The set of tools and software your company used 10 years ago probably isn’t optimal today. As business changes and digitization increases, we must update our arsenal of digital tools accordingly to stay productive. The good news is, there are many digital tools on the market that can work in your favor and truly make your company more efficient.
Still, companies hesitate when it comes to implementing something new. A big deterrent is the fear of employee resistance. Yes, it can be difficult to introduce a new tool. Making it a seamless part of your team’s daily workflow takes time. Our advice is this: Don’t underestimate your team when given the opportunity to try something new.
Here are three tips to help you initiate a change that employees will embrace.
- Don’t assume the people who have been around the longest are resistant to change. The length of time one has spent in an organization has nothing to do with their readiness for change. In fact, someone who’s been around for a while might be more aware of outdated systems and inefficiencies that make their job harder. If you’re implementing a new platform or system, look for the people who are open to and excited about new ideas. Throughout the adoption process, include those who will help champion the tool across the company. Make it a team effort.
- Don’t be afraid to involve a large number of people at once and see what happens. Among a diverse group of users within your company, there might be just enough people who are eager and willing to try a new tool. Those resistant to change might be more likely to use a new tool when they see someone else using it. All they need is a little boost from their peers. Empower those who are eager to set the precedent and encourage those who are hesitant.
- Find the squeaky wheel. In every organization, there always seems to be someone who’s the first to voice their opinion about a new system or process. People listen to them. If you’re dealing with any negative Nancies, start there. Find out what their biggest problem or productivity drain is, and determine how the new tool can solve it. Those who are most outspoken easily influence others’ opinions.
It may seem obvious, but the key is to remember you’re working with people—individuals with different personalities, learning styles, and sensitivities to change.
This is why incentive programs and stakeholder assessments often fail. Incentives aren’t enough of a motivator and they breed suspicion. Grouping stakeholders into categories is largely ineffective because not everyone learns the same way. Seek to understand who people are and how they learn. Focusing on people will help you bring about a change that employees are more likely to embrace.