With smartphone use among seniors quadrupling since 2013, and approximately one third of adults 65 and older owning tablets, it’s no wonder that senior care leaders continue to implement new technologies into their facilities. In fact, some research suggests that new technologies will usher in the biggest revolution in senior care in over a century, with tech innovation helping to increase productivity and assist senior care leaders in making better and faster decisions.
But not all employees are necessarily ready to embrace the tech revolution, with some organizations reporting a lack of urgency on the part of staff as a significant impediment to uptake.
To help senior care employees get comfortable and embrace new technology, here we offer 8 tips that you can use to win over your staff:
Painting a clear picture of what new technology can do will go a long way in persuading naysayers to give tech a try. Share with employees why the technology is being implemented, and how it will benefit their jobs and enhance their skills. Be sure to help employees understand what’s in it for them, and how innovation will make their jobs better.
Getting your most influential employees on board may help you bring around others. Create a network of ambassadors and champions who are convinced of the benefits of tech to act as coaches. Choose ambassadors who are approachable and well respected across the organization, and who have great networking and communication skills. Getting influential employees onboard early is critical to positively engaging the rest of the organization.
Don’t pick a technology that’s more complicated than it needs to be. Functionality is important – but user-friendly tech is crucial if tech is new to the majority of your staff. Approachable and intuitive systems are key to high adoption. Choosing systems with intensive training programs and user manuals will only slow down the adoption process. Bear in mind your team’s level of capabilities – and their interests.
With differing levels of ability and interest within organizations, it is important to consider offering customized training to address those differences. Going the extra mile and asking employees to offer feedback on the type of training that they need is another route to successful implementation. Showing staff that you empathize and have their best interests in mind will offer a level of comfort that may be necessary to adoption.
Institutionalize the new technology as soon as possible so that employees must transition out of the old way of working into the new way. Making technology part of the day to day routine will make it easier for staff to learn quickly. At the same time, highlighting quick wins and drawing attention to the positive impact tech is having on work will help to encourage further adoption by naysayers.
By tying tech training to a job requirement, you are offering a compelling incentive to employees to learn. That said, some employees may need extra training – several times over – before they can fully embrace a new system. Consider investing in extra training sessions for those who are less tech savvy and take small steps when introducing new technology to staff. Don’t forget to schedule regular follow up training and learning sessions as part of the learning process.
Use failures as opportunities for employees to try again and learn from their mistakes. Be sure to offer positive reinforcement. Use failures as teaching moments!
Bringing staff together in a social setting is a great way to build rapport while also encouraging them to learn something new. Staff are sure to welcome the opportunity to learn in a convivial, open setting.
While implementing technology may be an HR challenge, planning ahead supporting employees with a smooth transition process is sure to generate goodwill - which will in turn bring about a willingness to learn and adopt new innovations.
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