Any time an organization rolls out a new enterprise-wide technology or tool, it’s a big undertaking. So much goes into each initiative: mapping out specs, selecting a vendor, testing the system and, of course, making employees aware.
One of the most important KPIs of every new technology rollout is the adoption rate. But increasing adoption rates, particularly when your IT team has limited resources, isn’t always straightforward. An effective rollout communications plan has a huge impact on user adoption rates.
Does your communications provider support effective rollouts? Get a hosted VoIP quote today and let us help roll out your new system. >
Most rollout communications plans start with the basics:
- Get buy-in from the top
- Make a formal announcement on the day of launch
- Post FAQs and support numbers
- Set up feedback mechanisms
But the most effective communications plans go above and beyond. Getting your users excited about your new VoIP phone solution requires the help of your internal communications team, careful planning and a recognition that promotion must continue for months beyond initial launch. Mix in a little creativity and watch adoption rates soar.
Research by PwC underscores why engaging your workforce in creative ways to foster adoption is crucial. According to the survey, employees are motivated to learn new digital skills when it helps them advance their careers or gain status (37 percent) and be more efficient (34 percent). Meanwhile, 29 percent prefer predictable routines. In a telling statistic about the importance of frequent communications, only 47 percent of the latter group say their employer does a good job communicating about the importance of digital skills and how they’re tied to the company’s success.
These findings have important implications for your rollout.
For example, understanding motivation can help you design a more effective rollout. “Because status drives their interest,” says PwC, employees “may pass up opportunities for skill building if they can’t see how they’ll be valued for it. Still, they say they’re willing to give 17 hours in an average month on digital skill development.” Thus, one way to foster employee interest in digital tools is to show them how new skills will benefit their career progression.
So how to win the hearts and minds of your users? Map out a comprehensive plan that covers pre- and post-rollout and be sure to take in the unique perspectives of these groups as you define tactics.
Most importantly, find creative ways to capture attention and achieve your goal of changing behavior. These four ideas will take you beyond the typical email and intranet FAQ page and allow you to ramp up the excitement of your new VoIP phone solution.
Tease the benefits.
What do movie launches have in common with the rollout of your new phone system? The need to build anticipation. As it turns out, you can learn a lot about marketing strategy from film distributors. Notice how they start teasing new movies early? Pay close attention to the way they use video, interviews and tie-ins until excitement builds to a crescendo. You don’t have to go as far as sending a movie star on a junket, but you can apply many of the same principles. For example, use video to tease new collaboration tools. Or engage a focus group to test video conferencing pre-launch. Then, foster word of mouth to fuel anticipation.
CEO video chat.
One of the strongest indicators of rollout success is senior leadership support. The CEO email is a common – and very effective – launch tactic. Employees tend to pay attention when the CEO asks them to get behind a new tool or technology. But why not try something just a tad different? Take advantage of the video conferencing feature and ask the CEO to host team meetings around the company. When employees see that video is the CEO’s go-to meeting tool, they’ll quickly follow suit.
Game it up.
Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Employees are more likely to adopt new technology if they experience the benefits firsthand. But building new habits is challenging. Games can help you ramp up adoption rates quickly. For instance, reward points for each time employees use one of the new communications or collaboration tools, such as holding a video conference or downloading the mobile app.
Conduct an AMA session.
After rollout, employees are bound to have some questions. While FAQs and a support site are essential, consider borrowing an idea from Reddit: the AMA. The format of “Ask Me Anything” is simple: It’s an interview with one person – perhaps the CTO or lead project manager – with everyone else in the organization acting as the interviewer. Schedule a time and set up a collaborative workspace or group chat. Let employees ask questions about the new solution and have your spokesperson respond. Be sure they’re prepared with tips and benefits to share about using the new system.
As PwC points out, many employees don’t feel their company offers enough ways to learn new digital skills. These creative ideas will help you move beyond conventional rollout tactics – such as email and training workshops – and offer more ways to engage employees and help them learn how a new VoIP phone solution can make them more productive.