Have you measured the change readiness of your staff? If you haven’t, you should. The success of any plan to change how work gets done at your business depends upon you and your change management team having a comfortable grasp of this critically important metric.
Craig Roth published a post titled “What Causes Workers to Resist New Technology? Maybe It’s What Happened Last Time” to Gartner Inc’s blog on August 28, 2020. Roth sums up the importance of understanding the change readiness exhibited by a set of employees as follows:
“Many of our clients want to raise their “digital dexterity” – the desire and ability of workers to adopt new ways of working. Business transformation requires a flexible and adaptable workforce that is willing and able to learn new and better ways of working that blend technology and business processes.”
Is your workforce best characterized as “flexible and adaptable”? If the answer is “I don’t know”, you should stop and find out before you go any further on a business process re-engineering effort (otherwise knows as change management). Pushing forward without this information is like searching for something in a dark closet. If you are searching at night, and you don’t have a flashlight, you can spend a lot of time rummaging around without success. But searching with a flashlight reduces the amount of time you need to find the item you’re after. The flashlight also improves the odds you will find what you need.
Having a comfortable grasp of your employees unique change readiness is the flashlight you need to improve the odds you won’t end up spending substantial precious resources trying to “move the unmovable”. If your people have a low level of change readiness, you can forget about successfully changing work to, for example, a work from home scheme. It is much better to find this out early in the process, before you spend a considerable amount of money on the effort.
Roth’s short article captures a core reason why lots of organizations fail to exhibit healthy change readiness – they have been burned before:
“After an employee encounters a few of these failures they will understandably be hesitant to engage with the next system IT promotes. The way to improve the “tech positive” score – and it’s large contribution to overall digital dexterity – is with extreme focus on the user experience that IT provides when rolling out new systems.”
If you and your team lack the capabilities required to establish a working metric of change readiness, you should hire a firm capable of putting this assessment together on your behalf. The cost of their services will be a magnitude lower than the costs of embarking on an effort doomed to fail for no other reason than your employees distrust change and won’t go along for the ride.
Like this story? Here is a link to another you may find helpful: