It is easier than ever to get staff to embrace new technology in order to serve residents more efficiently.

By Steve Moran

We recently spent some time talking to JJ Johnson, the CEO of Cornell Communications, a Senior Housing Forum Partner, about how senior living providers can turn new technology adoption into an amazingly positive experience for team members. He offered these 6 proven ideas:

  1. Sell them on the value of new technology. This is particularly true with new technology, but even with something like emergency call, people tend to be used to what they are used to. If you are making an upgrade in technology platforms you need to make sure the entire team understands and buys into the need for new technology. They need to know how it will make their jobs easier and allow them to improve the care they provide to residents.

  2. Get them involved in the decision-making process. The earlier you get the users involved the more enthusiastic they will be about the choice you make. It will give them a much higher degree of ownership and a strong motivation to make the project successful . . . unless of course, you choose something they hate.

  3. When picking technology, make sure it is easy to use. It can be so easy to choose a technology platform that has lots of features and those features may make it look really, really sexy. The problem is the more complex a technology is, the more difficult it is to use which means more time, energy and effort. Complexity increases the odds of failure and unhappiness.

  4. When you make the final decision, make sure you know why your team should love it. At the end of the day, technology is simply a tool that should do one or more of these three things:

    1. Reduce workload

    2. Keep residents safe

    3. Protect the organization from legal and regulatory liability

  5. Involve your staff in the process of teaching. Users are often the best teachers because they have figured out how to make it work in real life. There are always little “tricks” to make technology really do exactly what it was designed to do. They will better communicate how to use the technology, better than the vendor and better than management.

  6. Celebrate wins. JJ suggests celebrating when people are fully trained and they are seeing results. One of his ideas is that as you run monthly or weekly reports on call times celebrating new low numbers. You don’t have to spend a lot on celebrations; many communities have monthly pizza parties and award $5 gift certificates as part of a celebration. And the celebrations are great morale boosters and motivators.

Finally, JJ notes that he is finding it easier to get staff to embrace new technology. He is finding a real eagerness to be able to serve residents more efficiently. Cornell offers a number of options for senior living providers depending on the needs of the community, regulatory requirements and staff sophistication. You can check out a comparison of their systems HERE.

To learn more about the products and services available from Cornell Communication, call (800) 558.8957 and visit their website at:

Click on the button below to download a PDF copy of this article: