Managing Workforce Diversity: Computacenter on User Adoption of New Technology
Digital workplace transformation is not just about upgrading to better technology; itís about changing the mindset and culture of the workplace to encourage people to embrace and utilise new digital tools at their disposal. This change must have a pervasive effect throughout the organisationóthatís how you begin to have an agile workforce. Itís not a question of digital natives versus digital novices. Everyone needs help in learning and adopting new technology and it is in the interest of workforce diversity that companies approach digital transformation and user adoption from a people-first standpoint.
While it once may have been accepted that technology in the workplace was often more difficult to use and less intuitive than, for example, apps and devices from daily life, now the expectation is more and more that workplace technology is easy and simple to use. Itís about getting technology to support the work people do, rather than making people submit to challenging and frustrating technology. That just hinders their work, and in todayís competitive market, people simply wonít stick around. Steve Rayner, Computacenterís Group Service Innovation Director, says, ďitís important to develop workplace solutions as if the users [your employees] have a free choice about whether they will use them or not. And they do have a choice: they could use their own [introducing the challenge of Shadow IT], or they could simply leave for an employer where they can work the way they want to.Ē
If companies want to have a diverse workforce, they have to remember that people will adopt new digital platforms at different speeds, according to what they are most comfortable with. Managing diversity in the workplace means carefully considering the ways people want and need to work and presenting new solutions in a way that supports that, giving people time and encouragement to transition slowly to newer technologies. Tessa Swithenby, Director of Communications, Engagement, and Education at Computacenter, says itís all about communicating the purpose of new technology effectively to bring people along. She says, ďA technology-centric approach is self-defeating. A people-centric approach is liberating. People understand that they are at the heart of the strategy, and so they invest their time and talents in achieving it. By focusing on people, the organisation makes it clear that the technology is there to serve them, not the other way around.Ē
Diversity in the workforce means a broader talent base, which in turn means more productivity, efficiency, and creativity across the entire organisation. Considering the different ways people work and introducing technology in a way that supports rather than limits that will spell more success in user adoption, yielding returns for the company financially, and in a very human way.
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