How to motivate your employees to use their new Knowledge Tool

Your organization has spent many hours researching, selecting, and launching a great new technology. A cloud based knowledge solution will revolutionize the way your organization brings company knowledge together. The challenge is making sure that your employees will adopt and work with the knowledge tool, versus continuing the habit of contacting the service desk first?

Motivate your employees

When working to achieve your organizational goals, it is imperative that your employees are onboard and buy into working with the knowledge tool. It is critical that your employees adopt the new technology, and incorporate it as a part of their daily routine. The technology team’s job is to help your employees become comfortable with the new technology, get them to use it, and help them understand how it makes their lives better.

Here are 6 recommended strategies for gaining adoption of the new technology from your employees:

1) Select an intuitive and user-friendly solution

Your organizations’ goal is to make sure that your employees work effectively with the new knowledge tool. Functionality is critical, and don’t underestimate the importance of the user experience. Your employees should be able to work with the knowledge solution with minimal training, and the tool should easily guide your employee to resolve their questions and incidents. It is critical that the self-help articles are readily available, and that your employees can easily learn how to work with the service by themselves. Knowledge tools that require extensive training and lengthy user manuals are a recipe for disaster. Look for a knowledge tool that is user friendly, and that improves the efficiency of your organization.

2) Find key people who will become ambassadors

First, it is critical that you have management’s buy-in for the new solution. Successful adoption of your knowledge tool requires that everyone in the organization, from the top down, believes in it. Secondly, it is important that you establish early organizational adoption of the new solution. The best way to make this happen is to find company ambassadors and influencers. You want ambassadors who work in various organizational departments, have excellent communication and networking skills, and are the most likely individuals to adopt and be successful with the tool. Use all your resources to locate those early adopters who are enthusiastic about the tool. They will be your reference customers and coaches when you move forward with deploying the knowledge tool throughout the organization.

3) Develop a strong communication plan

“Build it and they will come” does not apply in real life. Success is something you have to work for. Even though you and your early adopters are vested in the mission, it’s likely that other people within your organization are not. People have a natural resistance to change. Work with the marketing team to develop a strong internal communication plan. Make sure to answer the “What’s in it for me?” question at all levels in the organization. Employees will see the value for both the company and for themselves when receiving a well-thought out answer to this question. Ultimately what you desire to achieve is an environment where resistance to the new solution gives away to the demand for working with the knowledge tool.

4) It’s a journey, not a destination

Don’t look at the initiatives of your new knowledge tool as a project, but rather as an improved way of working. It’s a journey, not a destination, and it doesn’t have an end-date!

Employees will adopt the technology when they see success from others using it, as well as when they see the technology evolving with them over time. Keep focusing on the outcome that you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to achieve greater employee and customer satisfaction? Are you focusing on improving employee retention? Establish baselines against which you can measure your progress and continue to positively reinforcing adoption of the service through various communication channels.

5) Leveraging the knowledge tool

Motivate your employees by offering clear and concise feedback to their questions about the tool, and offer them solutions on how to improve their ability to work with the new knowledge solution. Become your organization’s knowledge leader and mentor. Positive feedback is a stronger motivator than negative feedback. It is critical to always recognize and reward employees who effectively resolve incidents themselves with the new solution.

Leverage your knowledge tool’s statistical information through usage patterns and trend analysis. Focus on the importance of your team’s ability to become proficient with the knowledge solution. Measure your teams overall progress rather than each individual’s progress. Remember to set goals based on outcomes achieved by leveraging the knowledge tool, and not on the overall activity of your analysts.

6) Make it Fun!

Introduce elements of gamification to make working with the knowledge tool fun and interactive. Creating excitement around your new technology will motivate and engage your analysts to work more effectively with the new knowledge tool. Rewarding positive behaviors from your service desk analysts for example, creating effective and relevant knowledge articles, has a more positive impact than penalizing agents for behaviors you don’t want to see. With gamification employees can earn points, gain financial incentives, or achieve new levels of “status”. Organizational departments are encouraged to share their experiences and provide feedback.

Selecting the new tool

When purchasing new technology, organizations often attempt to lessen the risk by having vendors compete against each other. Comparing knowledge vendors’ capabilities and the benefits an organization hopes to achieve with a knowledge solution is only a small part of the purchasing process.

When an organization is purchasing a knowledge tool their primary focus should be on assessing each vendor’s ability to help the organization achieve their defined goal. Change is difficult for everyone, and it should not be taken lightly when investing in a new organizational tool. Make the most of out of your organization’s new knowledge tool by following the 6 steps mentioned above.

If you follow these steps, you will ensure a significant return on your investment, and you will be setting your entire organization up for success.

Lena Stormvinge, @lenastormvinge, Account Manager & Knowledge Specialist, ComAround

Related Links:

Are you encouraging your employees to share their knowledge?

Case study: Using ComAround Knowledge™ as a Knowledge Base for service desk

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