Tip of the Week: Why Your Team is Resistant to IT (or Any) Change
Change, whether you’re referring to that of your technology or any other business process, is often a point of contention between management and the rest of the business. Let’s explore this resistance to change that so many feel, and how you can help them overcome it
Why Are We So Resistant to Change?
There are multiple reasons that people will avoid—if not openly challenge—change in the workplace.
Lack of Confidence or Trust
Let me ask you a straightforward question: how enthusiastic are you to make any change to something new, with little-to-no experience in it? If your answer was anything better than “lukewarm,” you’re a special breed of human.
People tend to be hesitant to embrace anything unfamiliar to them, so adding a new piece of technology to your processes will almost certainly receive the resistance we’re discussing. They might resist the change itself, or start to doubt or resent the person responsible for the change.
On a related note, if people aren’t confident in their ability to adapt to the new technology, their instinct is to shield themselves from their anticipated failure by rejecting the unwanted change. Basically, whether a person doesn’t know about a solution or they simply don’t feel as prepared to use it, they’ll be less accepting of the shift over. This kind of resistance is best addressed through exposure to the unwanted change so that the needed comfort is built up.
I’ll ask you another question: when was the last time someone talked at you about a change, expecting you to jump right on board with it without discussing how it would benefit you or make your responsibilities easier, and you jumped right on board?
That’s what I thought. In order for your team to embrace change, you need to show and/or tell them why they will want to do so for their benefit. We’ll touch on this some more in a moment.
How to Create a Better Response to Changes
Change is ultimately unavoidable, so it is important that you find ways to minimize the pushback that you receive from your employees. We recommend that you approach it with a few different strategies in mind:
Keep Communication Open
A good way to minimize your team’s resistance to your suggested changes is to, as we said, communicate with them. Explain the benefits that this change will bring, and be open to their feedback as the changes are being enacted. This will both cut back on the speculation that your team participates in, while also keeping your team engaged in the business’ greater operations.
Show Your Team the Benefits
Education will be key to minimizing employee resistance, as a greater understanding of the tool or process you’re trying to implement will help your team members embrace it faster and with less pushback. In fact, you may even be able to encourage your team to accept the change more quickly by showing them how it will benefit them.
Time It Correctly
Consider how your team might respond to having a few major shifts pushed on them all at once. It likely wouldn’t be very good. Pacing your changes and allowing your team to adjust to each one appropriately before proceeding will help ease them through the process.
Support Team Members Through the Transition Process
On a similar note, you need to be there to hear your team out and give them the opportunity to get used to whatever new technology or process you’ve enacted. There are going to be hiccups, so make sure they know that these hiccups are expected and that their frustrations with them are understood.
Change is inevitable, particularly where your IT is concerned. Putting these tips into practice will help smooth out the process, and so will working with White Mountain IT Services. Give us a call at 603-889-0800 to learn about how our managed IT services can make life easier for your team members.