Here at SEDNA, we are no stranger to the phrase:
‘It’s not great, but it’s what we know.’
It’s a sentence often banded about when asking potential customers what holds them back from changing their email solution.
For complex businesses that deal with near-impossible volumes of email, the fear of change is often eventually outweighed by the financial costs accrued by outdated email systems. From missing vital updates, critical information becoming buried in threads, and hours a day committed to manual inbox management, many business owners and their teams know all too well that traditional email solutions often cause more problems than they solve.
Despite this email-shaped elephant in the room, reluctance often remains on transitioning to something new.
And hey, we get it. Fear of the unknown is a well-known element of being human, and it understandably filters down from the big unknowns to the smaller ones like ‘what will a new way of working look like?’
At SEDNA, we have put as much effort into our digital transformation process as we have our product because we know that change management is just as critical to success as the shiny new solution.
Here are few tips and tricks you can use within your team to help the switch go as smoothly as possible.
1. Foster Effective Sponsorship
Effective change management teams know that much of the success of software adoption comes from empowering change management sponsors—champions of the change who help drive the transition from the customer side.
The ways and means of this can vary, but the best change management teams ensure that sponsors have end-to-end support, from planning the communication of the change to their company to creating objectives and goals.
Without someone on the ‘inside’ to help propel the change forward, silos, resistance, and misunderstanding are apt to follow.
It’s why change management sponsors are often senior within the company and why any software worth their salt should provide ample support to this critical individual.
2. Communicate Effectively
We’re going to be a very broken record here, but the heart of successful change management is effective communication.
If you can’t talk about the change (yes, even the hard-to-hear bits), then it’s going to be an uphill battle to fully implement a new way of working. Whether it’s managing employee feedback or the initial communication of the change, positive and clear communication is vital.
3. Manage Resistance
We can all relate to the scene above. Whether it’s getting people on board with a new smart email platform or telling a five-year-old that vegetables are a necessary evil, at some point, a good idea is not enough—you need people to buy into the long-term vision too.
When change rears its controversial head, a common response is resistance, and this is where many business transformations fail.
The reasons behind this resistance to change can range from employees just not seeing the need for modifications to feeling that there’s no time to learn a whole new system when they already have enough to do.
Whatever the concern, gathering feedback from users throughout the change management process and working alongside your nominated sponsor is key. Listening, supporting, and assisting throughout the change is vital and depends on an excellent relationship between customer and provider.
4. Create a Reinforcement Strategy
If necessity is the mother of invention, then motivation is the creator of success, and it’s this which becomes key to your change management process.
By working with sponsors and other senior members of the team to discover what motivates different departments, you can positively reinforce people to opt-in to the change. Some theories even suggest doing the converse and using positive punishment when individuals revert to pre-change methods.
However, most people agree that it’s much more appropriate to stick with positivity, especially when it’s clear how compelling tailored motivation can be in driving change.
The most important factor is to have tailored motivators in place as soon as possible. This not only encourages fast adoption of the new process but also promotes familiarity with it as a byproduct, turning new and unknown into run-of-the-mill.
5 Get Expert Change Management Support
At SEDNA, change management is our bread and butter. We have been helping complex businesses with their digital transformation for many years now and know it’s as essential as the product itself.
When moving to SEDNA’s intelligent email solution, our experts will provide you with seamless data migration, a post-launch review to inform further training, and access to help 24/7.