5 Reasons Why You Should Trial New Software With Your Team Before Committing
Choosing a tool your team is happy with is critical for getting them to use it.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Having a new tool you had no part in choosing forced on you is like getting a really ugly sweater from a parent of family member. If it's not your style, you'll only reluctantly wear it, and it will end up in the back of the closet or in a trash can later. The same goes for having your team use a new product.
So, why would you ever trial a product without inviting your team to help? Your team will be the ones using the tool every day, so bringing them in on the process can be an enormous help. Even more importantly, choosing a tool your team is happy with is critical for getting them to use it.
Still thinking about going sweater or software shopping for your team alone? Here are five of the benefits you'll get by bringing your team out software shopping with you.
1. Feeling connected matters. Being left out hurts.
People like to feel included. Being made a part of the decision-making process for new products will make your team happier and productive. And this isn't just some marketing mumbo-jumbo; we are actually biologically predisposed to feel a positive sense of motivation when we are included. A study published in the Journal of Psychology showed that when individuals were involved in the decision-making process for a project there was an increase in engagement and decrease in discontent.
This need for inclusion relates to the way the neurotransmitter dopamine works in our brains. When you feel a sense of inclusion, dopamine is released and a sense of pleasure occurs. Once the feeling subsides the brain is motivated to repeat that behaviour. So, bringing your team on to test new products will not only bring more energy to the trial but can improve work energy in other projects as well.
2. Your team knows best.
Your product vision is essential to strategy, but your team are the ones who need to implement this strategy. While you may have a lot of ideas on how to make your company and team more effective, your team is bound to have some opinions as well.
Their opinions are especially important for testing out new processes and products as they will be the ones using them. If you haven't taken time to sit down with your team about what goals you're looking to accomplish, now is the time.
3. Get immediate feedback.
Maybe the best benefit of bringing your team on is instant feedback. If your team doesn't like something, they'll tell you. Why run the risk of having something you went out and bought shot down? If you take them out shopping with you, you can see what features they like what they don't like if something needs to be changed, and you can make a decision everyone is happy with.
Related: Why Teamwork Matters at Every Level
4. Most software is made for teams.
Many of the team management software and tools are designed to be used by teams. By having your team in the system to populate reports you'll get a better picture of how everything will come together.
5. People take pride in their choices
I mentioned earlier how being involved in the process can increase usage and motivation. The same goes for being part of the decision. In cognitive science, post-purchase rationalization is "the tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected."
This means that being a part of making the decision can be as important as the decision itself. This bias applies to decisions about clothes, food, software -- just about any time we make a decision we are much happier than if the decision was done for us.
Having your team test out a product with you is an important part of the product acquisition. It will provide benefits beyond just choosing a product. The whole trialing process will be easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.