Before we look at the ways in which you can improve user adoption, let’s define what adoption really is in terms of technology. Adoption is how well a product or system is accepted by your employees. But don’t get adoption and engagement confused because they aren’t the same thing.
In order to achieve user adoption, employees have to accept and use technology or software at least once. Engagement is when employees have realised the benefits and continuously use the software.
Learn from past user mistakes
The first mistake many organisations make is that they presume by deploying new technology, such as a corporate intranet, that simply with deployment alone employees will automatically start using it. Unlike many challenges in business, adoption isn’t a challenge which can be solved technically. It’s a human challenge. You need to figure out what “good adoption” looks like in your organisation. What will work best for your people.
The 3 key factors which should underline everything are the business goal behind the new technology or platform being introduced. Think about what actions are being taken; what platform is being implemented; and finally, the result you’re aiming for and how it’s going to be measured.
Start thinking about the why in user adoption
Using a corporate intranet as an example, start by thinking about why employees would want to use it. It’s a great idea to get the wider workforce involved in any new system or technology as soon as possible. Show employees that your reason for the latest deployment is to help them. Incorporating user involvement from as early on as the design stage can have a positive impact on adoption rates.
Have a dedicated project team, this can be an internal or external team, to organise and run planning sessions. Including employees in these stages will help to build excitement and encourage champions within the teams.
Before you can get any new project up and running, you’re going to need some stakeholder backing. Follow our free guide to building a successful and effective business case, your own free template included.
Keep your internal communications content fresh
When thinking of adopting an internal communication platform one thing that must not be overlooked is content.
If you are launching a new corporate intranet it needs to be interesting. Go back to those key employees, the champions, you created from the offset of the planning and development. Ask them to help you populate the content that’s going to be featured, after all they will be the ones using the platform.
Reward employees who have contributed initial content with a trial of the beta version. Not only will this help with any trouble shooting, but it will create the initial buzz from other employees. Everyone will want to know what the latest platform is all about.
Ensure your stakeholders are on board
Don’t under estimate the power of having the leadership team on board. Having the leaders of your organisation leading by example and creating a culture which encourages feedback and clear communication is key for successful adoption. Managers or any other top-level employees need to be prepared to answer any questions that will be thrown their way.
Communicate why changes are happening, the time scale of any new technology rollouts, what training will be available and most importantly, points of contact for any worries or questions.
Make sure your internal marketing is up to scratch
You’ve planned, researched, prepared for any questions and you’re now on the lead up to roll out. Just as with any external campaign, marketing is vital for success.
Use internal marketing to build anticipation and to educate and inform employees on the new technology and its journey. You could use gamification and rewards to tap into people’s competitive natures. Offer incentives for various activities from the number of training sessions completed, feedback given or perhaps even suggestions for naming your new intranet.
Finish up with a launch event. Make this as fun and fully inclusive as possible. Enable employees to attend in person or via video call. To achieve top adoption level you need everyone, from all levels and areas of the business on board.
A new platform should not stop at delivery of technology
Now you’ve launched you can’t skip the key to make adoption stick, training. Spend time training all members of your business. Use those previously created champions as trainers. Training can be carried out in a number of ways, these could include group sessions or even 1 on 1 sessions for employees that might need extra support.
Follow these steps and ensure that communication is clear along the whole journey. Don’t forget to encourage regular feedback, this will show that you are willing to work on ironing out any problems which may prevent adoption. Update available training session as the product or platform evolves. The combination of all these factors should be a guaranteed route to high user adoption rates.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”smile Guide 2018: How to build an intranet IT and IC will love” style=”3d”]In this smile guide, which co-authored with Simply Communicate, we look at the relationship between Internal Communications (IC) and IT. This guide includes information on improving IC and IT relationships and what the future holds for Internal Communications in relation to the intranet.