm at best. People need context — why is this tool valuable, what should we use it for, and how do we use it?
A good launch event will allow you to answer all of these questions, and add an air of excitement to the new tool. It doesn’t have to be big. If you don’t have a huge budget, you can stick to something very simple. It’s important you do launch though, and not simply…start.
3 launch strategies
- Create anticipation: In the run up to your launch party, it’s good to create some anticipation. You can do this by sending out weekly emails in the month running up to the launch. You can either take the “sneak peek” approach, and tease people with tasters of what might be on the horizon. Or, you can give full-disclosure and provide snapshots of the new tool, explain its benefits, and put up launch party posters. Either way, this is an important step in the process. It’ll get people talking and prepare them for change.
- (Option 1) Go big: When you do launch, the style is totally up to you. If this is a big change, you can have a celebration. The CEO and product advocates will be on hand to answer people’s questions and give short talks on the benefits of the new tool and what they hope to achieve with it.
- (Option 2) Keep it mellow: If going big is not your style (or the new tool simply isn’t big enough to warrant a party), you can still be effective with a low key approach. There doesn’t have to be a physical event, but your product advocates will be crucial. You can call a company-wide meeting (or set a company-wide reminder) that informs everyone the new tool is going live. Here are some other ideas you and your advocates can have fun with:
- Decorate office spaces/desks.
- Start using the new tool right away.
- If you’ve got multiple office locations or external workers, consider a screen share demonstration.
Last, but certainly not least, remember not to get disheartened. It’s not always easy to get new tech into the workplace. However, if you’ve seen a problem that you think a tool will fix, you’re already on the road to success. With these three key pointers, you’re well equipped to take the first steps in your journey!