Chances are, you probably have employees who would be hard pressed to tell you what any of those words mean. Moreover, if you have members of staff who have never owned a smartphone or had a social media account, getting them to embrace the intricacies of new software and systems at work will be a challenge.
Not only can new technology be intimidating, the implementation of care management software disrupts the way employees have been carrying out their daily tasks for years (sometimes even decades)! As a result, don’t be surprised if you find this change met with resistance and skepticism from staff who didn’t grow up in the digital world and have remained disengaged from it.
So, how can you motivate skeptical employees to use your new software?
Here are some strategies that can help:
1. Roll out changes in phases.
Software pilots go astray when people get lost in the details of features and functionality. Often times, certain features don’t even have a significant impact on the outcome a care provider is aiming to achieve.The best course of action is to decide which features and functionality of the software will be used the most. Deploy the most essential first and get everyone comfortable using those aspects of the platform before moving onto another phase. Consequently, this ensures no one gets side-tracked with fringe scenarios that make the software more complicated than it needs to be.
2. Designate someone as a ‘champion’ who can provide ongoing help.
Investing in proper training from the beginning is the single best way to support a successful transition for all users. In my experience, Assisted Living communities and Adult Day Care centers benefit from assigning one or two tech-savvy members of staff to be ‘champions’. These individuals are committed to helping bridge the gap for service users who have a greater learning curve when it comes to using a new system. Consequently, choose individuals who carry influence amongst their coworkers and make sure these early adopters are encouraging. They will be your references and internal case studies when you move forward to deploy subsequent phases.
3. Start with the basics and go slow.
We’re talking the very basics: how to store and charge your device, how to turn on your device, how to set and enter a password, how to connect to WiFi, etc. After that, we suggest you pick a basic feature (i.e. recording resident activity attendance or writing up a progress note) to go over. Then, ensure that each person feels confident in their ability to carry out that task before introducing another feature.
4. Encourage exploration and feedback.
Rest easy knowing that most, if not all, mistakes made on the software platform can be reversed. Therefore, the best way to learn and get comfortable with a new system is to play around and explore features. If possible, set up ‘test’ accounts so that staff can practice carrying out processes without it affecting documentation for real residents or service users.
For instance, have staff practice various tasks (i.e. create a care plan for a specific resident) or make up a scenario they would respond to (i.e. Mrs. ‘Test’ fell in the bathroom. Fill out an Accident Report and update her Falls Risk Assessment). Additionally, keep the focus on outcomes you are trying to achieve. This sets an intention for the journey that even the naysayers can usually get on board with. Ask for feedback from staff as they explore, so they feel heard and supported.
Taylor Vander Well heads up Best Practice & Communications for StoriiCare, a care management and activity tracking software for senior care providers. You can find out more about StoriiCare and schedule a free tour of the platform here: “care management software“