Ways to tell one version of the truth…
Getting the message out to employees about new technology so they adopt it should be a simple process; tell them the reason why they’re getting the new technology and explain where they can go to get more information. But in practice, it’s not that easy. Because, what you tell people isn’t necessarily what they hear.
Remember the ‘telephone’ game as a child? You lined up and the first child whispered a message to the next child, and so on. The child at the end of the line then had to announce the message, which was usually very different to what the message had originally been! In fact, you’d end up with a line of children where most of them would all have a different message.
Yet, during brutal wars and times of emergency, with all odds against them, people have relied on International Morse Code to successfully and accurately relay a message. How? Because the code isn’t open to interpretation; it’s defined through dots and dashes, it’s accurate, and is a universal language.
So, how do you make your technology adoption message more Morse Code, and less ‘telephone’ game? By ensuring your words and actions lead to ‘one version of the truth’.
Here’s how you can convey and manage your technology adoption message so there’s ‘one truth’:
Tell it from the top
To get employees to listen and change the way they’re working they need to hear about the new technology from the top. Select an executive – who is passionate the technology – to be the face and storyteller of your campaign. But, don’t give the executive freedom to go off-piste! Give the executive a tight script to convey a consistent message in town halls, speeches, v-logs, blog posts and any written documentation. One message equals one truth. Fact: Prominent leadership is the biggest contributor to the success of a change programme (Prosci, 2016).
Tell it from the middle
Fact: Employees like to hear the message from an executive but they seek permission to change from their line manager (Prosci). Line managers play a critical role in the technology adoption process, but they are often far removed from the programme. This is where a managers’ toolkit becomes as valuable as Morse Code to get one version of the truth out, to employees.
A managers’ toolkit is like an encyclopaedia for a specific workstream; providing a point-of-reference and facts in short-form. It provides line managers with a wealth of information, so they have the knowledge to factually update their team about progress on a technology adoption programme. The intent is to support a management cascade model and ensure that all line managers are aligned in what they say, therefore telling one version of the truth. House the managers’ tool kit in a restricted area of your intranet, so it’s accessible and easy for all managers to find.
Think the might of the microsite!
Never underestimate the power of a mighty microsite. What you’re told by an executive or line manager is open to interpretation. However, written and video content presents you with one version of the facts and key messages, so you can read, watch and listen to learn about what is happening in your own way. After all, we all have our own learning style. That’s why a microsite is so useful as it supports flexible learning.
A microsite that is dedicated to a technology adoption programme not only emphasises its importance, but it also provides one home to house all the different ways that you’re telling one story. In short, it is the home of the truth. That’s why it needs to be super engaging to entice the reader in. Think pop-out graphics, snappy videos and a stand-out message for employees that says…’this is what is in it for you’! Take a read of Bland versus Brand.
Spring clean…and repeat, repeat, repeat
To keep one version of the truth you need to keep your sources clean – executives, line managers and the microsite. This means a continual spring cleaning exercise that takes place more than once a year. At the outset of a technology programme put messaging and content on the team agenda, and implement a process for reviewing and updating it. Make the same person responsible for this agenda item, so it gets actioned. If messaging and content changes, run an audit on all your materials and everything on the microsite. Update it, so it is accurate and there is one truth – on the microsite, in the managers’ toolkit and in the executive briefing pack.
To achieve technology adoption, it’s essential to engage employees and ensure they only have one version of the truth. It’s critical that you take a holistic approach to how you communicate, and that you do so methodically and with the precision of the Morse Code. The Inform Team has its own Morse Code for adoption – Excite, Equip, Embed™