Technology adoption is hard to see if you aren’t monitoring your employee’s progress in new tech implementation. But this year, when new tech solutions were being added rapid-fire, we saw firsthand how easy it is to implement a tool without fostering adoption.
The temporary measures we added to deal with COVID-related changes have left holes in our workforce’s understanding of collaboration tools. Here’s how the pandemic accelerated technology adoption.
The Importance of Adoption
“If technology is part of the Innovation or Process Improvement that you are undertaking, your firm’s users must adopt the technology fully for any profound ‘change’ to occur,” says an Above the Law article.
When you focus on technology adoption, you can create a system where your tech solutions are fully integrated into your employee’s expertise. Rather than training for individual commands or projects, complete adoption of a tool means you can use that tool in more collaborative and valuable ways across the board.
The Role COVID-19 Played in Tech
As COVID-19 spread across the US and the world, businesses of all sizes had to pivot strategies from in-person dealings to contactless and online offerings.
Now that the dust has settled a bit, there are a lot of instances that highlight the need for true adoption in terms of technology and collaboration tools. Zoom meetings, online shopping, Microsoft Teams project collaboration – all of these things existed before 2020, but they were made necessary by the emergence of this virus.
As we move into 2021, these collaboration solutions have become commonplace and are likely sticking around for the future.
The Remote Work Boom
Remote work has been trending upward in popularity for a number of years and now that COVID-19 has forced a lot of new jobs and industries to figure out how employees can work from home, that collaborative technology expertise and adoption needs to be stronger than ever.
Though some remote positions will revert back to their pre-pandemic locations, many will stay remote, or become a hybrid of remote and on-site work. Without technology adoption, the skills and communication gaps that created issues before and during the 2020 changes will only be exacerbated.
The coronavirus has changed the world and thrust the importance of full-scale technology adoption into the spotlight. Collaboration tools are constantly updating their platforms and features to keep up with the demand for online solutions (see these update articles about Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Webex Teams).
As we continue making decisions that move us toward a tech-friendly future, adoption is the best way to ensure our teams, leaders, and employees have the best training so we can continue to make the most of these collaboration tools.
The Road to Full Technology Adoption
Meet Me In The Cloud is your go-to resource for white-glove support and training of collaboration services and tools.
Whether you need training and education, event assistance, or other collaboration-based support and service, contact us today.
Fast and full adoption of new technology becomes more and more important as the world’s work continues to trend rapidly toward digital solutions. Here are the 5 biggest challenges businesses face when it comes to technology adoption and the things you can do to help overcome them.
In this year alone, businesses have seen an 80% increase in cyberattacks, according to Fintech News. As more and more networks are being accessed by employees working from home, cybersecurity becomes increasingly difficult and important.
But when it comes to adoption, why does this matter?
New technologies present new challenges for employees, and that means apprehension. As they are learning, employees are hesitant to do anything that may create issues, and as cyberattacks get more sophisticated, the apprehension grows.
A solid implementation plan for addressing challenges of technology adoption can help assuage these fears and increase your employees’ comfort levels and confidence as they are learning.
In-house networking and data storage, long considered to be a safer alternative to storing information in a separate place from your business operations, is now a common and growing trend as well.
The COVID shutdowns created a rush for remote work-compatible solutions, and cloud computing was essential to its success. Cloud storage providers saw a unique opportunity to put their systems’ scalability and accessibility to good use – and struggling businesses made the leap from in-house storage to cloud solutions.
The challenge here, however, is that the convenience of cloud computing gives way to many cybersecurity concerns. Integrating your new collaboration tool also means making the most of the internal storage and archiving systems that are present within them while educating employees about the pitfalls and security concerns of the cloud system the tool uses.
Attitudes around Automation
A good collaboration tool is intuitive and has the capability to automate certain tedious, but necessary, tasks. But the word “automation” in the workplace often comes with a stigma. That stigma creates hesitation and even hostility on the part of the new users who are on the path to adoption.
Fortunately, AI services like Siri and Google Home systems are creating a new level of acceptance in the minds of the masses. As you move through the training process in pursuit of adoption, monitoring these attitudes and aptitudes in regard to automation can provide helpful insight and motivation when the benefits of these automation technologies are skillfully applied.
“Both business leaders and laggards are affected by skill shortages and talent gaps that hinder the rapid adoption of the modern IT architectures needed for agility,” Tech Crunch reports in their article. These skill gaps can be caused by experience, training, or education differences. A one-size-fits-all adoption and training strategy, while still marginally effective, is quickly losing ground to more tailored, skill-gap-attentive approaches.
Skills gaps are going to affect your rates of adoption, both during the training phases and in everyday operations after that period.
Continuity and Disaster Planning
Business continuity and disaster plans were put to the test this year as the pandemic claimed more and more businesses, both for short periods and permanent closures.
2020 has taught us that expecting the unexpected needs to be a common business practice now and in the immediate future. These plans are challenging in that the scope and impact of each disaster can vary widely. Your tech, new and current, needs to be able to weather these storms.
MMITC Was Made for Overcoming Challenges of Technology Adoption
Meet Me In The Cloud is your go-to resource for white-glove support and training of collaboration services and tools. That means we have been working through these roadblocks to adoption from our company’s inception.
Whether you need training and education, event assistance, or other collaboration-based support and service, contact us today.
52% of HR professionals say there is a skills shortage in the workplace, and it’s getting worse. More than 94% of employees are more willing to stay with a company invested in helping them access learning tools to gain needed skills. E-learning is integral to the future of work.
The Essence of E-Learning
E-learning is a broad term for education being provided through electronic technology. Websites, videos, apps, interactive games, and activities: all these (and more) are considered e-learning. But why should we embrace this tech? What makes it worth the time, money, or effort to implement these tools in your training?
Pitfalls of Traditional Classroom Training
Employee training in classroom settings is being outmoded by new and innovative e-learning tools more and more each day, and here are a few reasons why.
Classroom Training is “One Size Fits All”
Typically, employee training is scheduled for a specific amount of time that hopefully allows the instructor to get through all the material. This creates a two-sided problem: those who learn quickly are often bored, while those who need more time to process the material feel rushed.
A standardized education model is even less effective in the workplace than it is in schools. Not only are employees operating at different levels of learning ability, but they are also working from different levels of job experience and background training.
Classroom Training is Unengaging
Classroom Training is also very passive when it comes to getting and keeping employees’ attention.
Some of this frustration is due to other unchangeable elements. The instructor is constrained by the space and configuration of the room you’re in: from certain seats, the visual aids are hard to see or the speaker is hard to hear. All this leads to time and money wasted on incomplete training or unsatisfied staff.
Benefits of Training Through E-Learning
E-learning encompasses things as simple as online workbooks, instructional videos; and it can get as advanced as artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of e-learning is the ability to tailor the education to any employee’s schedule and learning style.
Employees can work on their own time and at their own pace. They can fly through classes they find easy or go back and review concepts they found harder to digest.
This targeted approach ensures all participants get the most out of their training.
Learn from Anywhere
Since class materials are digital, employees can learn from any geographic location.
Employees can also learn in an environment that best suits their needs – whether it’s a cubicle, coffee shop, or home office. This also means in the event that employees need to work from home (whether due to personal or pandemic reasons), they still have access to those training resources.
Branding is integral to your business, and what is branding if not a commitment consistency in all outward transactions with your target audience? Training Magazine uses Verizon as an example: with e-learning, this huge corporation can “deliver consistent information broadly” to nationwide and even global groups of employees.
With e-learning, every course is exactly the same, though it can be done at different times and in different places.
It Can Put Your Business Ahead of the Curve
If your business is migrating to a better collaboration solution, having an e-learning experience can help employees adopt unfamiliar technologies more quickly and easily. It also allows people to learn about more complicated topics. This will help immensely when new company-wide software is introduced.
E-Learning and the Future of Work
The future of work consists of five parts, and two of those include a need to be remote and tech-forward in their operations. Many businesses have adopted a blended approach – mixing e-learning with more traditional courses.
There are some topics that are better suited for e-learning platforms such as software or technical skill-building and compliance courses, like sexual harassment, multicultural workplace, or HIPAA training.
If you’re thinking about implementing e-learning elements into your own employee training programs, Meet Me in the Cloud can help. Learn more about our e-learning offerings here.
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Most business leaders are preparing for the Future of Work now, but some are coming against roadblocks, which is halting business progress. To prepare for these potential roadblocks in your workplace, you first need to know where they come from.
The first roadblock to the Future of Work is employees and leaders who are stuck in the past. When asked “Why do you do it this way?” they answer “Because that’s how we’ve always done it.” When encouraged to try something new, they refuse. They are old school in how they approach work. These employees are focused on traditional or habitual thinking and reject change.
The Future of Work, on the other hand, requires forward-thinking. Those pursuing the Future of Work recognize what history and tradition teach us about our futures, but they don’t stop there. They embrace the present and anticipate the future, always looking for ways to improve processes and their mindset concerning work.
Lack of Transferable Skills
In our modern workplace, a growing number of employees (about 40% of Millennials, specifically) change jobs every few years, and employers expect this. Because of this, companies focus on hiring for the short-term, which means fewer companies provide training for new employees. Not only does this mean entry-level jobs require experience, which is a problem in and of itself for college graduates, but this focus also makes it harder for employees to switch careers, climb the corporate ladder, and return to the workplace after an extended leave.
With employers providing less training to their employees and automating more processes, employees can fall behind on hard and soft skills that are critical in the workplace. Without the company’s leadership to direct them in their development, employees look elsewhere for education and training.
While this self-driven search for personal and professional development, there becomes a wider divide between employees: skills inequality. With this type of inequality increasing in the workplace, companies may realize that their company culture starts to sour, causing large initiatives to slow or fail.
Failing Team Culture
As companies start pursuing the Future of Work and implementing modern initiatives, such as Work From Anywhere (WFA), some may run into an unexpected roadblock concerning team communications. Collaboration platforms are implemented, but teams act fragmented.
Cisco Webex says, “When it comes to how people collaborate, form follows function.”
This means that if a remote team can no longer collaborate with tools in place, then it’s important not to blame the tools for the challenges. Instead, the roadblock is actually the team’s culture. The team likely can hardly collaborate in an in-person environment, so they do not transition well to a remote environment.
One cause of this may be the size of the team. If a team is too large, they can be ineffective because they are taking up a lot of time and energy to come to an agreement. On the other hand, smaller teams with clear accountability often perform better because they are focused on getting things done instead of appeasing the entire team.
Another cause of the fractured culture may be the leadership. If teams are empowered and individuals are allowed to be independent while they WFA, they will flourish. But if the company or leadership focuses on controlling the remote team, the team culture will be harmed and individual employees won’t perform as desired.
The Future of Work in your company depends on your employees and leadership team. You decide where the company is going and how long it will take to get there. Where are you headed right now? What changes does your organization need to make for the future? What roadblocks do you need to get rid of in order to pursue the Future of Work?
If your company needs guidance for transitioning to a new collaboration platform or learning how to use one, learn more about our collaboration services here and learn more about our training services here.
The Future of Work is here, but it is constantly changing. To be successful in the present and the future, all businesses must update how they work and prepare for transformation.
Defining the Future of Work
What is the Future of Work? At its core, the Future of Work is the sum of the changes we experience as a workforce now as well as what we expect to develop in the future. These changes include personnel transitions and expectations, technology, work styles, and more.
Cisco Webex defines the Future of Work as how we “shape, create and design [the] modern employee and customer experience.”
myHRfuture defines it as “a result of many forces of change affecting three deeply connected dimensions of an organisation: work (the what), the workforce (the who), and the workplace (the where).”
The Future of Work is comprised of five parts. Each part is vital to business success. The Future of Work is:
- Adaptable to Cultural Change
The Future of Work is Remote
It probably is no surprise to you that the Future of Work is remote. Now, more than ever, employees expect to be able to WFA at least some of the time.
To learn more about remote work, read this article.
The increase in remote work requires digital collaboration skills and solutions. If your team needs to migrate to a new collaboration platform to accommodate remote work, learn more about our services at this link.
Businesses are More Health-Focused Now Than Ever
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are responding to their employees’ health needs in new ways. Businesses are expanding how they support their employees’ health with additional health care coverage, mental health support, and financial health support.
This Forbes article says:
And as more people work remotely post-pandemic, HR will need to focus on flexibility benefits and employee assistance programs (EAPs). This goes beyond work-from-home privileges, and puts a heightened focus on things like flex-time schedules, child care benefits, and mental health support.
The Future is Tech-Forward
When it comes to the Future of Work, the technology we use is constantly changing and upgrading. This technology is automated and intelligent. It includes Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, robotics, augmentation technology, modern collaboration tools, and more.
With these advancements, employees will spend less time on repetitive tasks, physical labor, and data processing. Instead, they will focus on assignments that require social and emotional skills, logical reasoning, and creativity. This shift will allow employees to work on higher-level tasks, which will likely lead to your workforce being more fulfilled in their careers.
Is Your Business Adaptable to Cultural Change?
The Future of Work means adapting to new company cultures with an ever-changing workforce. Every day, younger employees join your workforce, changing the dynamic and culture of your company. This means businesses need to be adaptable to these changes. What created your company culture five or 50 years ago may no longer work for your current and future workforce.
Cisco Webex explains how to do this well:
That [means] creating a more creative, responsive, and less hierarchical work experience. One that encourages flexible collaboration across boundaries and borders; work/life integration; open communication; and creative freedom at every level of the organization. In a culture built on trust, the best talent thrives … and is less likely to leave!
The Future of Work is Human-Focused
With the Future of Work, jobs will be less company-focused and more human-focused. In addition to the health and culture improvements, people will be able to experience roles at other companies in other industries, which was critical for many employees and companies during the COVID-19 crisis. This is called a “cross-industry talent exchange.”
This Entrepreneur article explains the process well:
Well, it’s where unemployed people, because of this crisis, temporarily work at “organizations that have an excess of work,” such as logistics. Why is this beneficial? It helps avoid “the frictional and reputational costs associated with letting people go while supporting workers in developing new skills and networks.
Not only do employees learn new skills in a new environment, but their temporary peers get to learn from them, too. And both companies benefit from the exchange as well, helping relieve stress for the leaders on both sides of the arrangement.
This is just one example of how businesses are becoming more human-focused. The technology companies utilize will only magnify the opportunities people will have as this focus is adapted. As businesses become more human-focused, they will continue to choose options for their workforce that will benefit their employees, not just the bottom line.
As the demand for health-focused, tech-forward, and human-focused companies increases, it’s vital that your company moves into the Future of Work for the well-being of your workforce and the health of your company.
If you’re moving forward with a remote work option, consider partnering with Meet Me In The Cloud for your collaboration platform needs. Learn more about our services at this link.