One of the biggest roadblocks when bringing in technology that changes your everyday workplace habits is getting your teams to use it … regularly.
Today’s technologies should empower your workforce to drive transformation by themselves. Armed with new tools, employees should be able to solve cultural or practical problems. Then, your organization can seize opportunities and drive change.
All that said, if your organization is full of tech-savvy people, you’ll still run into folks who are resistant to change. If your team ends up not using the meeting room technology you’ve sponsored, you put yourself at risk – be prepared!
First, you’ll waste money on unused technology and could have a hard time securing funds for your great ideas for future digital transformation projects.
Second, you’ll miss out on any productivity KPI gains that you had hoped to achieve. Your meetings won’t be as efficient, and your team will continue to struggle with time-wasters.
The average knowledge worker spends 8 hours per week in meetings – that’s approximately 11 weeks each year! And much of this time is wasted.
According to a recent study, we spend nine minutes getting set up at the start of every conference call and six minutes dealing with tech problems during the call.  That means that we waste an astounding 25 percent of our meetings! What else could your team do if they had 15 minutes of every meeting back?
Finally, using dated meeting room technology can harm not only your organization’s brand, but your personal brand too. Potential employees and clients won’t be impressed if they visit your office, and your team is using flipcharts. Adopting digital technology is critical if you want to attract younger, tech-savvy employees and customers. If you’re a mid-sized organization, leveraging the latest technology shows that you are innovative and forward-thinking, which is vital if you want to work with larger clients.
Why aren’t employees using your smart boards?
According to Gartner, 50 percent of digital transformation projects fail. In 2019, CIOs state that the #1 reason for this failure is culture.
To succeed with digital transformation, CIOs must partner with HR leadership. Gartner states that 80 percent of midsize-to-large companies will align their culture with their digital transformation efforts by 2021. Those that fail to make this shift will run into barriers that can derail their progress.
Gartner recommends addressing cultural change before bringing in new technology. When it comes to meeting room technology, such as smart boards, here are three cultural issues and barriers to adoption that you need to consider addressing:
1. Communication gaps
IT teams often install new technology and then fail to tell anyone about it. They don’t send out a formal announcement or make a splash when it arrives.
But if you ignore this step, employees may not know that the technology is available. Or, if they do see the technology, they may not know how to use it or take advantage of all its features to make their jobs easier.
Before you bring in a new smart board or interactive whiteboard, you should identify evangelists who will help you gain consensus and generate excitement for change. These partners can be people who are in charge of your culture, brand, or employee experience. They may also include technology and operations people, such as IT managers, facilities managers, and in-house AV professionals.
2. Lack of training
Employees may find an interactive whiteboard in a meeting room with a note that says, “Log in with your network password, and this should work.”
But if it doesn’t work, they won’t know what to do.
Training is key to getting employees to use whiteboards and other digital technology. And this training must go beyond a quick demo on the day of installation.
Even with basic training, many employees still may not use one. For example, some people don’t hold meetings on a regular basis. By the time they schedule a meeting, they may forget what they saw in the product demo. They will stick with the tools they already know.
Be sure to offer employees a variety of training options – from online tutorials to lunch-and-learn sessions. You can also provide an anonymous feedback mechanism to get an accurate assessment of your efforts. Be prepared to change tactics to achieve your goals, but above all, stick with it and don’t forget to show others, “What’s in it for me?!”
Finally, leverage your partners throughout this process to help you drive change. Culture shifts aren’t always easy, but the progressive impact on your organization and your role there won’t be forgotten.
3. No incentives or compelling reason to change now
Many people are comfortable with the tools that they’ve been using for years and don’t see an incentive to try something new. They may prefer using flipcharts, projecting their PowerPoint slides on a wall, or presenting from a laptop.
Bringing in new technology can make employees feel uncomfortable. In particular, they may feel foolish if they have trouble using an interactive whiteboard when they are presenting to their team or potential customers. If a senior manager doesn’t feel comfortable with a whiteboard, they won’t show their team how to use it.
Consider offering employees a compelling reason to change their existing processes. Explain why you are setting up an interactive whiteboard and how it will save everyone time. When employees see the benefits, they will be more likely to use your new tools.
You can also set up a whiteboard in your lobby and put games on it. Both employees and visitors will try the technology if it’s fun. Employees will also feel a lot more comfortable using one in meetings if they’ve already used it for games.
3 things to look for in an interactive whiteboard for business
While this selection process takes time, you can speed things along by choosing tools that makes adoption easy.
In the past, digital whiteboards came with a projector and a pen tracker. Meeting attendees could draw on the screens, but they had no way to easily save and share information.
But times have changed.
Today’s smart boards or interactive whiteboards include features that are proven to improve adoption rates and employee collaboration. In fact, the electronic screens are as easy to use as a smartphone or tablet.
Here are three features that can boost your adoption rates and return on investment:
1. On-demand support
To assist team members who need extra support or feel their meeting set up could be more efficient, you may opt for a vendor that offers live tech assistance directly from your whiteboard.
That way, if an employee has trouble or doesn’t know how to use a feature, they can press a “Help” button on the screen to video chat with a live technician in just seconds. The technician can answer questions, demo features, or get your permission to log in remotely and troubleshoot connection problems.
On-demand help allows employees to feel confident with the technology. In turn, this reduces downtime, makes your meetings more productive, and gives you a greater return on investment.
Live tech support also saves your IT team valuable time, as they won’t need to run to a meeting room whenever someone has a problem. Instead of support, your IT team can focus on innovation and driving value for your business.
4. Installation and training
Your IT team may need to take time from other projects to install your interactive whiteboard. It can be tricky for them to find this time if they are understaffed and super busy. Choose a vendor that will install the whiteboard in your meeting room. This will free your IT team to focus on other initiatives and help you get up-and-running quickly.
Your vendor should also go beyond simply installation by offering training that will boost employee adoption. Look for a vendor that provides both web-based and on-site training, as the more options you offer, the more likely employees will find something that fits within their schedule and learning preferences.
3. An open platform
Many interactive whiteboards come with their own software that your team will need to learn. But the steeper the learning curve, the less likely people will use the technology.
Choose one that is platform-agnostic and runs on Windows 10. That way, it will support Microsoft Office, Skype, and any industry-specific software that your team uses. Your whiteboard should make it easy for you to access any marketing, design, annotation, brainstorming, and education tools that you need during meetings.
If your whiteboard runs on Windows 10, it will also integrate with your other Microsoft services such as your network, key cards, and security services. The more seamless your integrations, the less time you will spend troubleshooting problems.
Is your team wasting 25 percent of every meeting connecting and troubleshooting technology? If so, how much is this costing your organization in terms of wasted time and productivity?
The right smart board, or interactive whiteboard, can eliminate this waste and make your meetings more efficient. But to achieve these results, you need a vendor that wraps services, support, and specialized software into their offering. That way, employees will feel comfortable using their preferred tools in meetings and can get on-demand support if they have a question.
Want to learn more about improving your communications? Check out the new Frost & Sullivan white paper on ‘Redefining Office Communication: Technology and Socio-Demographic Convergence Trends Driving Workplace Evolution’