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Technology initiatives failing thanks to employees

By Catherine Knowles, Wed 27 Jan 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

CIOs are finding the biggest prohibitor to technology initiatives comes down to a lack of employee engagement.

In fact, more than half (52%) of CIOs say technology initiatives typically fail due to ‘slow’ or ‘reluctant’ adoption from end users, according to a recent POPin survey.

Only 23% cited budgetary issues, 17% cited lack of ‘buy-in’ from senior management, and less than 8% said technology initiatives fail due to inadequate technology.

The survey also found 78% of respondents says it takes employees some time to ‘come up the learning curve’ on embracing new technologies and ideas.

Only 18% says employees understand new initiatives completely and are ‘in lockstep’ with senior management.

The survey also found that companies lack the resources for management to collect employee feedback and take action.

Only 25% of companies surveyed say they have a process in place that enables executives to take immediate action to provide employees with the tools they need to do their jobs.

Furthermore, 57% say they have only ‘some’ processes in place but ‘could be more nimble in this area’, and 18% say they have ‘limited resources’ to react to employee suggestions in a timely manner.

However, 46% of respondents say it was a ‘top priority’ to take the pulse of employees on ways to improve productivity and make their jobs more efficient, and 50% of CIOs say they listen to employee concerns only when they arise and then face challenges addressing their concerns.

"The failure rate of technology initiatives continues to intensify, often thwarted by a lack of user adoption rather than on the merits of the technology," says Brian Anderson, POPin chief marketing officer.

"We are seeing significant market demand for smarter, more effective crowdsourcing techniques,” he says.

“C-level executives need to address the growing problem of employee engagement as a core component to ensure the success of technology initiatives.

“In the year ahead, we believe executive leaders will begin to materially benefit from a new market category called Initiative Success Management to troubleshoot their problems and motivate their teams while operationalising enterprise engagement,” says Anderson.

The survey also highlighted how CIOs are relying on outdated engagement processes.

To solve a significant business problem, 42% of respondents would physically ‘get everyone together and brainstorm’ to generate possible solutions.

Only 21% would use social collaboration and 21% would use a traditional survey. Furthermore, only 10% would use an internal solution and 7% admit they don't know where to start.

The majority of respondents (42%) said they prefer to discuss new ideas in regular in-office meetings. On top of this, 36% do so by email, 18% rely on town hall style meetings, and less than 3% of executives have the ability to solicit feedback from individual employees.

Furthermore, over half (58%) of respondents say that although they have an open line of communication among disparate departments, they have no solid process in place to regularly share ideas.

Ineffective communication is a common issue, with 22% of respondents saying they are ‘not effective’ communicating with other departments, and only 21% saying they have a solid process in place to develop new ideas from employees in different locations.

Just over half (51%) said that mobile technologies have created an important communication channel that they leverage for feedback and alignment.

While 26% of respondents said they have not figured out how to effectively use mobile technology for alignment and ideation, and 22% said mobile technologies have significantly improved collaboration.

Only 4% of companies surveyed said they always rely on crowdsourcing to collect information and make decisions.

Just under half (49%) said they have had some experience with crowdsourcing, but it's not a regular part of their culture. Nearly half, or 48%, never use crowdsourcing techniques.

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