Your Employees and Productivity

By Impactful | 02 Aug, 2023
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Thinking back to my first encounter working on a computer – from floppy disks to working on Lotus SmartSuite – the company I worked for back then, went all out, and we were soon introduced to the mind-blowing world of Windows and MS Office.

Working within the training and development sector, we were super-excited to be able to use Microsoft Office. I quickly fell in love with Microsoft Excel and just couldn’t believe how easy it was to create macros to automate tasks, etc. To my utter dismay, most of the staff hated every second of working with Microsoft Office.

It was then that I learned about resistance to change.

My initial thought was “How do they not see that this is so much better, and we can do so much more?”.

Fast-forward to many years later. Microsoft had asked a colleague of mine to help them drive the adoption of MS Office into the workplace of a few blue-chip clients. We sold the newest updates on MS Office – how MS Office and SharePoint work together, and the use of OneNote, etc. 

One example that was used was, ‘How to unpack a pivot table depending on filter criteria, without needing to copy and paste 50 times’. Suddenly there was an uproar in the audience. One of the attendees stormed out, and I feared for my life. I hesitantly continued; she then came running back in, rudely interrupting shouting: “IT WORKS, IT WORKS, IT WORKS!”. 

My colleague stopped and politely asked her to explain, and she said: “I was so angry with you – I ran out of here to test what you had shown us, and it actually works! You have no idea how much time it is going to save us!”  She later informed my colleague that reporting time was cut down from 10 days to just 6, saving them a full 4 days of work.

As she took her seat again, my colleague said: You are probably going to kill me for this comment, but this function has been available since Microsoft Office 2000.”

The essence of the story is that everyone expects staff members to be more productive – we have invested millions of rands into Office 365, D365, Oracle, SAP and other product licenses. So why are our employees not more productive? In my 30 years of experience, I’ve found that the answer is simple: you are paying a person to do a specific job, not to spend hours doing research on the software they are using.

So, how does one change this perception? We believe that adoption of the software in your business not only is a function of knowledge of the application and its uses but a deep adoption of an identity associated with the application. Think of the times when you have spoken about that one person in your business that is the guru on application X – imagine if you had more than just one – how would the levels of productivity and engagement improve? It’s a head, heart and hand matter – I need to understand the why behind the application and its value, I need to understand what’s in it for me and finally I need to understand how to use it functionally.

We move past the adage of “build it and they will come…” – They won’t. Adoption and engagement go hand in hand.

Here are the benefits of user enablement for your organisation:

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