How Can Managers Make Sure Technology Improves Workers?

Technology has transformed the workplace and our lives in many ways. As a manager, you have an important role to play in making sure technology is implemented in a way that benefits your employees, rather than harms them. With some thoughtful planning and leadership, you can help ensure that new technologies improve your workers’ lives, while also enabling your organization to operate more efficiently and productively.

Understand How Technology Impacts Your Employees

Understand How Technology Impacts Your Employees

Before introducing any new tech, take time to understand its potential impact on your staff. Get input from employees on how they think the tech could affect their jobs and lives. Be aware of possible downsides, like increased stress, longer hours, or job displacement. Solicit ideas for how to maximize benefits and minimize harms. This shows you care about your team’s well-being and makes them active participants.

Set Clear Goals and Guidelines

Be clear about what you hope to achieve with any new technology. Define objectives that focus on improving work quality, efficiency, work-life balance, etc. Set guidelines for healthy usage, like minimizing after-hours emails or avoiding unnecessary surveillance. Share the goals and ground rules with staff so everyone understands the purpose and parameters.

Phase in Gradually

Avoid overnight wholesale tech implementation. Gradually phase in systems over time so employees can adapt. Start with small pilot groups, get feedback, provide ample training and tweak before expanding. Draw out the process to ease the transition. This prevents major disruptions and allows you to address problems early on.

Prioritize Training and Support

No technology reaches its potential without proper training. Make this a top priority, investing time and resources to arm employees with skills to use new tools effectively. Offer ongoing support as they get up to speed. Training boosts competency and confidence, while lack of instruction breeds anxiety and resistance. Patience and hand-holding early on pays off downstream.

Maintain Open Communication

Keep communication open at every step – before, during, and after implementation. Solicit input, answer questions transparently, point out benefits, acknowledge challenges, and provide reassurance. Listen to and address concerns quickly, without judgment. Employees will trust technology more if their perspectives feel heard by caring leaders. Silence and distance breed fear and hostility.

Allow Customization Where Possible

One size doesn’t fit all with technology. Where possible, allow customization so employees can tailor tools to their preferences and needs. Personalized settings, access levels and permissions give people more ownership. Tweak functions that are more hindrance than help. Customization prevents friction and frustrations that occur when people must conform.

Don’t Penalize Growing Pains

Recognize that growing pains are inevitable when adopting new tech. Allow grace periods where use of new tools doesn’t dictate performance metrics or bonuses. Separate learning curves from work quality. Patience prevents penalizing employees amid early fumbles and facilitates faster proficiency. People will be more motivated to embrace change.

Address Inequities Proactively

Be proactive about addressing potential inequities new technology may introduce. Ensure equal access across roles and demographics. Watch for disparate impacts on different groups of employees or marginalization of roles like entry-level workers. Implement corrective measures promptly to maintain fairness and prevent resentment.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Promote healthy work-life balance as you introduce tech designed to maximize productivity. Discourage after-hours work and 24/7 availability expectations. Lead by example when utilizing new tools so you don’t become an absentee manager. Make sure tech upgrades don’t translate into greater demands on employees’ personal time.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Involve Multiple Perspectives

Get diverse input during selection and implementation – from managers, end-users, IT, HR, finance, etc. Cross-functional participation improves alignment on objectives, surfaces more considerations, and encourages buy-in by covering different needs. It also prevents narrow interests from dominating decisions.

Address Privacy Concerns

Be mindful of potential privacy risks posed by new systems that collect more employee data. Be transparent about what information is gathered and how it’s used. Allow anonymity or opt-out where possible. Develop clear data policies aligned with legal and ethical norms. Proactively addressing privacy prevents backlash over perceived overreach or violations.

Plan Ahead for Job Impacts

Look down the road to anticipate how technology may change jobs and skills required. Develop reskilling programs to prepare employees for altered or displaced roles. Bring in new talent to complement existing staff. Start succession planning and seek retirements or transfers to minimize displacements. Smooth employment transitions maintain morale.

Automate Right Tasks

Thoughtfully determine what tasks are best suited for automation versus human effort. Leverage technology to handle repetitive, dangerous or complex data activities. Reserve mission-critical judgement, creative and people-focused work for employees. Bad automation breeds frustration and mistrust. Smart delegation to technology liberates human potential.

Allow Input on Pace of Change

Balance organizational priorities with employees’ capacity to absorb change. Avoid overwhelming your team with too many tech changes at once. Involve staff in setting reasonable timelines and rollout plans. Accommodate requests to slow things down. Pushing change faster than people can adjust backfires. Sustainable adoption occurs at a pace aligned with user readiness.

Demonstrate Value to Employees

Ensure employees experience tangible benefits from new tech in their day-to-day work, like increased efficiency, flexibility or access to information. Highlight improvements at the individual level, not just organization-wide perks. Technology is empowering when people directly feel its upside. Lackluster payoff leaves folks wondering “what’s in it for me?”

Address Lapses Quickly

When new technology causes problems, address them promptly before small issues snowball into bonafide crises. Be responsive to complaints and willing to hit pause or reverse course if needed. Patience wears thin when folks are left flailing without fixes to repeated tech troubles. Nip frustrations in the bud.

Safeguard Data Security

Take every precaution to safeguard data security when implementing connected technologies or data collection systems. Follow best practices for access controls, encryption, security updates, user training, and emergency response protocols. Make security central to technology use policies. Data breaches erode confidence and trust. Vigilance prevents disasters.

Thoughtful leadership focused on users is key to maximizing the promise of technology while minimizing the perils. By keeping your employees’ wellbeing at the center of decisions, communicating transparently, soliciting input, providing great training, allowing customization, planning ahead, addressing problems quickly, and maintaining vigilance, you can ensure tech improves your team’s work experience. This pays dividends through higher adoption rates, productivity, innovation, and retention.


How can I get employee buy-in for new technology?

Involve employees early in selection and implementation planning. Get their input. Explain benefits clearly. Start small with pilots. Provide great training and support. Highlight improvements in their work. Incentivize adoption. Address concerns transparently. Allow customization where possible. Make changes gradually.

What if some employees resist a new technology?

Listen to their concerns without judgment. Emphasize benefits but acknowledge challenges. Provide reassurance that you’ll support them through changes. Consider slowing down implementation or phasing differently. Customize to ease friction points. Incentivize willingness to learn. Bring resistant folks into process. Convert them to champions.

How can I prevent technology from demanding more of employees’ personal time?

Set clear usage guidelines and model them yourself first. Discourage after-hours availability expectations. Don’t tie performance metrics to technology utilization outside normal work hours. Monitor if hourly employees are working off-the-clock due to new tech. Confirm tools don’t create unreasonable added work volume.

What’s the best way to deliver training on new technology?

Offer training through multiple formats like classes, videos, manuals, tip sheets, and one-on-one coaching. Make instruction timely and conveniently accessible. Get input on preferred delivery methods. Tailor training to different learning styles. Provide opportunities to practice using real examples and scenarios. Keep help desk support and refresher trainings handy.

How can I be sure automated processes don’t create harmful biases?

Vet algorithms powering automation carefully to uncover embedded biases, testing with diverse data sets. Maintain human checks on automated decisions. Allow appeals of questionable outputs. Keep staff in loop on what’s automated vs human-driven. Enable continuous feedback channels. Audit periodically for skewed impacts on marginalized groups.

How can I ease employees’ privacy concerns about new technologies capturing their data?

Communicate clearly what data is gathered, how it’s secured, and who can access it. Anonymize data where possible. Allow opt-outs from nonessential tracking. Develop secure data policies following legal standards. Restrict data access only to essential individuals. Train employees on data hygiene. Address concerns transparently rather than dismissing them.

What’s the best way to determine optimal tasks to automate?

Involve managers and staff to identify pain points ripe for automation, like repetitive tasks. Assess activities needing critical thinking or human interaction that are better left unautomated. Start small with lower-stakes automation. Continuously get user feedback on what’s working or needs refinement. Take pains to automate the right things in the right way.

How can I support employees through job displacements caused by new technologies?

When possible, minimize involuntary displacements through attrition, reassignments, and retraining. Develop reskilling programs to prepare employees for altered roles. Provide career counseling and job placement assistance. Offer severance, extended benefits, and flexible schedules. Treat displaced workers with dignity and respect.

What steps can I take to prevent technology causing work-life imbalance?

Model healthy usage first as a manager. Discourage overreliance on technology after hours. Don’t require responses to messages on time off. Monitor workloads proactively to ensure tech doesn’t create unreasonable expectations. Remind employees to set usage limits and honor personal time. Develop guidelines for working hours and vacations.


Technology holds incredible promise to empower employees and organizations. However realizing that potential requires conscientious leadership focused on elevating the human experience. Managers play a pivotal role in fostering technology’s uplifting impacts while mitigating unwanted effects.

Enhancing manufacturing productivity through digital services necessitates a comprehensive approach, encompassing factors such as understanding workers’ needs, implementing effective policies, providing quality training, facilitating customization, swift problem resolution, fostering open communication, strategic planning, integrating diverse perspectives, and crucially, placing employees’ well-being at the core of all technology decisions.

With compassion and commitment to users, managers can ensure technology improves their team’s work lives rather than harms them. Small but thoughtful actions go a long way in steering technology’s double-edged sword toward the greater good.

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