Baby boomers are typically the rocks of an organization. They are the “been there, done that” kind of people, who know how to get things done because they have been using the technology and systems for so long. These are the people that keep your conference rooms running smoothly. They can answer five lines at a time and transfer four of them anywhere in the company without a dial sheet, while still holding a conversation on the other line. These are the people you go to when you want advice on how to get something done. They know the systems and the processes because they have been using them forever. Why? Because they haven’t been changed or updated in forever. So what happens when your organization updates conference rooms or phone systems? How do you think these leaders will react to a new system they don’t know and will have to learn all over again?
Change can be hard. But it doesn’t have to be.
Change is often perceived negatively, with fear or even with anger. Typically, when new technology is introduced, it isn’t accepted early on. There are always early adopters that love new technology, but for the most part people don’t like the steadiness or rhythm of their workday interrupted. There are a lot of things going on in their work life and new technology just doesn’t fit in. This is even more true for the boomers who know the old systems inside and out. So how do we reach them? How do we excite them about learning new systems, and how do we ensure they will learn the new technology as well, if not better than the others, so they keep their standing as the go to person for answers?
Having an adoption plan that includes training makes a difference for everyone, but for these older team
members, a solid plan that includes them from the beginning can help them feel empowered to assist others with the new technology. Include these valuable team members early in the implementation process. Host training programs on the new systems for this group of employees before the technology is broadly rolled out. Send a special invitation to each person for an early class. Schedule extra time for this class so they can ask questions and have a discussion around the new technology, even make suggestions and recommendations on the broader roll out. As an added benefit, this provides the advantage of learning the concerns and struggles that may be encountered during the release of the new technology.
Give these folks time to learn. Host labs or study halls, where they can drop in and ask questions. Have the technology set up so that they can “play” with it and get used to how it works. Provide training videos in an accessible area so they can watch and learn.
New technology experts
When you are ready to launch the training company-wide and the time comes for the new system to roll out, you will have a group of people that are excited and will help you promote the new technology. They can engage in the classes and support the instructors, helping the adoption move faster. Your new “Champions” will be sharing their knowledge and encourage the rest of the team to feel excited about the new technology.
You will have a team that feels confident in the new technology which means your ramp up time will be reduce and your overall costs will be less.