The more people that you work with, the more obvious it becomes there are lots of workers who just aren’t tech savvy.
Some people are able to learn new systems instantly and diagnose and fix their own tech issues. Other people aren’t even comfortable converting a Word doc to a PDF.
And that can be a big problem, especially if you’re about to implement some new tech.
If you’re struggling with team members whose tech skills aren’t up to snuff, you’re not alone. It can be frustrating, but there are some ways to deal with it.
Here are five tips to get your workforce tech savvy:
1. Set Up Training Programs
Rolling out a brand new system? Switching from one platform to another? If you’re about to introduce a large-scale tech change, it’s time to arrange company-wide training sessions.
Select a handful of fast learners to receive training first. Then, schedule classes and have those people instruct the rest of your team.
Make training sessions mandatory to ensure that everyone attends.
Be prepared for the fact that, even after training sessions are complete, there will inevitably be a few employees that still aren’t up to speed. If that's the case, you may need to establish a mentorship program. Ask your highly adept employees to work one-on-one with those who need extra help.
It’s also important to provide ongoing training. That will make it easier for your staff to stay up to date and refresh the skills they don’t use on a regular basis.
2. Make Sure Your Tech Is User Friendly
Even people with incredible tech skills can get frustrated by a system full of bugs, errors, and complicated processes.
The best way to avoid an office rebellion is to invest in user-friendly technology. Your employees will be more excited to learn it and you’ll see better results.
3. Show Your Workforce the Benefits
Some people are resistant to new technology because they don’t see how it’s any better than the current system. Your employees may be thinking, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The problem with that attitude is that they may not realize how broken the current system is.
If you want your workforce to be more tech savvy, you have to make them want to be more tech savvy. It’s never easy to get people to do things they don’t want to do.
First, start by showing them how your technology will make their jobs easier. Just saying it will benefit them may not be enough.
Have them work side by side with someone who has embraced the technology. Your tech-savvy employees can demonstrate how easy it is to use and how it will simplify their job.
Can the technology you want them to learn also be used outside the office? If so, let them know that it’s something they can use in their personal lives. Tech-resistant employees may take more interest in something if they can use it at home as well.
4. Be Patient
People learn at different paces, so don’t expect everyone to grasp new tech at the same rate. Whatever you do, don’t isolate slow-learning employees or make them feel inadequate. You need to have patience — it takes some people longer to learn.
Instead of discouraging those slow learners, make them feel encouraged. Set up additional training classes. Designate a trusted, tech-savvy employee as a point of contact they can always go to when they need help.
And make it clear that you’ll do whatever it takes to get them up to speed.
Creating an open line of communication in the office is key to making all of your employees as tech savvy as they need to be. Hold one-on-one training sessions every day or every week until each employee knows how to do what they need to do.
What If an Employee is Unable to Learn New Tech Tools?
As a manager or supervisor, the last thing you want to do is show frustration toward one or two employees. However, if you’re providing someone with excessive training and still not seeing results, you may need to adjust your tactics. It’s time to pull those people aside and have a conversation about it.
Explain your expectations. Let them know they’re not performing at the level they need to be at. In the kindest way possible, tell them that embracing technology is an essential part of the job and if they can’t learn it, they won’t be able to do their work.
Patience is key — but everyone has their limits. And you don’t have to employ people who aren’t able or willing to do the job you need them to do.
5. Make It Interesting
People learn faster when they’re having fun.
Instead of setting up classroom-like training sessions, consider putting employees into small groups. You can even allow them to train together over lunch.
If you prefer to have larger group sessions, make the meetings interactive. That way, employees will have the ability to ask questions and learn from each other.
In an open, interactive setting, struggling employees may find that they’re not the only one having difficulties. That will comfort them and encourage them to want to learn.
The more interesting and comfortable you can make your training sessions, the more fun they’ll be. And the more fun they are, the easier it will be to get your team on board.
Some people are extremely tech savvy. Others aren’t and never will be. But there are many things you can do to teach them the skills they need to know.
Ready to make your workforce more tech savvy? Here’s how to do it:
- Set up training sessions and offer mentorship programs
- Invest in user-friendly technology
- Demonstrate how technology can make work easier
- Make it interesting
- Be patient
It shouldn’t take long to bring everyone on your staff up to speed. And if it seems to be taking an excessive amount of time, you may have no other choice than to start looking for some new hires.
This guest post was written by Avonte King-Henry. Avonte is the Business Manager for Brixton, a brand new apartment community in Salt Lake City's Sugar House Neighborhood.