How to Encourage Slow Workflow Adopters in Your Workforce

There is a feeling we are all familiar with; one that doesn’t seem universal at first, but is certainly undeniable. It’s the feeling of uncertainty when replacing an old method with a new one.

If you’ve played sports, this feeling may arise when a new coach restructures your practice. For writers, it could be that new editor who wants a different copy style than the one you normally write for. For employees, it can be a new software that changes how you work.

Using a workflow automation tool is certainly a new method of work for many people. But once employees are comfortable with it, they’ll never want to go back.

But how do you get there in the first place?

There will always be people who are reluctant to change when an old method gets replaced. Workflow automation software might be new to some workplaces, but increased efficiency and a strong ROI is something nobody should ignore.

Who are the Slow Adopters Today?

Slow adopters can’t be clearly identified by factors like age, position, or time at a company. Employees of all levels resist change, and they do it because it breaks their everyday routine.

Everyone finds a certain security in routines because they involve tasks they’ve done hundreds of times. There are few, if any, surprises in a routine, and introducing new software is certainly a big surprise.

Learning new software takes time and effort. Workflow automation saves you exactly that in the long term, but requires a time investment to get started.

Some employees are slow adopters not by choice, but because they can’t take time away from the very task they could be automating.

The real question to ask is not who the slow adopters are, but how can you set up an environment that encourages slow adopters to take the time to learn something that will result in long term benefits for everyone involved.

Out with the Old, in with the New

Here are a few ways to get slow workflow adopters more engaged with workflow automation:

Show Them the Process

People fear what they don’t understand. Actually walking through the process of building a workflow from start to finish and watching it run helps slow adopters understand what’s happening.

Even if they aren’t ready to build their own workflow, simply seeing how it operates can encourage them to begin thinking about how they could use it. Education is important to adoption.

Explain the Benefits

Workflow automation solves many problems with the right understanding. This might be enough to convince a line of business leader, but employees want to see what workflow automation can do for them while keeping ownership over the process.

The biggest direct benefit for employees is saving time. An estimated three minutes of productivity is saved every time a workflow executes – this can collectively add up to significant time savings throughout the year.

Keep the Process Where it Feels Like Home

Slow adopters often dread learning a new interface or technology. Whether they are building the automated workflows themselves or simply interacting with them, it is a good idea to keep the workflow within a familiar space to make adoption more feasible.

Using workflow automation within the current platforms or applications alleviates the learning curve for new and slow adopters. It’s easier to learn a new process when you’re already familiar with the platform you access it from. Workflow automation software can integrate with dozens of other programs, allowing you to pair it with applications you need.

 The Next Step

Encouraging slow adopters is all about comfort. Some will jump into new processes right away, while others might take more time.

The ultimate goal is to let people do the work they love while saving time and money. By investing time now, employees can get back to the reasons they do the work they do, and we think that’s worth it for everyone.

 

Want to learn more about Workflow and Content Automation? Watch the Aragon Research Webinar here!

Ian Leonard

Ian was an inaugural member of the Nintex Summer Editorial Intern program in 2017. He recently graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Communication with a focus in Marketing and Negotiations. Ian took an interest in the field of public relations while at Nintex, and in the future he aims to dive deeper into marketing and learn new skills that will better his own life and others.