Written by Anna Bernstein on 12 May 2015
Technology has changed the way we do business. We perhaps take for granted that we use emails to communicate to offices around the world, messenger applications to hold virtual meetings or even the software that we use to track results and project allocations. In the world of business, technology moves quickly and those who do not adopt new practices can be left behind. These tools are only as effective as the people using them and integrating new initiatives into any business can be a difficult process which may lead to loss of productivity. Introducing any new technology can be challenging but with the right approach, change can be successfully implemented.
People, in general, do not like change. They may see a new system as something which restricts their freedom to do their job to the best of their ability, or they do not trust a new initiative to deliver results as effectively as something tried and tested. Others may fear that technology may, one day, make their position obsolete or they may simply fear that they will not be able to adapt.
Although all major decisions must be made from the top, it will be advantageous to consult staff in order to discover what systems they believe would make their life easier; after all, they will be the primary users. It may be the case that they have worked with a better system in a previous workplace, or have ideas about a custom package to help efficiency. Getting staff involved in a change project at the early stages is the best way to ensure they are invested throughout the process and embrace the change when it arrives.
Before implementing any change management strategy, it is crucial to note who within the company will be affected by the new technology. If it is a small number, then they should be advised within plenty of time and trained accordingly. If a new system has wider implications and affects employees across the board, then a cultural change will be required within the company. Many will be highly adaptable while others may struggle to alter their working practices. Employees should be shown the advantages of any new software and reassured that it will help them do their jobs better and will simplify the delivery of challenging services.
For some members of staff, new technological innovations will appear intimidating, particularly if they have worked in the same way for a prolonged period of time. Employees must fully buy into any new technology and this begins with an endorsement from the top. If managers want to effectively introduce some new software, they must be seen to be embracing the new product and champion these changes as well as utilising them, themselves.
A manager who does not fully understand the new technology will not be able to answer questions and this will create doubt among the workforce. A strong planning strategy will ensure that team leaders and management are comfortable with new procedures so they lead from the front. Demonstrating a confidence in the new technology will help reassure the rest of the team and help to create a smooth transition.
If proper provisions are not made for training, then the implementation of any change management initiative can be significantly slowed down. Staff will need time to become familiar with new software and learn how it behaves in every scenario before they gain the confidence to use it as part of their every day job.
Momenta have years of experience in helping companies implement change and have the resources to help staff deal with any new scenario. To find out more about our change management training services, call us on 020 7374 5610 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org