Knowledge and the ability to efficiently manage organizational change is today increasingly important, especially in the business environment where competition is increasingly strong.
The world goes faster and faster! If we think that until a few decades ago the telephone was only the handset one, while today it has become a powerful processor capable of doing almost anything, we can realize the speed at which the market is evolving.
Constant innovation, dizzying rhythms, vast knowledge available to everyone thanks to the ease of the internet and the global market, do not allow companies to rest on their laurels. The risk is to be bypassed and cut off.
This is why it is increasingly important to be able to change , to adapt to what the market requires, to increase one’s efficiency and productivity. This is why it is important to know how to manage organizational change .
The Phases of Organizational Change
From the point of view of an organization, it is possible to summarize the change process in three phases that are useful for achieving and governing the transformation:
- 1st phase of Incubation / preparation: This phase includes the vision , a point of arrival expressed in clear and coherent terms for the benefit of all the actors who will be involved in the process itself. In addition, the times for carrying out the interventions, the subjects to be involved, the costs and benefits must be clearly defined.
- 2nd phase of design: This phase provides for the involvement of the staff to identify the actions that will form the operational plan.
- 3rd phase of execution: It includes the launch of the project, its control through the measurement of results and the implementation of the corrective activities necessary to achieve the set objectives.
While all these phases play a fundamental role, particular importance should be placed in the execution phase , because it is easy, not to say inevitable, that things do not go exactly as it had imagined during the preparation and design phases.
Here it is very important to be flexible, ready to turn if the situation requires it. In this a fundamental role is played by the project management.
But now let’s focus on one of the most delicate topics of change management and that is resistance to change , specifically, in the introduction of new technologies.
Resistance to change in the introduction of new technologies
We have seen that managing organizational change in a company is a necessity, but above all it can make the difference between a great success and a serious loss.
Certainly one of the main problems to be faced when introducing new technologies and procedures is the risk of rejection by employees.
The reasons for resistance to change are various, from the normal difficulty that each person has in getting out of their comfort zone to the inability to evaluate the benefits that an organizational change would bring with respect to the current state of things.
It is also good to add that from the point of view of an employee who has been carrying out his work habitually, perhaps for several years, the first question that arises spontaneously is: ” but why do I have to struggle to train to work differently than I do now?”
These doubts and resistances, if not addressed with the right strategy, can be the cause of both enormous difficulties in introducing new methods and systems and, in the worst case scenario, of complete rejection with consequent double loss of the investment (double because it has invested in technologies that will not be exploited and also because time has been spent testing them, choosing them and trying to put them into production without success).
It might seem like an excessively catastrophic vision and you might think that this only happens to the unwary who are unable to manage organizational change in the company, but I can assure you that these mistakes are more common than you think and also happen in established companies.
Not to mention PAs where employees often have an even higher degree of resistance to change than companies and private companies.
But then, are there guidelines that allow you to avoid these losses?
The answer is yes, and often it is simple common sense coupled with good organizational skills.
Resistance to change on the part of employees and collaborators must be budgeted. This does not mean abandoning a project because it is too difficult to accept, understand and assimilate, but establishing an accurate plan to obtain the result you want.
As said before, it has often happened to see companies that make all possible mistakes by losing the investment, but it happen (fortunately) more often to witness excellent work by companies that continue over the years to expand their document management systems, making it available to new users and departments, strengthened by a consolidated ability to manage organizational change.
We therefore wanted to draw from the experience of these virtuous companies some of the most important indications to follow in order to efficiently manage organizational change in the introduction of new technologies.
5 Ways to manage organizational change in the company
1. Make sure that the technology you are introducing is usable by all those who will have to deal with it without excessive effort
Sometimes we forget that technologies aim to simplify and optimize the lives of workers, but if the result is that we are always at a standstill because the system is cumbersome and complex then it is better to move on.
2. Form a small group of administrators to become experts in the new system.
First of all, training the system administrators so that they can supervise, guide and advise other users is essential for the success of the plan. They will also be your main allies and will allow you to face any objection from the resisters. Run the general settings with them and prepare the system for implementation.
3. Establish the steps that will lead to the progressive abandonment of the old.
Discussing with your team of administrators try to accurately predict the stages that will lead to the gradual abandonment of the old systems to the advantage of the new ones. Once the path has been established, inform and instruct all operators to respect the deadlines set.
4. Organize some training sessions for all employees who will use the system (evaluate the number based on the complexity of the system).
Make them understand how much this will simplify their work and free them from the enormous efforts of everyday. Show how to use it with practical examples then help them (along with your admin team) get familiar with the new system by running simulations. It clearly indicates the steps that will lead to the abandonment of the old system.
5. Organize some control meetings at an increasing distance (for example after 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months, depending on the complexity of the system)
The meetings will be used to update your team on what is happening and make any necessary corrections. This is essential to keep interest and focus on the new system introduced.
Obviously there would be many other things to talk about. You could go deeper into the topic , evaluate the change based on specific types of technologies and companies, but these general and common sense guidelines still represent a starting point suitable for most contexts.