In this three blog series on managing user resistance when implementing software, we consider the following key areas that help not only manage resistance but also turn resistance into support:
- Consider resistance a natural reaction to change.
- Distinguish between hesitation and resistance.
- Detect signs of resistance.
- Identify the root causes of resistance.
- manage resistance
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
- Convert resistance to support
In it first blog of this series we saw the first 3 topics above. In this blog we will be seeing identify root causes and resistance management. Resistance management is ineffective when it simply focuses on the symptoms. You must discover the root causes of resistance in order to manage it effectively.
Identify the root causes of resistance.
Many causes of resistance center on fear. People fear the unknown and assume that it can negatively affect their work because they cannot master it. These root causes of stamina may include a lack of:
This can be due to poor communication or inconsistent messaging that can lead to a misunderstanding of the why, how and what of change.
- Management support and commitment
Executives, senior leaders, and people managers play essential roles as sponsors of change. They give credibility to the change, authorize funding and resources, and perform important employee-facing activities. People in the organization look to these people to demonstrate why the change is necessary. Lack of support and commitment from management will result in a lack of support and commitment from the team.
- Personal motivation and commitment.
When users are content within their own comfort zone and have found solutions to get their job done somehow, they don’t see the need or urgency to change the status quo. Lack of personal motivation and commitment can also stem from a lack of:
- Impact on current job
People may be afraid of losing their job due to automating tasks for greater efficiency, better response times, or smarter work.
- The past performance of the organization with the change.
If an organization does not manage change in a well-structured way, employees will be afraid of the next. Alternatively, if too many changes are happening at the same time, you could end up in change fatigue.
These major root causes will manifest as symptoms and signs of resistance, as discussed in the previous blog. Never just look at the symptoms; Look for root causes. Only then can you effectively manage resistance.
The best way to « manage » resistance to change is to anticipate and plan for it. Be comfortable with it being a natural, human response to change and be sensitive to the impact the change may have on your people. It is important:
- Listen and understand objections.
Examine people’s predispositions to change and allow them to raise any concerns in a safe environment. The concerns are often legitimate, so be prepared to adapt your change plan. Make people feel heard and empathize with them, diffuse the discomfort around the change by talking about it, asking questions, or connecting with your peers.
- show the benefits
How do the benefits of change outweigh the costs to answer the most important question: « What’s in it for me? »
- Gather early adopters
Move your organization out of complacency by convincing a critical mass of people that the change is worth the inevitable resulting personal costs.
- Effectively engage future users
Make a personal appeal. Convert the strongest dissidents. The trip will then be « from those affected to those involved ».
- Provide training and support
Allowing people to find their own solutions is rarely possible when the goal of software implementation is standardization or compliance. Therefore, guidance through training is necessary. However, show flexibility as a coach whenever possible. Let users follow their preferred path B and get the same result, even if you personally are a fan of path A.
- provide incentives
Incentives are one of the main influences between people and change. Because? Because positive change can only be sustained when improved performance is not only enabled but also rewarded. Incentives are generally considered at the individual level and can be financial or non-financial.
- demonstrate consequences
If all of the above does not work for non-rational reasons, it may be necessary to talk about « change or die » (the consequence of not changing). Everything we do or don’t do has consequences, whether we like it or not. Sitting down and thinking about these consequences helps prevent people from sticking their heads in the sand.
The third and final blog in this series will consider the last two topics of communication and how to turn resistance into support.
Do you need to embrace information management technology and help people transition through change?
OpenText™ Learning Services can help advise how to get the most out of a change management program. explore the Development of OpenText FasTrak adoption strategieseither Contact Us
samuel peuker He is a Senior Manager in Learning Services, a Prosci® Certified Change Practitioner, and a Business Analyst on various OpenText products such as Content Server and Extended ECM. He is passionate about helping drive adoption of the OpenText solution, where the user side of the change is the most important aspect. Visit it at LinkedIn