6 Tips to Get Small Business Employees to Love the Cloud

When it comes to implementing new technologies like the cloud, a key ingredient for success is employee adoption. Without having everyone on board, you risk losing out on the many potential benefits afforded by cloud computing, which can be critical to your company’s ability to staying competitive in the market.

The best way to maximize adoption is to get your team excited about the cloud, and make it easy for them to use new tools and systems. Here are six tips to get you started.

  1. Define the cloud: While the cloud is not a new concept and seems almost ubiquitous these days, this doesn’t necessarily mean your employees have a full understanding of what it is and how it works! Don’t make assumptions about their understanding of the technologies and the benefits they offer, and don’t forget that people may be afraid or embarrassed to ask.
    Remember that there are many common misconceptions about the cloud, such as security vulnerabilities. You’ll want to clarify these and solidify best practices so your employees feel confident and empowered.
  2. Train smart: Adequate training is one of the best ways to maximize adoption. Take the time to walk your employees through the new tool or system, demonstrate how to use it, and allow people to practice using it themselves.
    Try to prioritize the most important tasks or functions that will truly impact their operations, and focus on those first. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming them with too much information about features that aren’t immediately relevant, which can turn them off of actually using the new tech.
    Keep in mind that you don’t have to squeeze everything into a single training session! Try to break the information up into logical sections, and remember that repetition helps ideas stick. Start simple; you can always schedule additional training sessions down the line.
  3. Communicate the real benefits: Part of training is not just teaching your employees how to use the different features and functions of your new tool, but clearly explaining how it solves real pain points in their organizations.
    Explain the specific problems that they may be facing as an organization, and then outline how the new technology solves them. People are much more likely to use a tool if it speaks to specific pain points or friction they face in their day-to-day work, so be sure to highlight these when you can to personalize the advantages. 
  4. Listen: In addition to communicating, you must also listen. Give your employees a chance to offer feedback on their experience using the new tool so that you can fully understand the real barriers to adoption. You might find, for instance, that multiple employees are confused about a specific feature and are therefore avoiding it. This would be a great opportunity to revisit that feature in a training session and once again help your employees feel confident in using it.
    You may also find that by actively listening to your employees, you can further build trust and enhance their confidence in you. This creates a more receptive environment, which is essential when you’re looking to suggest changes.
  5. Break it down: Sometimes we get so excited about a new tool, we’re too eager to roll it out across the board. But the reality is that this can often overwhelm employees and slow down operations as their team gets up to speed.
    In some cases, you may want to think strategically about suggesting that employees begin their new tool adoption within a specific group or department first, rather than rolling out a massive, company-wide change all in one fell swoop. This way, you can focus on working out any kinks in the training process as your rollout progresses. You may even experience a cultural “ripple” effect, as your pilot group communicates their positive experience with the new tool to the rest of the company.
  6. Offer a choice: It’s important that you make your employees feel empowered when you can; higher levels of autonomy are associated with higher job satisfaction (which works out well for you), for instance. If an opportunity arises in which you don’t need company-wide consensus on a tool, offer your employees the choice and flexibility to use what they prefer.
    Remember that if your goal is employees buy-in, the best approach is to set your employees up for success. Rather than throwing a new tool at them and hoping it will stick, take the time, be thorough, and engage. In the end, you will not only help them maximize their technology investments, but you’ll also build deeper relationships with your employees that will help you grow professionally and as a team.

Vadim Vladimirskiy is the head honcho at Adar Inc. aka Nerdio. Vadim’s the brains behind the evolution of Nerdio for private cloud and Nerdio for Azure, bringing ITaaS to the masses – that is, service providers and resellers.