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Seven Best Practices When Introducing New Technology to Your Staff

Published on December 20, 2021 by Jarica Steinke

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Learning and adapting to new technologies may be a daunting task for your employees. That’s why training is a crucial part of the technology implementation process. You need to show your staff how new technology will make their life easier, not harder.

When employees are presented with new technology, their routine often changes. To make this transition as smooth as possible, it’s important to know their concerns. Do they feel like the new technology might replace them? Or maybe they are already stretched for time and can’t squeeze training on new technology in their busy schedule.

Training is crucial even when a new technology is intuitive and user-friendly. So here are seven best practices when introducing new technology to your staff.

1. Rotating the role of the trainer

Rotating the role of the trainer

Managers generally choose a digitally savvy staff member to train when introducing new technology. Younger staff are usually quicker to adapt to using the latest technology, but according to a study published by Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, more experienced staff members feel undermined. 

The study showed that choosing a less experienced trainer “sparked status competition among trainees and trainers, and trainees collectively resisted learning new tools and techniques.”

What worked instead was to rotate the role of trainer. Sometimes the experienced staff members did the teaching, and sometimes the younger staff did it. You can also try pairing your experienced staff members with young members or interns so that they can help each other. 

For example, a new staff member may not know the form procedure or its contents but might digitalize them quicker. In contrast, the experienced staff member may know the form contents and structure by heart but not know how to enter the information digitally.

2. Give your staff time to learn new skills

Give your staff time to learn new skills

As with anything in life, adjusting and learning take time. So employing new workers who will handle the technology instead of teaching your staff new skills may seem like a good idea in the short term. You may be trying to spare the current employees from spending time learning new technical skills. However, this is not the best approach. 

For example, if you are a home care agency, you could hire an assistant to keep up with all of your caregivers’ schedules and update them on the system. However, with training, your caregivers can update their schedule availability as they go. This way, the caregivers wouldn’t have to contact the assistant for each scheduling conflict. So ideally, smart scheduling software should be at your caregivers’ disposal.

3. Choosing technology that has all users in mind

Choosing technology that has all users in mind

New technologies can sometimes fall into the trap of appealing to prominent users such as high-level employees. But if a technology only solves prominent users’ problems, lower-level employees might end up with legwork that the new tools have forgotten to address.

In the same study, the researchers found that doctors quickly adopted a new technology used in a medical center. This technology alerted the doctors when patients needed Pap smears, vaccinations, and diabetes tests. However, the advice given by the system they used often conflicted with the doctors’ instincts, so the medical assistants had to double-check patients’ medical records. Eventually, the assistants started leaving the job because of the new workload. 

When introducing new technology, choosing a holistic solution with all its users in mind is necessary to avoid bringing new challenges to your staff. 

Systems such as Smartcare that are made by industry professionals for industry professionals can benefit all its users, not just the prominent ones.

4. Leaving room for improvement

Leaving room for improvement

New technologies are designed to solve problems and automate repetitive tasks. However, it’s impossible to create a  working tool without user testing and input. So leaders should be aware that there is always room for improvement with new technologies. They can inform their staff on collecting the user data that developers can use to improve their solution.

For example, researchers looked at how developers created a tool to predict bed availability in ICUs and other units in the same study. They saw that different departments in hospitals collected data that answered different questions. So hospital staff needed to start entering data in a new way and work with the developers by providing feedback.

This need for collaboration might seem like extra work to staff, so managers must address it. It would help to highlight how this opportunity could help employees solve problems they don’t like dealing with, such as scheduling conflicts. 

5. Following the right training process

Best practices when introducing new technology to your staff

Each business has its own procedures and processes. New technologies aren’t that different. They work a certain way and help employees automate time-consuming tasks. Without a defined training process or instructions from the technology supplier, your staff will struggle to remember how they use the new system until it becomes second nature.

So they will need training resources such as instructions, faqs, how-to guides, and videos to get accustomed. Only choose a technology supplier who can provide these resources to your staff and follow their instructions. Working with a software company that can offer one-to-one customized training and onboarding is even better. 

6. Consistently training your staff

Consistently training your staff

Training is not always on businesses’ priority list. Most companies want their staff to complete training in their own time and already know everything about the new system they introduced. However, technologies change, and each update takes time to get used to. 

It’s important to keep checking in with your employees and supporting them throughout the learning process. Regular training can help leaders pick up on employees who have difficulties adapting to the new technologies and find out where technology is failing them.

For example, a Home Care Pulse study shows that more than half of caregivers leave an agency in the first 90 days of employment in the home care industry. Their top two complaints are lack of communication and training. 

7. Using a holistic technology

Choosing technology that has all users in mind

As new technology emerges, traditional systems become inefficient. You may already be using billing software, a team messaging app, or project management tools. In this day and age, it’s easy to find new technology that responds to your needs.

However, your staff will take time to adjust to each of these new solutions. Instead, opt-in for industry-specific software that will answer all your needs, even the ones you don’t know about!

For example, Smartcare is a scheduling, billing, hiring, messaging app, sales/marketing tool all at once. It also helps care agencies keep up with patient care paperwork and track their caregivers’ upcoming training requirements.

When your technology supplier is well versed in your industry, they will continue to improve their solution as it corresponds to your business. It’s important to think of long-term solutions that change when your industry changes.

Smartcare software is a multi-award-winning platform designed by providers for providers. We provide a one-stop solution for care agencies. Contact us today for more information.