In business, you must be constantly updating your systems and processes to stay competitive in your field. Sometimes these updates involve making changes in the technology your company uses—such as when updating your customer service process to include more digital offerings—an action that can easily send your employees over the edge.
This is especially true with employees who tends to struggle with new software or devices. In fact, Qmarkets, a company that offers collective intelligent solutions, indicates that one of the key challenges of digital transformation is getting your employees to fully support the process.
Because of this, it can be difficult to get your staff to see that what you’re doing is not intended to cause them grief. Instead, it is actually intended to help them by creating a stronger, better, and ultimately more profitable business. But how do you get them to realize this?
Be Crystal Clear About the Change
According to Brent Gleeson, author of TakingPoint: A Navy SEAL’s 10 Fail-Safe Principles for Leading Through Change, one of the first steps to getting employees to accept change involves being crystal clear about the changes being introduced.
Specifically, Gleeson recommends articulating the exact changes that are coming, why they’re important to the success or growth of the business, and what problems you hope making these changes solves.
The more you can get your employees to see that the change is a good thing, the easier it will be for them to accept it. It can also reduce frustrations of learning the new technology because they know that they’re working toward a positive end result.
Encourage Employees to Share Their Thoughts (and Acknowledge Them)
Gleeson adds that making change more palatable to your staff also requires listening to how they feel about the changes you plan to implement. This will help the process go more smoothly because you can use the feedback they provide to find ways to better help them as they transition through the process.
Even more important though, according to Gleeson, is to acknowledge that you’ve heard what they’ve said. After all, one of the worst feelings in the world is sharing an opinion that you feel super passionate about only to have it ignored by the person you’ve shared it with or to have it otherwise set aside.
Psychology Today explains that the simple act of acknowledgement can also improve engagement and increase motivation, two factors that can ultimately help your business succeed in the long term.
Celebrate the Old
Though you’re updating your systems in order to move ahead, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health also indicates that making this change successful requires also celebrating the old, a step which is often missed.
The reason this is critical is because, if you don’t tell the team how well they’ve performed under the old way that you did things (in this case, with the older technology), they may feel as if you don’t appreciate all of their past hard work.
Sometimes a little pat on the back goes a long way. Plus, by letting them know that you value what they’ve done for you up to this point, they’ll be more inclined to continue to work hard for you in the future.
Helping employees deal with change of any kind is difficult, but this can often be complicated even more when the changes revolve around technology because this is an area where not everyone feels comfort.
Yet, if you are clear about the changes coming, listen to their feedback, and thank them for all they’ve done this far, it can make this process easier for your employees, which also makes it easier for you.