Embedding new technology in a workplace can be very rewarding but it can also come with resistance. Ironically the source of resistance is never the new idea, or the new technology, or the new embedded process. Resistance stems from the fear of the unknown. The fear of learning something new, the fear of uncertainty in how the technology will work, or even the fear of new ways of working.
Being part of Winnow’s operations team, we have worked with hundreds of kitchens worldwide introducing our technology to help them reduce food waste and costs. We have found that if fear is what is preventing people from adopting new technology then all it takes to successfully embed technology is to decouple this emotion with the end goal. We have learned along the way that following these four steps will contribute to a smooth introduction of new technologies into your business:
1) Preparing for Change: Understanding the why
The concept of fear of change is simply generated in the mind. If a team feels prepared for what is to come it will only ease any feelings of anxiety and apprehension. People may feel that there is a need for change but if they don’t understand how technology can solve a problem then the feelings of resistance will only start to grow. In order to prepare for the change the first thing that needs to be done is simplifying the problem and addressing a need for change, for example ' Recording waste with pen and paper or simply weighing total food waste in buckets is not accurate, therefore there is a need for a different system’.
2) Reduce the Fear of Change: Training and gaining confidence
If we now know that fear of change comes from the unknown then ensuring your team is confident is the key to eliminating resistance. Taking small steps such as training courses and knowledge sharing will help give the team confidence in the change that is about to come. Some employees might prefer an online training session; others might need a bit more handholding and support in the form of a face to face training. Allow your team to practice using the technology that is about to come. It will allow them to trust their own abilities and reduce resistance. If they know that they can do it then they won’t be fearful of change.
3) Delegate Champions of the Change: Empower key people to assist
In the early stages of the launch, pick a network of champions who are engaged and passionate about the new technology and who will champion the project when the leaders are not present. They will be able to coach others on how to use the tool to their benefit. Look for the people who have good communication and networking skills and get them onboard with the new technology first. This will allow for quicker and easier adoption further down the road.
4) Reinforce the Change: Feedback and assess
Once your technology has been embedded it is essential to pause and take a moment to reflect on the change. Go through the quick wins and gain feedback from your team. Assess the why’s, the how’s, and the what’s from the change and positively reinforce the hard work from your team. This is the final but most crucial step as it will make your team feel encouraged and most importantly it will trigger the ongoing success of a new implemented technology.
There are many methods of effectively implementing change in a workplace, but the fundamental starts with breaking down any barriers of resistance. Continuing to show your team tangible benefits that impact them as a result of using the new technology will help onboard new ideas and reduce resistance in the future.
Do you have other great methods of effectively implementing new technolgy at work? Let us know in the comment section below.
You might also be interested in: 4 steps to cut food costs by engaging your team on food waste