In 2020, many organisations invested in collaboration tools to help employees work more efficiently. Yet our own research carried out among IT decision-makers identified that these tools are, on average, being used to just 55% of their full capability.

Companies have an opportunity build on technology take-up and increase genuine, long-term user adoption. Here’s how they can turn employees into true technology advocates:

1. Introduce collaboration tools and technology

We recently carried out a survey of 250 office workers and found that the top barrier to using collaboration tools was being unclear on the features and benefits. Perhaps a new icon has appeared on their desktop or they don’t dare to venture beyond video calls and IM on Microsoft Teams. Either way, fear of the unknown can prevent technology adoption, which holds back productivity and business performance.

Organisations which do provide support to getting the most out of collaboration tools lead with face-to-face training (38%), videos (30%), access to an online learning platform (26%), written guides (24%), and webinars (19%). This helps employees to understand the technology they have access to and builds their confidence in exploring it.

2. Double down on the most popular technologies

Employees which feel enthused about the technology they are using are more likely to explore new features and unlock new productivity benefits. Our research found that Microsoft Teams was employees’ favourite tool to use at work, followed by Zoom (39%), Google Docs (26%), Skype for Business (21%) and GoToMeeting (11%).

Companies should also be wary of wasting investment on tools which are not widely used. Four in ten (38%) respondents said their organisation provides them with technology they do not use, which could represent a significant waste of IT budget. Businesses need to evaluate exactly what their needs are and audit how tools are being used. This will help them to drive efficiencies and get the right portfolio of technology for people within the organisation.

3. Identify technology champions

IT teams are time-poor and don’t always have a passion for employee training and development. In this scenario, it can be helpful to identify internal product champions across the organisation to support their colleagues and drive adoption.

These individuals shouldn’t be hard to find. In fact, nearly two thirds (61%) of respondents said they like to explore new technology straight away, while the remaining 39% are more likely to avoid it for as long as possible. The early adopters can be huge assets to translate between the IT teams and the non-techies, and they will likely feel a greater sense of ownership over the technology by being involved in the process of embedding across the organisation from the start.

4. Offer support to use technology to its full capacity

One in five (18%) office workers admit they have a lack of confidence working with technology. While this may sound like a low percentage, it represents a significant group of employees who are not working as productively, or getting the best employee experience, as they could.

Increasing user adoption across the organisation requires ongoing support and encouragement. Yet, unfortunately, one in five (21%) workers do not feel supported in learning how to get the most out of collaboration tools. It is not enough to simply tell people what technology they have access to and leave them to it; they need to feel buoyed to continue learning.

Whether you are trying to engage early adopters or workers lacking confidence, a people-first approach will turn employees into full-time technology advocates. Companies which get this right will win game-changing business benefits.

5. Outsourcing for success

We know that there is often a reluctance to outsource training and adoption of technology but expecting this to happen organically, or with limited internal training and development resources, is a path to keeping adoption rates low. Outsourcing can create opportunities to significantly increase your employee confidence and capability, and to massively increase return on technology investment. Plus, there are a lot of training platforms you should be looking at to make things easier. Some are, however, better than others. Look at platforms that have great content that is specific to the technology you use and is regularly updated.

At Teleware365 we are super-focused on creating genuine, long-term user adoption beyond using Teams for video calls and IT. We turn employees into advocates who understand the technology they have access to, are knowledgeable about how it works and have all the support they need to do even more amazing things with it.

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