WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR STAFF RESIST TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES
– 5 TOP TIPS FROM LAW HOUND
There is no doubt that, over the last 20 years, most of us have embraced technology both at home and in business and have become increasingly reliant on it. After all, who can imagine life without the internet and mobile/cell phones?
However, as any business owner or manager will probably realise, any change within the workplace needs careful management and this includes technological changes. Here are our top tips on what to do if your team resists such change:
(1) Involve your staff
It may seem obvious but involving staff in making any decision which impacts on them really will make a difference to success within the workplace.
Whilst it may not always be feasible to involve all staff in every major decision you can ask for contributions at some stage of the process. For example, you may have already decided that you need a particular piece of equipment, but why not involve staff in helping to decide which one by contributing opinions on useful features?
Staff who feel involved and able to give their opinions will feel valued and respected, which will ultimately make managing and incorporating the change much easier.
As a bonus you may well find that, for example, someone in your accounts department is actually a bit of a tech guru at home so can provide more help than you could anticipate.
(2) Understand why there is resistance to change
By taking the time to talk to people about the technological changes you should be able to find out why they are concerned.
For example, a common staff concern will be that technological changes will mean job losses, even if your purpose is to develop more business to make your business (and their positions) more secure.
(3) Minimise staff concerns
Once you understand why there is a resistance you should be able to take steps to at least minimise, if not eradicate, staff concerns.
Bear in mind that sometimes it is simply the fear of change and/or the unknown which can be daunting or staff concerns that they may not be able to keep up with the changes. Reassurance about training that will be provided can go a long way to reducing resistance.
There is nothing worse for any of us than the worry that something is going on that we don’t know about. So, for example, a sales rep visiting the business can suddenly become viewed as a clandestine meeting simply because your team member feel that they never know what’s going on.
Communicating and letting staff know sufficient detail will help eradicate speculative rumour so you can all stick to the actual facts regarding changes.
(5) Be patient
Finally, remember that you may have had time to come to terms with the technological changes you propose, but don’t expect staff to embrace those changes immediately you announce them.
We all need varying amounts of time to digest information and usually also need an opportunity to come back later and ask questions. So rather than just announcing a technological change and moving on, organise a meeting a few days afterwards so that people will have the opportunity to
– take time to think about the technological change and its impact on them
– think about any questions they would like to ask
– email questions in advance (not everybody likes to talk in a public meeting)
It may feel frustrating when staff is not immediately enthusiastic about technological changes but, by following our tips, you will minimise resistance and maximise staff participation and preparedness to ultimately embrace the technological change.