As SaaS technology becomes immersed in our everyday lives, many businesses are eager to adopt cloud solutions that promise to boost their productivity and maximize their efficiency. While some employees easily adapt to new technology, most are naturally resistant to change. Advancing cloud-technology provides a whole host of benefits to organizations and industries. However, implementing new software into your business without the right preparation can be met with resistance and disengagement. Preparing your workforce for digital adoption is a must for avoiding employee frustration, delays in work processes, and daily routine disruptions.
Here at Shiftboard, we’ve seen countless companies transition to new scheduling technology. As such, I’d like to share what we’ve seen over the years so you can successfully prepare your workforce to adopt new technology:
1. Align Technology with Strategy
Once a new technology is chosen, the first step is to explain why you are adopting your new solution to key stakeholders. Show them how the new technology will benefit both the company and the employees’ work life. Regardless of title, employees tend to push back if they can’t see how a new system ties to a larger, well thought out, strategy. Focusing on the positive benefits such as showing the perks, conveniences, and improved workflows will go a long way to validating your decision.
When we help customers switch to an automated scheduling solution, we help them communicate major benefits like scheduling efficiency, employee engagement, and real-time communication throughout their organization. Since new technology impacts the workflows of each department differently, we work with our customers to identify the key stakeholders who play a role in championing the new solution. We advise picking more than your company’s technology enthusiasts. Pick a wide variety of employees who are great at communicating and networking.
2. Build a Rollout Plan and Identify a Pilot Group
Once you’ve gained buy-in from your key stakeholders, start putting together a pilot group. This smaller group should comprise of individuals that represent the range of use cases your new solution will impact. By focusing on a small pilot group, you can determine how the new processes will affect their daily routine and help mitigate any kinks before you engage in the larger rollout.
Identifying the various use cases across your organizations can be tricky. We’ve found that expectations change based on how the employees interact with the new technology. For example, Shiftboard has three main tiers; the admin, the manager, and the user. Admins are typically technology enthusiasts and want to dive into the nitty-gritty details that the new technology has to offer. In addition to extended functionality, they want to know more about security, integrations, and any existing limitations. Managers frequently use our solution every day. They want to know about workflows, clicks, and how our solution will improve their daily routines. Finally, users (typically the staff) want something that is intuitive and easy to learn. Their expectations are focused on the user interface, navigation, and polished new features.
As you build your rollout plan, keep in mind that one-size fits all plans rarely fit all. Learning new technology will differ amongst your employees. Customize your trainings to incorporate various employee segments in your company and consider a variety of training options; online sessions, in-class group training, personal coaching, training labs, and question/answer sessions.
Many people learn faster when they can work hands-on with the system themselves. Try giving employees the opportunity to practice with the new technology before going live. Also, understand that your employees won’t be able to learn a new system and switch over immediately. Make sure to set reasonable expectations and timelines so your employees don’t feel rushed by incorporating a transitional period into your plan so there is time for everyone to adjust and become comfortable.
3. Carry Out Rollout Plan
Once your pilot group is satisfied, slowly transition completely over to the new system. Be careful to police any new workflows. Some employees may try to devise workarounds that closely relate to old processes. Be sure to highlight early successes as employees start delving into the new technology. That way, everyone can see real-time examples of how your new solution can benefit them.
Schedule time away from employees’ normal work projects to focus on learning the new system. Help them explore the features and encourage them to experiment, so they can avoid frustration when they start using the technology in their regular work processes.
Keep your two-way communication open and engaging. Remember, change is hard for most, so make sure you’re continually communicating the when, how, and why. In return, invite all employees to ask questions, request help, and give constructive feedback. You’ll not only help them feel validated, but find out if there are any other areas that need attention.
4. Monitor and Course Correct
After your rollout, keep the momentum going. Don’t assume that just because things are going well, the rollout is a success. You’ll want to continually reassure, reinforce, and remain focused on supporting your employees. After all your hard work, you don’t want employees reverting back to the old system. Keep your communication going, continue highlighting positive outcomes, and look for ways to keep embedding the technology further into your employee’s operations.
Give employees easy access to further help and training along the way. Consider more robust training for some of your employees so you have experts on hand throughout the process. Provide a support line or website for employees to ask questions, watch training videos, or get answers to common questions.
Quick Do’s and Don’ts
- Help your employees understand how the new technology will make their lives easier
- Acknowledge your employees as they make the transition, recognizing early wins in the process
- Provide plenty of training with a variety of options to help your employees learn
- After training, transition the new technology into the normal work processes of your employees
- Select a technology without buy-in from key stakeholders
- Discount the importance of garnering persuasive employees to champion the cause
- Close the doors for open communication
- Punish employees for not using the technology
Reap the Rewards of New Technology
Advancing technology in your workplace is necessary for this day and age. Getting the right steps in place will ensure your workforce is prepared to adopt a new technology solution.
If you are looking to transform the way you schedule and manage your hourly workforce, Shiftboard has over a decade of experience helping thousands of customers optimize their workforce scheduling operations. Our team partners with organizations so the transition is smooth and your employees can easily realize the benefits of a new scheduling solution. Visit us today for a free demo!
When it comes to scheduling, universities have a host of requirements around staffing and communication. With so many different departments and hundreds of student workers, managing each schedule can be challenging, especially since a student’s primary goal is to earn a degree while at school, not necessarily to earn a living.
Universities are continually challenged to balance proper staff coverage while catering to the needs of their student workforce whose availability changes every semester with exams, group projects, and intramural sports.
Over 70 world-class universities have partnered with Shiftboard’s one-of-a-kind solution to accommodate their unique scheduling needs, including Harvard, University of Texas, Stanford, Yale, Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Arizona.
Create Better Schedules and Improve Engagement
Using the Shiftboard solution, university administrations are seeing greater engagement with their student staff and benefitting from real-time access to every department. They can see who is scheduled where, see how many hours’ students are working, and ensure the university is in compliance with federal work-study regulations.
In addition to greater workforce visibility, Shiftboard allows students to set their availability, document preferences for manager consideration, and implement shift trades with or without manager approval. Increasing your student workers’ ability to participate in the scheduling process makes them more likely to show up and execute their roles.
However, things happen; people get sick, shifts get canceled, or details change. Shiftboard makes it effortless to contact your full-time employees or student workers. By using Shiftboard to communicate to your workforce, your schedulers no longer have to depend on slow phone trees or inactive messaging boards to fill last-minute shifts. No-shows and sick absences are all easily handled with a curated list of qualified and available workers to choose from, eliminating the headaches of cross-checking multiple spreadsheets, emails or text messages.
Managing overtime also comes with the territory when managing student workers, particularly for work-study programs with strict rules on student work periods. Shiftboard helps alleviate the potential risk of over scheduling student employees by allowing the scheduler to set predefined limits on the number of hours per day, or week a particular student can work.
An added bonus to Shiftboard is the InCommon Federation membership. As the only scheduling solution partnered with the InCommon Federation, Shiftboard allows for single user sign-on through Shibboleth. Once activated, student employees can easily login to Shiftboard through their student portal. Not only does this streamline user access, it eliminates any confusion of where student employees need to go to find their work schedules.
24/7 Access for Students and Schedulers
Students are bombarded by social media, chat apps, emails, text messages and more, all translating to a smaller and smaller window to get their attention. Shiftboard gives students mobile-friendly access to their schedule so they can self-serve the information they need when they have time to consume it. In addition to a self-service mobile app, automated schedule communication ensures that students never forget a shift.
Shiftboard also offers multiple ways for your managers to access their schedule on the go via mobile devices, computers, or smartphones. Shiftboard also enables a printout version so universities can cater to multiple scheduling use cases.
Why Shiftboard for Higher Education
Universities are reaping the scheduling benefits of Shiftboard across campus for athletic venues, libraries, residence halls, performing art centers, and campus security — each with varying scheduling needs for the workforce. Fortunately, Shiftboard is incredibly configurable, thanks to its flexible team management structure and multiple clock-in options for different location requirements.
Universities can also cut their time spent manually creating schedules by using the Shiftboard bulk assignment feature. Simply input the requirements for each role such as time, date, certifications, and Shiftboard will find the ideal candidates based on their availability and qualifications. Schedulers can also create a backup plan for unexpected schedule changes by building a standby list in Shiftboard. Instead of scrambling to find a replacement, schedulers can choose to either notify the members of standby list of an open shift or allow Shiftboard to automatically assign the best available candidate for the job.
Smarter Scheduling Impacts Bottom Line
Universities across the country are seeing the impact of Shiftboard’s scheduling solution on their bottom line; saving time and money with an easy-to-use online system, increased satisfaction among their student employees with immediate access to their schedules, along with easier communication methods to broadcast schedule changes instantly.
For example, the University of California Berkeley (Cal) schedules hundreds of student workers each month to keep their sporting events running smoothly. However, inconsistent student availability, a 20-hour-per-student limit, and frequent event schedule changes made their manual scheduling processes unwieldy and inaccurate.
Cal now uses Shiftboard to simplify their scheduling chaos. With an easy-to-use online system, Cal’s student workers are more engaged with easily viewable schedules, shift trade options, and easier communication methods to broadcast schedule changes instantly.
For more information on why top universities across the country have chosen Shiftboard to manage their scheduling needs, check out our Shiftboard for Education Page.