Strategies to Manage Resistance to Digital Transformation
There are several challenges in the fight to stay current and digitally competent. Although firms can use new technology to increase productivity and efficiency, one of the biggest obstacles is employee reluctance to change, which is frequently why digital transformation efforts fail. The main cause of people’s resistance to industrial digitalization is their fear of change, which is brought on by their fear of the unknown. Employees worry about a range of issues and therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge and comprehend this anxiety and to put tactics into place that will make teams feel more at ease and receptive to change.
Reasons why people resist change
Concern over job security or status loss: Workers object to the concept that artificial intelligence (AI) or robots may soon perform their duties. They may have this resistance unconsciously or intentionally because they feel technology endangers their jobs.
- Fear of failure: Using new technology also necessitates learning new digital abilities, which speeds up change. It requires formal education and training. For instance, as previously mentioned in a blog, 72% of recruiting managers in the financial industry predict a widening digital competency gap over the next three years, which will make it even harder to capitalize on digital investment. Employees experience pressure to perform while using a brand-new product that they are still learning how to use.
- The digital tools do not demonstrate their efficacy: Employees continue to spend a significant amount of time intervening when the anticipated advantages of new digital solutions have not yet manifested. For instance, several businesses used RPA to automate work in HR, finance, and customer support. Regrettably, most RPA systems automate standalone activities and still require people to control bots to finish a straightforward procedure. Employee resistance or a lack of openness to future ideas will result from digital tools that do not deliver on their promised benefits.
- Inability to perceive the big picture: When using digital technologies to improve organizational performance, CEOs frequently concentrate on the technology. However, it is important to first decide which digital technologies to use before agreeing on attainable goals, expectations, and execution methods. As a result, employees would quickly become upset with challenges throughout the transition if management failed to envisage it.
Strategies to overcome resistance
When leaders concentrate on both the company culture and practices and the people’ shifting mindsets, they may accelerate digital transformation to success. Leaders will be able to select an appropriate digital instrument with the aid of the proper approach in advance. Most critically, digital transformation will be driven by inclusive cultures where everyone is heading in the same direction.
1. Focus on communication
The unpredictability and unknown of the process are the main causes of worries about digital transformation. Regular, open communication in the workplace is the best ally in overcoming fear. Dealing with the most fearful employees, who may suddenly be reluctant to criticize or raise challenging questions, requires constant and comforting contact. It’s important to be open to having those discussions rather than avoiding them because doing so will just foster ambiguity and possibly spark hatred of the process before it even gets started.
2. Encourage, upskill, and promote
Leaders must recognize the stress that employees feel about their jobs and potential failure. It might be motivating to emphasize how digital transformation gives employees the chance to advance their abilities for the future. Another choice is to focus on their personal development objectives by figuring out what they want to do and how they can best accomplish their aspirations. The skill set of the workforce must be in line with components of the digital transition. When workers understand that new technology will help them perform even better, they will become more open and self-assured.
3. Avoid tackling everything at once
Determine which elements of the complete digital picture should come first and prioritize them. It might be daunting and perplexing to change the entire organization at once, which increases the likelihood that you’ll encounter employee opposition. By outlining your strategy in advance, you can decide which aspects of your company should receive the first digital attention. Set both immediate and long-term goals. Employees may be more likely to support the transition overall if they can see outcomes.
4. Prepare technical assistance
Whether you’re thinking about your digital project or your company has just gone live, it is vital to ensure technical support is ready and available. Employee frustration can exacerbate any issues if something goes wrong with the digital tools. Employees who are apprehensive about trying new processes may become more open-minded if they are aware that outside assistance will be available.
5. Follow up and get feedback
This works with the communication element. Regular follow ups during a digital implementation keeps everyone connected and informed while determining progress and identifiying obstacles. Give your employees the channels to discuss setbacks and employ consistency with actioning the feedback received.
Starting the Journey
Businesses should work to enhance the experiences of both employees and customers. A solid foundation for the best digital strategy is through established and transparent organizational goals. It can be challenging to reorganize and realign people and procedures around new technology and modify the way they work.
With KRIS Document Management System (DMS), companies can start the transition one step at a time. Digitizing documentation is not simply about converting paper-based records to a digital format, it offers the opportunity to review and enhance operations through automation and workflows.
Find out how a Document Management System can simplify your everyday office processes.