We recently completed a survey of modern law firms and their operational technology habits and choices. While the study was primarily focused on how firms use organizational document software, we were also able to glean the pain points and barriers law firms come up against when trying to implement new technology. New technology can often be the best solution for day-to-day inefficiencies or for long term organizational planning - and yet, it's not always easy to get.
According to our survey, the most common barriers to implementing new technology include
- Resistance to change
Resistance to change is an incredibly common pain point when implementing new procedures, policies, and tasks. As a rule, people really don’t like change - we are creatures of habit. But why do people resist change when it comes to implementing a new technology?
Some of the most common reasons include:
- They don’t understand it.
- They didn’t get trained on it.
- They have to take the time to develop new processes around it.
- They’re afraid of making mistakes.
Each of these concerns are valid and need to be addressed with your team in a way that assuages their fears, helps them understand the big picture, and allows them to feel they are in a safe place while learning the new software and the processes. It’s important that employees know how this new technology will make their lives and tasks easier and more successful.
The best way to meet each of these objections is with training. By learning how to train better and more effectively, we can decrease resistance to change and essentially nab two birds with one stone.
How can we train better?
Without solid and effective training, technological implementation becomes nearly impossible. And without implementation, you certainly can’t gain any new benefits from the latest and greatest in technology. Successful training comprises the following elements:
When you know you’ll be implementing a new technology for your firm, start by introducing the idea to your team in small doses. Share software demos with them and start a conversation about how the software has been used in other firms. By taking the time to prep your team and start these discussions, you’ll have a better chance of getting people on board and excited about the prospect of new technology.
Train in Groups
In order to train better, and more efficiently, split up your training sessions into small groups. Training by department or team can be especially effective as you’ll cover a group of people who will use the new technology in similar ways and for similar tasks. This means you will be able to answer common questions at one time, as well as help to create a safer environment where teammates could get help from one another and not be afraid to speak up about what they don’t understand.
You could also split the groups up by learning method - some people learn better with a high level overview while others really need a deep dive into all of the “why’s” and details. Training in learning method groups will help to ensure that you maintain the interest and attention of everyone in the room during your presentation.
Following up after a training session is key to maintaining the work you’ve just put in. By asking the team questions and providing them with a survey, you’ll be able to know right away if there are lingering misunderstandings or questions you may not have covered. You will be able to tell if the training was successful or if there needs to be more instruction.
You could also follow up by providing a prize for those who successfully adopt the new technology right away or for correct usage for the tasks you just trained. Sharing praise verbally or in the form of prizes helps to promote good feelings towards the new implementation and will ultimately promote success.
It’s so important to be available after the first week of training and implementation. Large amounts of new information and new tasks can easily slip out of the brain when Saturday comes along. By being available for additional support, questions, or even a refresher on the new tasks, you will find that the implementation will go more smoothly. Adopting new technology can take time, but with positive and reinforced support, resistance will decrease tenfold.
There will always be barriers when adopting new technology into your law firm, but by identifying the biggest pain points, taking the time to plan, train, and follow up, you can diminish resistance and overcome many objections along the way.
Whether trying to create a culture that supports technology adoption, or gearing up for your cybersecurity training, you can check out our Cybersecurity Checklist for a more in-depth approach to planning, executing, and following up on your most effective training session yet.