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When Change Management Turns Into a Disaster Scenario

Without addressing employee resistance to change and new technology; new IT implementations often crash and burn.

People don't even want to change their coffee order at the café in the morning, let alone the technology they've used every day for years. You want to improve productivity through new technology, such as a new customer relationship management system or digital copiers, but don't let yourself get distracted by the shiny data sheet in front of you.

You need to consider the people who are going to use these solutions on a daily basis. They don't care about the technical specifications of what you're bringing in, and they're going to dig their heels in if you don't have a plan ahead of time.

"Deal with it; it's here to stay" is not a good attitude for handling employee resistance to change. You're trying to alter long-held habits, and it's going to take more than telling everyone about a new system.

So why do people resist change? The Harvard Business Review points out the most common causes, including:

  • Uncertainty
  • Lack of control
  • Too many shifts in a short period
  • Potential for increased workloads

How to Get Staff on Board With Change

Two words: change management. It's a strategy for getting employees' buy-in on the changes you're making rather than standing in opposition to them. There are three primary components to this plan:

  • Help staff understand the scope of the change.
  • Explain why you're making this decision and how it makes employees' jobs easier or better.
  • Prepare the necessary training to bring everyone up to speed on new systems.

Without change management, you won't get the most out of your new technology. You might as well throw money out the window when employees ignore your new digital copiers or asset management systems because you botched the launch. Don't let your staff stay dazed and confused. Help them get the most out of your new initiative.

Get the Training Right

The most important part of change management is proper training. You can't pull off an information technology project successfully without it. You can have a digital copier that can do virtually everything you ever wanted, but it's useless if employees can't access its fantastic features.

Focus on user training every time you make a major change. Keep the lines of communication open and listen to employee feedback throughout the process. You can achieve major gains with new technology but only if you help employees get excited about the change.

Learn more about why your employees resist change and how you can prepare for these situations in your change management plan.

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