21 Feb Be a Leader for Change – Tips for Driving Digital Transformation
Change in the workplace, especially involving technology, calls for time, training and patience. Employees must view implementing changes with an open mind and desire to improve the way they work. The best way to engage employees is to present a strong united front within company leadership.
Once a new service or technology is selected, analyzed and funded, strong leadership and modeling commitment is vital. While an overarching strategy must be in place in order for change to be useful, having management back these goals is just as important. Employees likely will be indifferent to a new technology if they see executives are too.
An executive’s role or effort does not end once the decision is made to implement a new system or practice. Company leadership must actively support managers working to make change by meeting with them often to understand the process. This allows managers to feel assurance beyond the initial “yes” and voice their progress, concerns and issues. According to Theodore Henderson, an entrepreneur and Forbes contributor, “Good leaders understand how to aid each member in seeing just how the final product will be beneficial and what, precisely, their particular contribution is toward that end.”
Getting employees on board for change is easier if leadership actively anticipates employees’ problems. Executives may handle problems reactively which causes frustration, delays on the anticipated ROI and disengagement. Executives must understand employee daily pain points. Regular meetings where leadership can see first-hand how new technology is helping alleviate issues ensures all employees feel valued.
Leadership should not take over the process but must realize that their support does not stop after agreeing to take on a new change. Not staying dialed in will likely cause the implementation to fail or draw out longer than necessary. Avoiding an extension or employee uneasiness may not be possible, but having leaders who understand the process and remain engaged throughout makes for the best transition.
Tips for leaders making change in the workplace:
1. Understand what change the company is making and its purpose
2. Explain why the company is making a change to employees – include the benefits and detailed instructions for how to use the technology usefully
3. Engage with employees and other executives every few days about project plans
4. Ask for feedback and modify the plan as needed, as it likely won’t be perfect at first
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