It’s no secret that the only thing constant is change. And in today’s corporate world, the ability to adapt to advancements and changes in not only your industry, but in business, helps position you ahead of your competition.
Take technology – the term has a broad scope, and it’s important to stay abreast of the new innovations and how they can help your business. While new technology can help your business run more efficiently and productively, you may find that your employees are not initially willing to accept new technologies in the workplace.
Why do employees resist such changes, and what can you do to handle this resistance to ensure a smooth introduction of new technologies into your business?
Understand Why Your Employees are Resistant to Change
It is completely normal for people to be resistant to change, especially at work. Employees value the stability and the predictable nature of a daily work routine. They may feel that things have been working fine. Any new change that is introduced might make them anxious about their ability to get their work done within the timeframe of their day, especially if there is a learning curve. Employees may also have a “fear of the unknown,” fear that they may not have the competence to use new technologies, particularly if they have had a bad experience in the past. The ultimate fear of many employees is that changes might make them expendable, and that they could lose their jobs.
Employing Strategies to Decrease Employee Resistance
It is important for employers to know that if they want to introduce a change, they should expect resistance from some employees. With proper planning and communication, they can minimize such resistance, and the lower efficiency and productivity that comes with it.
To avoid problems associated with change, employers should consider the following:
One of the most effective ways to get employees on track for technological change is to communicate with them. Talk to them about how a new software program or cloud service will work, and the positive impact it will have. Create an environment where they can provide input about how the changes might affect things such as workflow and customer service. Ask them how they think the changes will impact their work, what suggestions they have for implementing them, and what would make it easier to incorporate the changes. You may get some genuinely good ideas that will create greater success with the change. Asking for input gives employees an opportunity to be heard and express their feelings, and it gives you a chance to empathize with their thoughts.
Timing of the change is important. Employers might be tempted to implement technological change too quickly, and this will likely be met with strong resistance from employees. Instead, introduce changes gradually in small doses so that employees will be able to adapt more easily, and the productivity of the company will not be interrupted.
3. Employee Participation in the Change
As the changes are being implemented, encourage employees to proactively take part. Identify staff to work with one another to brainstorm how best to introduce new technological innovations to the company. This allows them to feel like they are part of something where they can contribute their own ideas or creativity. It also provides natural mentors for other members of the company as you roll out the changes. Your employees will feel like they are active agents of change, rather than passive players in a situation that is beyond their control. Recognize and reward those who are especially helpful in facilitating the change.
4. Provide Resources and Education.
One of the biggest complaints that employees have when they are faced with change is that they are unprepared for it. Overcome this by providing training classes on how to use the technology that is being introduced. When the change is finally implemented, employees will have the new skills needed to be able to smoothly transition into using a new technological platform or program. Remember to ensure that the timing of training is right: employees must have the opportunity to put new training into practice immediately in order to retain what they have learned.
Although change is natural, it can be detrimental if it is not carefully managed in the workplace. When managed well, change provides opportunities for communication and collaboration, and it increases staff morale. Technology is no longer new. It’s a way of life. Help your employees embrace changes and improvements in technology by giving them the tools they need to succeed in and out of the workplace!
Do you want to implement technological advancements in your business processes, but are unsure how to introduce the changes? Contact Joy today. She will provide you with the tools you need to make sure your team understands and works through the change!