When upgrading from traditional wired phone lines to unified communication
systems, business leaders face the daunting task of creating seamless change
management. Transforming a company's modes of interaction offers long-term
rewards but faces a pretty serious roadblock.
Most employees have little or no training in the use of new cloud-based
technology and are apt to turn to their own familiar platforms -- or, shadow IT
-- instead of learning those installed by a company's IT department. In other
words, employees could compromise online security by accessing the cloud through
non IT-vetted channels.
1) Teach What They Don't Know
Without employees understanding the ramifications of shadow IT use, business
leaders stand to to lose their return on investment. Experts point out that it's
futile to attempt avoiding shadow IT and it's better to confront it by making
sure employees fully understand how to safely engage with shadow IT, wrote Tech
Republic's Nick Heath.
For this reason, business leaders are often averse to adopting a unified
communication system. The time and effort of strategizing accessible employee
education and training is no small task.
2) Teach In An Approachable Manner
Managers who see the benefits of unified communications might ask: What is the
best approach for training employees in new technology?
Writing for Healthcare Informatics, Michelle Kay posed one possible solution:
approach training with the same strategy you would apply to writing an essay:
introduce the technology, explain the technology, and explain it again.
Kay focused her suggestion specifically on the healthcare industry, whose
clinicians' foremost concern is patient care. Learning a new phone system is not
likely to high on a nurse's priority list but it's a necessary endeavor.
Though healthcare workers might not show interest in the logistics of phone use,
they are attuned to how efficient communication aids in their ability to provide
care. The same is true for any industry: employees focus most acutely on their
job duties, giving only peripheral thought to how well an internal communication
system work. The key is for business leaders to show their employees how unified
communications will enhance individuals' abilities to perform their jobs.
3) Avoid Surprises
The first step of this journey, in Kay's example, is to alert employees in
advance that a change is ahead. An effective introduction to training should
clearly define the coming changes and who the key players will be.
Once managers prepare their employees to head in a new direction, they can
explain the actual technology and how to use it. Employee knowledge does not end
with the initial training, and managers should be prepared to keep open
4) Create a Conversation
Where does that dialogue originate? According to Heath, education should begin
by telling employees how to identify a cloud-based platform. This allows for a
discussion of which cloud services can suit the needs of the company, and which
have the potential to harm business functions.
Business leaders can solicit employee feedback and find the means to purchase
the cloud services with which their teams are most comfortable. In this case,
managers should be cautious of the apps and terms of conditions accompanying a
service, and should confirm the service is compliant with federal regulations.
Employees need to know that even small things, such as using a single set of
login credentials across the board, can leave a business vulnerable.
Department heads should encourage their employees to seek assistance in
correctly using new technology, which encourages a smooth transition into