How to Help Your Team Embrace New Technology


I had the pleasure of speaking at the Connecting Up conference in May and I thoroughly enjoyed understanding the challenge not-for-profits are facing in their fundraising and partnership programs. One of the questions at the end was not something I could say I'm an expert in, but it's definitely an issue I've faced.

"How do you help your team embrace change - particularly toward new technology"

As someone who loves change, I've spent considerable time putting myself in the shoes of colleagues and clients who struggle with new processes and technology. I also promised the people in that room that I would go away and research some info to help them support their team. Because in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, embracing new technology is crucial for businesses to stay competitive, particularly charities and social enterprises. However, introducing and integrating new technology within a team can be stressful and change leaders often face significant hurdles.

Staff who have been at an organisation for a long time can feel like they way do things is working for them and they shouldn't need to change. There is also hesitation around learning new skills, but we can't let a lack of skills be the reason we lose the experience and diversity of older team members.

So from the actual experts, I bring you a round up of ways you can decrease the anxiety and stress felt around change, and create a culture of learning and support that all team member feel they can flourish in.

  1. Understand Employee Concerns and Provide Support

    It's really important to start from a place of ownership for all team members. You can ensure employees feel like the changes coming are going to benefit them because they've been consulted extensively during the research phase of the change project. Jacob Morgan, in this article on LinkedIn, emphasises this importance of understanding employees' concerns and providing adequate support during the adoption of new technology. He suggests creating an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their doubts and fears. Managers should address these concerns by providing training, resources, and clear communication about the benefits and purpose of the technology.

  2. Addressing Skepticism and Building Confidence: This Harvard Business Review article offers valuable strategies for convincing skeptical employees to adopt new technology. It recommends acknowledging the skepticism and actively involving employees in the decision-making process. By allowing their input, addressing their concerns, and providing evidence of the technology's value, you can help build their confidence and increase their willingness to embrace the change.

  3. Upskilling and Reskilling: A Pluralsight report on the State of Upskilling emphasises the importance of investing in employees' learning and development. It highlights the need to provide training and upskilling opportunities to help employees adapt to new technologies. By empowering them with the necessary skills and knowledge, you can foster a culture of continuous learning and make the transition to new technology smoother.

  4. Create a Culture of Experimentation and Innovation: MIT Sloan Management Review's project on embracing digital technology emphasises the need for a culture that encourages experimentation and innovation. Leaders should promote a growth mindset, where failure is seen as an opportunity to learn and iterate. This culture allows teams to explore new technologies, take calculated risks, and find innovative ways to leverage them in their work.

Embracing new technology requires a holistic approach that considers employees' concerns, builds their confidence, invests in their development, and fosters a culture of experimentation and innovation. By following these strategies, you can help your team adapt to new technology more effectively and drive positive change within your organisation. Though sometimes challenging, keeping empathy and curiosity in your mind and heart when supporting your team through change is paramount to yours and their success.