IT champions: why staff are your biggest asset when implementing new technology

| 28 May 2015
IT champions

The use of technology in aged care is increasing. As a result, it is important providers ensure staff are supported so that they are willing and able to use internal IT systems correctly. In 2013, the iCareHealth blog explored the use of IT champions in achieving a smooth technology implementation process. Today, we look back at how to identify your own IT champions and how promoting these roles can generate benefits for your business.

When deploying a new form of technology across your business, it’s easy to focus on the IT processes and forget about the importance of ensuring staff are informed and receptive.

Implementing a new technology platform within an aged care facility will almost always impact how your employees go about their daily tasks. It is therefore essential to facilitate organisational change and encourage the uptake of technology. One of the most effective ways to do this is to identify and leverage your biggest internal influencers.

Characteristics of an IT champion

An IT champion is not necessarily an expert. It must be someone who is open-minded and optimistic when it comes to technology. IT champions understand that technology can be used to simplify processes and create efficiencies in business and in life. Typically, they are fairly confident with their computer skills and enjoy using various technology-based platforms such as email and social media in their personal lives. IT champions are also ideally patient and enthusiastic when it comes to learning new things.

Embracing change from the bottom-up

It has been said that the best kind of organisational change is one which occurs so naturally, people never even realise it is happening.

When it comes to new technology, IT champions can help by organically spreading the desired messages to colleagues through their day-to-day communications. By using a bottom-up approach, your IT champions can also help to reduce any uncertainty that may arise when changes are announced directly from management.

Importance of adoption

IT champions are the ideal early adopters who can lead by example. Leveraging your IT champions in this way will operate like a domino effect – once your influencers enthusiastically adopt the changes, others in your organisation will follow.

In addition, IT champions can assist in lowering training costs and help to relieve support and troubleshooting requests, as they willingly impart their knowledge to others.

Are there IT champions in my organisation?

You’ll be pleased to know that every aged care provider will invariably have access to a pool of IT champions that can be found at any level throughout your organisation.

To help you identify who your potential IT champion candidates are, we suggest conducting a staff survey. Below are a few ideas on the type of the questions you might like to ask in your survey. Feel free to tailor this so it’s appropriate for your organisation.

  • How would you describe your level of confidence in using a computer, keyboard, mouse, mobile phone and other similar tools?
  • How would you describe your level of confidence in using the internet?
  • How often do you use a computer, mobile phone or tablet to access the internet?
  • For what purposes do you use the internet? (E.g. entertainment, social media, emails, etc)
  • Where would use a computer and the internet the most – at home or at work?
  • Have you ever received computer or IT training? Would you be interested in receiving training?
  • How interested are you in learning about using computers and technology in the workplace?
  • How would you feel about using a computer and related software to action and access progress notes, assessments, forms, resident details, care plans and handover sheets?
  • Do you see computers and technology playing a major role in the future of aged care?
  • What do you believe are the advantages and disadvantages of using computers in the workplace?

What methods have you used to track down your own IT champions? How have these people helped you to influence change throughout your organisation? Please share your comments below. 

 

Tags: assistive technology, iCareHealth software, IT, residential aged care, software, technology, training, workforce, workforce development

Sophia Bolden

Communications Coordinator

Sophia Bolden is the Communications Coordinator at Telstra Health - ADCC (formerly iCareHealth). With a background in the disability and aged care sector, she brings an understanding and passion for aged care. Sophia recognises the importance of social media and online communication in relating technology and aged care news in the most effective way possible.

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