One of the biggest reasons a new software fails is not because of the system itself, but because of low user adoption rates. A new system won’t work if no one uses it.
How do you get employees to use new software?
83% of senior executives reported that one of their biggest challenges was getting their staff to use new software . If you do a quick online search of the ways you can increase user adoption you will find pages listing the latest techniques, but you might be surprised to find that they all have one thing in common. Almost every article lists the implementation of training as an important way to promote the adoption of new software.
Software updates usually go hand in hand with other organizational shifts and day to day processes including job roles and responsibilities. These changes can feel hectic and can give employees information overload. Without training employees are likely to have trouble using the new technology effectively, causing stalled workflows and project delays.
Implementing training along with new software can help alleviate frustrations during the transition process making adoption less painful.
There are 3 major ways training promotes user adoption
1. Practice Builds Confidence
Employees who feel confident in their ability to use a system are more likely to do so. Even the most user-friendly systems can have many working parts. Learning all the different components of new software takes time. In a recent survey by Really Simple Systems, it was found that 45% of participants reported using less than half of the systems functionality .
Giving employees time to practice using a new system will help prepare them so they have a deeper understanding of the program and all its features before they must use it with additional real-life pressures.
2. Highlighting Solutions
Chances are the reason your company decided to use new software was to provide solutions to some kind of problem the company has been trying to fix. Training gives employers the perfect opportunity to show employees how the software improves their overall day to day work experience. Employees are more likely to adopt new technology if they recognize how it will benefit them.
A recent study surveyed over 10,000 workers asking them what motivated them to use new technology at work and found these 3 motivators increase engagement:
- Adopting the new technology helped them to advance their career 
- They wanted to see if it would improve efficiency 
- The software made their job easier 
Training gives an opportunity to highlight these benefits as well as others depending on the specific organization and the software being introduced.
3. Providing Support
Some employees will learn faster than others and a lot this has to do with prior experience. Some employees may have worked with similar systems in the past while others may be new to the idea altogether.
For example, one of the most common kinds of software companies are adopting are CRMs. 91% of companies with more than 10 employees have a CRM . However, 22% of salespeople don’t know what a CRM is . This creates quite a gap.
Understandably, an employee may not understand how they would benefit from adopting a software they have never heard of. These employees will need the most support because they are the most likely to resist adoption, but with the right support can become the biggest advocates for the change. The more exposure and support the receive the more likely they are to adopt the new technology.
Providing training throughout the implementation process will give these employees time and access they need to ask questions and gain a deeper understanding of the software.
Introducing new technology has the potential to boost productivity, empower employees and increase organizational performance if you can get employees to use it. New software projects often fail because of low adoption rates, but training can make a difference in these 3 ways:
- Building Confidence
- Highlighting Solutions
- Providing Support
Training alleviates frustrations and confusion by providing employees an opportunity to better understand how the software works and how it will benefit them.
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