The Ultimate Guide to Digital Workspace Adoption

by | Feb 12, 2021 | All Blogs, Employee experience, Knowledge

Anyone can start using a new digital workspace – that’s easy. But making the workspace successful within your company and to let everyone get the most value out of it, requires a bit more effort.

Even with an adaptive workspace such as Workspace 365, which
adapts to someone’s role, applications and device, employees may
need an adjustment period. Because even though you’re making
their work easier, they’re still going through a change.

We are going to help you manage that change and make the
digital workspace successful, so that the workspace will not only
be used, but to make sure it is embraced within your organisation.

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Embracing Workspace 365 cover

    Step 1: Select a workspace and align management

    The adoption of a new digital workspace does not start when implementing it. In reality, it starts even before a digital workspace is selected.

    digital transformation definition

    In this first phase of selecting a workspace, several factors need to be considered. Such as: what are your goals, what do you want to achieve? What challenges are you dealing with now? Map all the challenges you want to solve and the opportunities you want to create and set up a timeline for the roll-out of the new workspace.

    This is also the moment to start communicating with your employees, because who knows better what they want and need then they do? That is why you need to involve all teams in your decision for a new digital workspace. For this, we have created several email templates you can use.

    Man with adoption personas

    Free email templates

    Communicate effectively with your team about their new digital workspace.

      Also determine your key roles: your Sponsor(s), Success Owner(s) and Captains.

      Let’s start with who

      There are a few key roles to make embracing the digital workspace a success. We will begin by explaining these key roles: who they are and what part they will play in the Embracing Workspace Program.

      Sponsors

      Sponsors are people from a senior level in the company, who have a high influence on the company culture. Even though they are not highly actively involved in the adoption process, they still have a very influential role to play. Their role is to lead by example and show people that this is not only a good but also a necessary change to make, that will positively affect the organisation’s future.

      Success Owners

      Success Owners also have a leading role in the Embracing Workspace Program. They are usually on (middle) management and thus, are close to both employees and upper management, which allows them to act as a link between the two. The Success Owners are responsible for ensuring that the goals are achieved and that the training of and communication with employees are managed successfully. They will be involved in every step and can be viewed as the executive leaders and supervisors of the project.

      Captains

      The Captains are at the forefront of the change among your employees, the
      “influencers”, as you will. These are the employees who fully support the change, are enthusiastic about it and are quick to learn about new technology. They will spread the enthusiasm about the new digital workspace and bring new ways of working to life. Also, they will function as an intermediary between their teams and the Success Owners. They collect feedback from their teams or departments, identify challenges and possible solutions and brief the Success Owners, so that they can incorporate the feedback to improve the workspace.

      Step 2: Identify change

      You have chosen your digital workspace and determined the goals for your organisation. Now it is time to zoom in more on the people who will actually be using this workspace: your employees.

      adoption employees Workspace 365

      Create your personas

      You can start doing this by taking inventory of your organisation, workplaces and working methods. This is a great place to also start creating your personas. Creating personas will give you a good idea of who
      works in your organisation and how they do it, so you can find out what exactly they will need from a digital workspace. There are key differentiators for every persona.

      If you want more information on personas and would like to look at some example personas we’ve created for you, you can download the Persona Presentation here.

      Man with adoption personas

      Free example adoption personas

      Discover how you can create your own.

        Pie chart adoption personas

        Demographics

        Such as their age or educational level.

        Briefcase adoption personas

        Job and Seniority

        What is their function within your organisation?

        Goal adoption personas

        Job goals

        Why do they do what they do? What is the purpose of their position?

        Map mobility adoption personas

        Mobility

        How mobile are they in their position? Are they always in the office or on the road?

        Teamwork adoption personas

        Level of collaboration

        How much do they collaborate with their colleagues or external parties?

        technical ability adoption personas

        Technical skills

        How skilled are they in dealing with technology and how quickly can they pick up new skills?

        Information location adoption personas

        Information sources

        Where do they get most of their information from? What apps and tools?

        applications adoption personas

        Most used applications

        What applications do they use (very) often to do their job?

        challenges adoption personas

        Challenges

        What difficulties do they face in their everyday tasks?

        Take inventory

        With your personas handy and our helpful inventory list, you can determine what applications your employees or employee groups need, what technology is used and what needs to be replaced, what applications and functions you already have and which ones you will still need. With all this information, you can start creating basic layouts per persona group, so you’ll be ready for the next step.

        Workspace 365 Inventory Blueprint

        Within our Embracing Workspace Program, we have created several tools to help you during the adoption process to get the most value out of your new digital workspace, including a handy inventory list.

        Adoption inventory blueprint

        Free inventory blueprint

        Easily record your most important information.

          People Change Management

          During every step of this Embracing Workspace Program, there is one key thing you need to remember: your workspace may be about technology, but embracing it is all about people. They are ultimately responsible for the success of your transformation. And that is where your adoption process needs to start and end: with people. Therefore, you need to understand the different stages your employee goes through when embracing a new digital workspace, so you can take their emotional state into account when implementing a new workspace.

          For this, we use the ADKAR model by Jeff Hiatt.

           

          • Awareness: When a change is coming, people need to know about it and have some time to mentally prepare themselves. Moreover, they don’t just need to know that something is going to change, they need to know what. The more they know, the less scary a change will be. Therefore, tell your employees why it is necessary to implement the new workspace and tell them about the consequences – the ones of when there’s no change, too.
          • Desire: Now that people know of the change, they need to start wanting it. You need to answer the age-old question: “what’s in it for me?”. Because why would people change if there’s no advantage for them? For this reason, you need to show them the benefits. Show them how it will simplify their work, how it will save them time, increase their productivity and how it will make their work easier.
          • Knowledge: When people want the workspace, they will be open to learning how to use it. This is the moment to find out what skills and behaviours need to change in order to work successfully with the new workspace. You can customise training based on people’s persona.
          • Ability: Help your employees to apply their new-found skills to their daily tasks. When they put their new skills to use immediately, it will become their new normal more quickly. Let them practice and give you feedback, which you, in turn, can use to improve the workspace for them. During this stage, you need to make sure that they always have access to the right resources, so they can keep learning and improving. Make these resources widely available and easily accessible.
          • Reinforcement: You have achieved change! Now make it stick. It takes a while to develop new routines and habits – it can often be easy for people to fall back into their old ways. Therefore, you need to be dedicated to keeping the change going with positive reinforcement, such as rewarding your employees for their dedication and participation and showing them the positive results you’ve achieved already, because of this change they made. Make it personal to them, because your people are the ones who made this change happen.

          Step 3: Setting up and soft introduction

          Now that you have basic layouts for your different personas, it is time to let those people test their future workspace. This gives you an opportunity to gather feedback and find out things that are potentially missing or should be adjusted. For this, you can set up one or multiple test groups, depending on the size of your organisation.

          Workspace 365 set up

          Who should be in your test group?

          Since you naturally want your workspace to succeed with all employees, your test group should be a mix of different types of employees from different departments.

          Early adopters

          Find the people who are supporters of change and eager to adapt. They will be quick to see the opportunity of the workspace and enthusiastic to try it out and improve it.

          Laggards

          Of course, your organisation does not solely consist of early adopters – there will always be people who find change a little more difficult. It is very important to also include these people in your test group. By doing this, you can find out what their challenges and difficulties are and react to this before it becomes a problem, and improve the workspace for the people who find new technology a bit more difficult to deal with.

          IT pros

          On the other side, your organisation likely also has some people who are very experienced with IT, seen that their job revolves around it. By including them in your test group, you can make use of their talents. They are more likely to spot any potential technical challenges and see the technical opportunities of the workspace.

          For all types of people, early adopters, laggards and IT employees alike, being involved in this early stage gives them a voice during the transition and does not only give you the chance to gather feedback and improve the workspace for them, it also gives them input on how they will work, a feeling that they are heard and thus, makes them more likely to embrace the new workspace.

          No CEO

          It might be tempting to involve the CEO or upper management in your test group, though we would advise you to include them in a later stage. At the first stage, they have other priorities and tasks to deal with – don’t bother them with the smaller details of the process. By improving the workspace with your test group first, you can smooth out any issues before they are exposed during the roll-out.

          Step 4: Planned launch

          Have you created workspaces based on your personas, tested them, gathered feedback and improved them? Great! Now you can launch your workspace company-wide. Launching the adaptive workspace is not just giving everyone the link and login to their new workspace and being done with it – it takes work, and it’s an ongoing process.

          Workspace 365 launch

          It’s about people

          Make the launch about the people, not about the technology or product. Incorporate your company values and your shared goals. Explain to everyone how it will help solve their challenges, simplify their work and make them more adaptable, show them how it will create new opportunities. It’s not about the hardware or software, it’s about progressing, adapting and collectively moving forward.

          Utilise tools and key roles

          There are several tools you can use for the launch. For one, you can use videos to both explain how (parts of) the workspace work(s) and to inform them about the goals and benefits. This could be a great task for your Sponsors, to lead by example and show everyone why this change is a good thing.

          When everyone is beginning to use their new workspace, your Captains should come into action. It is their task to help their team or department to optimally use their new workspace and to answer any questions they may have. It is also their job to collect feedback, which brings us to the next step.

          Step 5: Process feedback

           

          Make sure you collect and process feedback, in order to shape the digital workspace to the employees’ needs and wishes.

          Feedback Workspace 365

          As we’ve discussed at the beginning of this guide, to make a change successful and make it stick, is an ongoing process. Captains play a key role in this, by passing on the feedback they receive to the Success Makers, so they can use it to further improve the workspace and to see where additional support and training (material) is needed.

          Gathering feedback, however, is not just a task for the Captains – it’s a joint effort. Therefore, it is necessary to schedule regular feedback sessions, where you can discover which (persona) groups need more training, adjustments or assistance. These sessions also give you the opportunity to discover extra features and benefits you can add to the workspace, to increase the usage of it. This way, you can continually keep improving to get the most out of your new digital workspace.

          To gather feedback, you can also utilise forms which you can integrate into the workspace itself.

          We’re here to help + Resources

          We are dedicated to making you successful with Workspace 365. That is why we offer you the Embracing Workspace Program, with which we guide you through the steps towards the adoption of the digital workspace.

          digital transformation barriers

          By working together with us, we can jointly set up a custom Embracing Workspace Program to maximise the desired effect and the adoption of your digital workspace, so you can get the most value out of it. Together we will look at your organisation’s personas, set up a matching adaptive workspace and go through the feedback you receive, so we can collectively improve the workspace for your employees. This way, we can keep simplifying work for them, every day.

          Resources

          To further support you on your digital workspace adoption journey, we have several free resources available you can download. You may have found them throughout the article already, but for your convenience, we’ve listed them all here as well:

          Man with adoption personas

          Free email templates

          Communicate effectively with your team about their new digital workspace.

            Man with adoption personas

            Free example adoption personas

            Discover how you can create your own.

              Adoption inventory blueprint

              Free inventory blueprint

              Easily record your most important information.

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