Changing IT? Keep Your Team Happy
It’s not a stretch to say that IT isn’t the easiest part of the office to understand.
Often, employees just want things to be working so that they can do their job. If a problem occurs, they will just contact technical support and get the problem fixed as soon as possible. Most people don’t think too much about IT past problem-solving.
You can’t blame them, because most people were not hired for their IT expertise. They were hired for their financial sense, marketing knowledge, operations skills and so on.
So when you’re introducing a new change, such as a new support team or a new software that employees have to work with, you’re probably going to meet a lot of resistance, and at the very least a lot of questions.
How will this impact our work operations? Why did the change have to happen now? How does this all work? Why can’t I do anything with this computer?
These are the questions that people ask every time something new happens in company IT. For most people, it’s hard to accept and it rarely makes people happy at first, if at all.
If people aren’t loving the changes that have been introduced, you can expect that people will not only resist the change, but fight to get the changes thrown out of the company. This can be terrible, especially if your recent change has been expensive and time-consuming to install.
Fortunately, there’s a way to work past employee resistance when it comes to IT. Even better, you might be able to get employees to embrace the change and adjust to their new work environment. All it takes is some communication and transparency, and your employees will be set to embrace change.
Understand IT Is In Our Lives
There aren’t many jobs anymore where IT isn’t a part of our lives, personally or professionally.
In the workplace, IT allows us to do our jobs and have information communicated effectively. You’d be surprised, but with the extent of information that is in the world nowadays, you need more than just a smartphone to process it all. You need servers and computers.
You might also see devices that aren’t necessary computers (ie. Tablets) but are still used to make our lives easier, such as ordering menus or reviewing documents before signing.
Information is also relayed to people who may not be working in IT intensive jobs, such as garbage collection, subscription deliveries, and even coordinating pickups.
You can’t believe that a minor change in IT is only going to impact a few people. If it changes how people do their jobs, you can count on it affecting many people.
It doesn’t matter if the change is minor or whether it can only help people. Unless you’re doing something harmless like an update or a patch, a new software application or a transition to a new interface is going to affect many people.
It’s not about cost effectiveness either. In fact, sudden changes, regardless of their effect on cash flow, will almost always affect productivity in some manner. You might find that productivity, and thus cash flow, might take a hit as employees are adapting.
By understanding that change affects everyone, you can now talk to employees about any changes that will happen. Give them a place to express their opinions and understand how they can adapt to the change, and you will see people be a lot more accepting of the change, if not receptive.
Tell Your Employees What’s Old, New And Changing
Your employees are not always aware of what exactly is new IT, what’s been there since the company started, and what changes are currently ongoing.
Remember, not every employee will work in IT. Not every employee is also aware of the changes that are going on. Some employees won’t even know what new IT changes will look like, and what’s going on.
If a decision is happening, let your employees know as many details as you think is relevant to them. If you’re installing a server, not many people actually need to know what a server is made up of. But your employees do have to know what the server will do, and what it means for their work going forward.
Keeping employees updated on the changes should be natural. This helps employees discuss any impacts that the changes may have, as well as what new IT is going to bring to their jobs. If employees don’t understand the changes, and only find out on the day of the change, you can expect that people won’t take the change very well.
Change disorients even the most experienced of workers, because it means a new way of doing something, a new sight to see, or even a new way to cooperate with different people. Keeping employees informed keeps them happy, or at least receptive to the change.
Empower Your Employees
With changes in IT comes changes in how your employees will work.
IT allows employees to work in several different ways and in many different locations. Employees like to take advantage of the benefits that IT provides.
If you haven’t rolled out your changes very well, they are also in a position to completely disregard your changes and go back to their old way of working. Given how IT works, it’s not entirely impossible. Old versions of IT aren’t always gone forever, and they have a convenient way of coming back when your employees feel frustrated.
Instead, give your employees to use their IT as they see fit. Jobs nowadays can be done from all over the world, wherever, whenever. Give them the option to decide what works best for them. Even if a change has to be mandatory, give employees time to adjust and adapt to the changes.
It’s not the easiest thing to do, giving your employees the control and trust needed to succeed with IT. But you will find that if you can trust an employee (as you should, as you hired them for that very reason), they have a great way of repaying your trust.
Change Doesn’t Have To Be Hard
It can be as smooth and seamless as you want it to be.
Of course, I won’t know what decisions you’re going to be making, or what changes IT will have on your environment.
But we at MSP Blueshift cannot tell you enough how important it is to let people know about the changes that you will make to IT.
If your employees aren’t on board, you’re not going to have a happy work environment, and you’re going to have to deal with the potential fallout from the lack of morale.
If you deal with it well though, you can get all of your employees agreeing with the change, or even excited to bring on the new change.
It’s all about your employees, same as always.
Also, please check out our previous article about managed IT solutions provider here.