Summary: We show you how to increase adoption of your new company intranet, based on ACTUAL SCIENCE.
We’ve all done it; installed a new app or piece of software hoping that it will be the solution to all our problems, only to use it a few times and after a week or so, have it sit there, unopened as you return to your usual routine. Turns out there’s actual science behind why this happens, science that you can use to combat this problem and work towards 100% Company Intranet adoption.
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Everett Rogers is the communication theorist and sociologist who coined the term ‘early adopter’ – he also went further, digging in to and describing the spectrum of innovation adopters in the Theory of diffusion of Innovation. What does that mean? Think back to stats class and remember that big ol’ Bell Curve? It’s useful for lots of things. Including explaining why Bill from Accounting still uses a ‘number machine’ to figure out tax at lunch while Betty, also on his team, uses a quantum-mega-hyper-drive she picked up on Kickstarter along with automated scripts that forecast company revenue into the next century and recompute daily. Two ends of the same bell curve. Distributions are neat!
The curve shows the 5 different ‘types’ of adopters: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards. You can use this information to your advantage when planning your new Intranet roll-out. Not everybody will be in the same place for each piece of innovation. A person may be an innovator or early adopter for vehicle related things, but not for, say, software. It’s important to identify where your employees are on this distribution curve.
2. 3 States of change
Kind of like when you were there for Shelley when she broke up with that guy she was seeing; there are 3 states of change you may run into when launching your intranet at your organization. A) Letting Go of Old – You’re TOO GOOD for that old ‘intranet’ (or share drive). B) Neutral Zone – Everything is Fine. It will all be OK. C) New Beginning – This is when you start to see the light, you see how this will revolutionize the way you and your co-workers get things done. YES! Be ready for each employee to go through these stages to one degree or another and don’t worry if any particular employee takes longer in one state than another. Everybody goes through these stages to some extent.
3. Working the Curve to your advantage
By focusing your efforts on those people at your organization that could be classified as Innovators and Early Adopters, you have the best chance to reach the critical mass needed to snowball the innovation enough that for the most part, the remaining users will get on board on their own. You’ll kind of naturally see who your innovators and early adopters would be, but sometimes you need to explore your organization and strategically pick people that can lead this innovation. Anecdotally, the people that are always getting the latest and greatest cell phones? Try them first. On the flip-side, don’t try to force your new intranet on the employee that’s still driving his 1980s Toyota and wears corduroy pants. Let him get there once everybody else around him is reaping the rewards of time-cost savings, though you may need to spend some extra time to ensure his onboarding completes.
By understanding the nuances of adoption of innovation – The different stages, the different places on the distribution that an individual lies, combined with the process of going through the 3 States Of Change you can get your organization from 0 to 100% Company Intranet Adoption. Start with Innovators, empower them and understand that human capital drives the progress to 100% adoption. It will take some time to reach critical mass and diffusion manifests itself differently among the different type of adopters, (ie Innovators will shift through quickly, whereas laggards may take some time). Hopefully by drawing from this scientific basis, employing empathy and helping those that may need it for their journey through states of change, you can reach 100% intranet adoption.
Have any questions about company intranet adoption? Leave us a question below.