Technology is something that is constantly improving. Every now and then we will get certain products that feel like a step backwards (I’m looking at you Windows Vista), but typically, technology moves us forward. One of the most important factors in the users (the consumers) accepting and adjusting to the new technology is the way in which the technology was presented to them.
First, lets look at some of the reasons why employees resist change in the work place.
1) Fear of Job Loss -This is probably the most common reason for resistance to change. People fear that they are easily replaceable
2) Bad Communication Strategy – People are much more likely to feel over whelmed when they aren’t given the necessary information, or the information is given to them in a way they can properly understand it.
3) Shock and Fear of the unknown – This goes hand and hand with poor communication.
4) Loss of control – It’s human nature to want to be able to have control.
5) Lack of Competence – This relates to the first reason. People enjoy being good at things. If people feel like they have lost their competence, they will feel like they will also lose their job.
6) Poor Timing – Sometimes there are outside issues that are going on, and adding a new struggle of new technology makes things much more difficult.
7) Lack of Reward – Some people are motivated by rewards and sometimes the reward of keeping your job isn’t enough motivation.
8) Office politics – There can sometimes be office politics and peer pressure that makes a person feel like they have to conform to the negative attitude.
9) Lack trust of support system – Users feel even more overwhelmed if they don’t trust the people forcing the change on them and if they don’t have any means of support.
10) Former change experience – Sometimes users simply have a history of poor introductions of new technology and that causes them to be resistant.
In order to deal with these common reasons for resistance to change, here are 6 steps for introducing new technology.
1) Give Staff a heads up
2) Make sure its something everyone, not just you, will benefit from
3) Engage a champion
4) Provide FUN training
5) Let them know HOW it will benefit them
6) Consider learning styles
After reading this week’s chapter in The Geek Leader’s Handbook, most of the items in this list seem like common sense. The majority of these are very similar to the suggestions given in the book. The book lists “deploy systems without telling users” as a joke and also as something NOT to do, but the author of this article felt it was important to actually list “giving staff a heads up”, which I find a little funny. The third step is also very similar to a suggestion in the book; “Court the influencers”. If you have the support of people who have significantly influencing roles, you are much more likely to gain the support of the rest of the users. Step 5 is very important. You wont maintain the user’s interest if you don’t explicitly tell them how this new technology relates to them personally and tell them why they NEED it. Steps 4 and 6 sounds pretty much the same to me. However, I feel that step 6 is the most important. You can’t treat all users the same, and every user learns in different ways and at different paces, so try your best to be considerate, even if it’s exhausting.
Technology is something that is constantly improving. Every now and then we will get certain products that feel like a step backwards, but typically, technology moves us forward. One of the most important factors in the users accepting and adjusting to the new technology is the way in which the technology was presented to them.