You’ll see a lot of articles with this title around and about. But there’s one thing that a large proportion of them completely miss. The single most important asset to your business productivity.
These articles will tell you that a CRM software solution will transform your communication. They will also tell you that virtual teams/working brings people closer together. That online performance evaluations can streamline staff development, motivate and review performance.
What few of them tell you is how to properly manage the change.
You see we humans are fickle animals – we struggle to accept change in general. And the fight or flight response can trigger a negative reaction if we’re not completely onboard.
This is something that technology firms roundly overlook. And it’s hard to hold that against them really. They do their specialist role – a lot of the work is very complex but has little relation to how the office receptionist will feel, or the guys in the drawing office and so on.
Any technology project that requires “users” to operate the final product will be worse off for not involving them.
Any time a technology “improvement” is delivered to people who were not expecting it it’s easy to see their unhappy. That unhappiness generally stems from the lack of involvement in the process.
We can’t very well expect every single member of staff to be involved in every single technology purchasing decision. But the ones that result in a large proportion needing that technology for a business improvement project?
Ignore them at your peril.
Any technology project I’ve worked on previously has been greatly enhanced by involving staff at an early stage. Even if you have a top notch supplier providing the solution they can get on better by being more accepted, even if it’s just getting a cuppa whilst on site.
But more than that, it’s your staff that are there before, during and after the project. And it’s your staff who will live with the output of that project. Anything you can do to improve the experience for them will make all the difference.
We often see phones systems using about 10% of their functionality because staff don’t know how to use them. People angry with computers and peripherals because they’ve just been given them or, worse, turned up to find new stuff on their desk.
By thinking a little bit about how to involve them and make them feel like part of the process it helps to break down the walls of acceptance.
The best bit is you don’t even have to do it! Just make sure your solutions provider includes it as part of their work.
We ALWAYS consider a clients staff in all project work and strongly recommend their involvement even on a very simple basis as this is the perfect way to accentuate the success of any technology productivity project.