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Insights from the leadership at HB on technology and culture

Technology Adoption Starts with Professional Development

on October 25, 2016

Technology has integrated so seamlessly into our lives that it’s hard to imagine a day without it. Software and device advancements have truly changed the way we live and work—use a smart watch to track your sleep, or program your digital thermostat at home from the office—that such conveniences are now expectations. Our phones read fingerprints, play games, and take pictures better than many dedicated cameras. Advancement is everywhere—and companies need to understand how businesses can successfully transform via technology adoption. It all starts with professional development.  

Train Employees for Progress in the Workplace 

As much as technology has changed our personal lives, it’s having even more potent effects on the business world. Companies are always scrambling to adopt the most efficient tools or most powerful software. The more efficient their systems, the more money they’ll save.

There are some barriers to technology adoption, however. Factors like cost and regional availability can hold a company back, but the biggest obstacle is employee know-how. Workers must understand programs before they implement them. The most advanced systems can fail for a workplace if they are put in place without adequate training.

Work from the Base Up

Every building needs a foundation. For technology integration, that base is professional development. The term encompasses hardware and software education for your company’s employees. Professional development that includes IT is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Without it, IT suffers. Without basic troubleshooting knowledge, your employees will always be at the mercy of the IT department—and that’s not good for anyone. Everyone who uses the platform must be prepared to fix the small stuff.
  1. Employees won’t use software they don’t understand. Some may simply refuse to muddle through. Others won’t be able to make sense of new technology. In the case of a complete overhaul, short training videos aren’t enough. Professional development sessions, on the other hand, give employees opportunities to be involved, ask questions, and adapt at their own pace. 
  1. Coworkers are more likely to help one another. A significant portion of IT issues can be solved by employees working together—if they will. When everyone is trained for new software, one person might remember some details that another won’t. They’re also more likely to help when they’re comfortable with the platform.
  1. Professional development demonstrates the importance of the change. Some people are inherently resistant to change. When professional development is coupled with IT, adapting to change becomes part of the company culture—and those who struggle with new ideas are less likely to be resistant. Understanding why these changes matter to the company may help with this as well. Training can help employees understand why the new platform is better than the old.
  1. Proper training can expose issues with the update. In an effort to save both money and time, some businesses opt for new software without fully-testing it—often such full-scale testing would be impossible. This can save money, but it’s also a gamble. Professional development for new advances can uncover such problems during training sessions before they become a company-wide problem.

Teachers have undergone professional development for years; student knowledge relating to technology can surpass theirs quickly. However, other industries are taking advantage of proper technological training as well. In the world of technology and information, being adaptable matters. Executives should go through proper training, too. This makes it easier for businesses to institute top-down policies that encourage formal tech training. 

For a serious digital transformation, professional development and technology adoption are crucial partners. Some industries incorporate such training into their fields—and those industries seem to roll with changes far more easily. To speed up technological adoption, it might help to slow down long enough to get everyone on the same page.

Photo Credit: ebizworldwide Flickr via Compfight cc