Successful business software can turn an organisation from an administrative nightmare into a well-oiled and profitable machine.
If your business finds it is spending more time on paperwork, filing and processing business documents then you should consider change. If you are a forward thinking CEO then you will have no problem researching the pros and cons of a new software system. However if you find yourself or members of your team are uncomfortable with change then that is probably down to a number of factors. The Harvard Business Review argues the following reasons why we can be so resilient to change:
- Loss of control
- Excess uncertainty
- Everything seems different
- More work
- Concerns about competence
- Past resentments
Here are five ways of combating change resistant colleagues, and we don’t mean in the literal sense.
Consult key decision makers
Losing control of something they once had can make people feel fearful and angry. It is a territorial thing. Consult key decision makers and involve them in the process. This does not mean just the directors or senior management team. Consult key members of staff, ones that can become an ambassador for your cause and that can feed in valuable concerns from the rest of the workforce.
There is nothing worse than being told something is happening and its happening now! This almost causes a sense of hysteria and panic, not to mention an easy excuse for people to become disgruntled. If you are in still in the decision stage, create a communications strategy of how people will be consulted and when this will be communicated to them. You could set up a focus group or forum or put a notice out on the staff intranet. Decide how you are going to do it and stick to it. This will form the foundations of your communications strategy and will minimise gossip, confusion and any surprises along the way.
Be aware of preconceptions
Employees that may have been with you a while will have had experience of change. Unfortunately no matter how they found the experience they are most likely to remember the bad points which can lead to a resilience to change. Research your company history as you might discover apprehension stems from a time when previous management were involved. If this is the case, then it is worth addressing this issue with the employees that have been affected to avoid misconceptions of the change you want to implement.
Re assess employee’s workloads
With change comes a fear that workloads will increase. This may be the case short term whilst the change is implemented, however if it is going to result in higher workloads long term then let your employees know. No matter how far in advance you plan, there are always hidden glitches that can come up, meaning workloads are increased. Work with your employees to explain that this is only for the short term and that by working together you will achieve things faster.
Face change head on
New technologies such as business management software or accounting and finance systems can replace people. It’s a harsh reality and one that is not easy to do. Ensure you follow your HR policies and procedures or enlist the help of a HR consultant or legal team. If you do not intend on letting any employees go then make sure you let them know. Understand that this will be at the forefront of their minds, “Will I lose my job”.
Change can be managed in multiple ways using the tips above. Remember to communicate effectively to all stakeholders. Most importantly empathise with your employees by thinking of a time you experienced change, after all they are only human.