This article first appeared on Best in UC.
Companies are buying into the concept of video conferencing at a healthy clip. But when your company makes the investment in a video conferencing solution, how can you maximize its use by getting your employees on board?
First, it’s helpful to recognize the three most common reasons employees resist video conferencing:
- Video-phobia. For some workers, the idea of being live on TV, as it were, is incredibly intimidating. Underlying this fear is the dislike of learning new technologies. Employees might assume that video conferencing is difficult to master, despite the super-easy technologies now available to consumers and businesses alike.
- Longing for privacy. Employees, especially mobile workers, have become consummate multi-taskers. When sitting at their desks on conference calls, they may be answering e-mail, conducting business via instant messenger, or even eating lunch. For some who work out of their home or their car, phone calls are a great time to commute to their next stop, cook dinner or fold laundry. These employees may be loathe to give up their multi-tasking time, while also disliking the idea of having to look presentable and be “on” all the time.
- Preference for personal interaction. Certain segments of your workforce rely on personal relationships to succeed in their jobs. For example, the sales force may prefer face-to-face conversations with potential clients, believing this is the best ticket to closing a deal. They don’t wish to replace these interactions with technology.
So how can your organization overcome these challenges and get the most out of video conferencing? Try these strategies:
- Overcome the technical pushback. This starts with your video conferencing buying decision. We recommend easy-to-use solutions from LifeSize, which can be started and stopped with the touch of a button. In addition, some companies are extending their unified communications solutions (UC) to incorporate desktop video. This can be ideal, since your employees are already familiar with your UC technologies, making the addition of a video conferencing module relatively easy.
- Provide training, as needed. Still got some technophobes in the office? Take advantage of LifeSize’s built-in training modules, which take the fear out of video conferencing. Or, ask your IT staff to provide some simple training via the video conferencing system, which will make for some hands-on experience.
- Explain your goals. Information overcomes fear. Tell employees how you want the company to benefit from video conferencing. This technology might be used to cut travel expenses, build stronger teams, enhance client relationships or create better work/life balance. Frame these benefits in such a way that employees see how video conferencing can help them meet their business and personal goals. This will create buy-in.
- Set rules for when to use video conferencing. Where does it make the most sense to use video technologies? Look for those opportunities and requires video conferencing to play a part. For example, these might include sales meetings, cross-departmental meetings, executive sessions or human resources training classes.
- Encourage extension of video conferencing into other value-added activities. Suggest ways the sales force can use video conferencing to meet a new prospect. Help managers leverage the technology to bring far-flung teams closer together. Rather than making the technology intrusive, continually seek out ways it can help employees do their jobs effectively.