• Nick Allo Nick AlloPublished on January 29,2020

Overcoming Employee Resistance to Your Digital Transformation

Facing employee resistance to your digital transformation? These tips can help turn the attitudes of your workers around.

You know that a digital transformation is essential for bringing your company into the future, but employees often resist big changes. A lack of digital talent (31.4%) and the perception that this transformation is a cost-eater rather than an investment (31%) are two of the primary reasons that employees buck these trends, according to Altimeter.

But we can’t ignore the human element. A lot of your employees are going to fight making a digital transformation because it means that they have to step out of their comfort zones. They need to learn something new. They might make mistakes. It’s just not what they’re used to.

You can’t avoid the inevitable simply because it makes people happier. Our tricks can help you overcome some resistance to the upcoming changes to make it easier for everyone.

Finding Early Adopters

If everyone in the office is complaining about the changes, you’re fighting an uphill battle. You need at least a few people who are going to be evangelical about the change. These people should have the vision to see how a new program or process can benefit everyone, and they need to be vocal about their opinions.

Figure out which employees are going to fit this role, then offer them some early training. Your early adopters shouldn’t just be higher-ups or “the tech guys”. You want people who are the connectors: the ones who bring different groups of employees together.

Giving Employees Proper Training

Too often, employees are forced to attend a two-hour seminar teaching them the basics of a new system. Then they get a hefty handbook of instructions that were not covered in the training and are expected to just transition over to the new program. It’s not nearly enough information to get started, and they’re required to do a lot of the work on their own.

It’s easy to see why this can create frustration. People don’t feel like they have the knowledge to be successful.

The training you give needs to be thorough. Once finished, make sure that your employees have access to additional training guides, reference videos, and easily searchable FAQs to help when they need a refresher.

Setting Aside Time for Practice

Another big problem is that employees are often expected to learn the new program on top of their already full workload. They might then feel resentment when a new system slows down a process that’s been working for years.

As you make the transition, make sure that your employees are given dedicated time for getting to know the new program. Consider giving employees an hour a day to focus on playing with the new tech. Maybe it calls for creating study groups that meet once a week. The details will depend on what your goals are, but it’s important to realize that employees only have so much time in the day to get their work done.

Offering Incentives

Companies tend to encourage employees to make a shift to new digital technologies by saying that they’ll “improve productivity” or “make things easier”. Initially, though, the learning curve usually makes things a lot harder, so you’re going to get a lot of grumbling.

Instead, offer some more attractive incentives. For completing an extra training package or making the conversion to the new system, maybe employees could get an extra day off or a gift card to the coffee shop downstairs. Tangible rewards like this will make the extra effort seem more worthwhile than something like “improved productivity” — which often benefits the company more than the employee.

Building a Collaborative Culture

When people are connected to each other, they’re more willing to do things that will help the group. Take time to build a collaborative company culture. In this environment, employees will want to make the shift because they understand that it can benefit everyone. They’ll also feel more open about asking for help from others and more willing to take the time to give the help that others need.

At SemTech IT Solutions, we know how difficult it can be for companies to make a digital transformation. Fortunately, we can help you every step of the way. Call us to see how your business can take things to the next level.

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