We’re amid the changing seasons here in New England, and there’s a lot to do. Personally, I need to switch over my wardrobe, tackle some spring cleaning, and remove the cover on my built-in air conditioner so my seasonal roommates – Lola and Luis, the mourning doves – can start building their nest uninterrupted.
Change is good, but it takes time and requires effort. Proper preparation helps yield successful results, and this is especially true when deploying a new technology solution. Keep this list of five to-dos in mind as you ready your organization for what’s to come:
- Identify who the change affects and what behaviors will need to change. Think about the employee roles that will be impacted. What actions will they need to do differently? Consider how you expect employees to react and what roadblocks might prevent them from easily shifting their behavior. Implementing a new technology is successful and sustainable only if people adapt to using it correctly.
- Get the right people involved. You can’t expect your supervisors to be experts in change management but they are often the people best suited to lead the charge. They understand how to motivate and guide their employees because of established working relationships. Make sure these people are ready to lead by example and help drive the change effort.
- Craft a communication plan. Clear, effective communication is key. People accept change in stages so it’s important that your communication efforts increase and evolve as the process moves along. Start with brief, widely spaced emails, meetings, or announcements to build awareness. Then, slowly increase frequency with communications that help employees understand why change is happening, why it’s important, how it benefits them, what training will be provided, and what is expected of them once the change takes place.
- Define a training plan. Clearly define who needs training, what type of training they need, and how that training will be delivered. And per number three – once you’ve mapped out the training plan, communicate it! Employees should be clear on what they need to do to get educated on the new technology.
- Give yourself back up with a reinforcement plan. Don’t forget your objectives. It’s too often assumed that a well-executed technical launch equals project success. But what happens after? Are people using the new tool as intended? Reserve time on the front end to create a plan that focuses on rewarding success and taking corrective action. A technology project is truly successful only if it meets the business goals your organization set out to achieve.
Change isn’t easy, and neither is preparing for it. But the more groundwork and planning you do in advance, the smoother the process will be. For more information on preparing for change in your organization, check out the white paper Change Management: Driving the Long-Term Success of Your Workforce Management Solution.