Once you have chosen an email client to simplify team communication, streamline project management and provide a complete record of transactions, it is time to implement it in your company. However, change management—the process of getting your team to switch to the new solution—can be more difficult than the technical implementation itself.
The right approach to people management can help smooth this transition. Here are some best practices on how to execute a successful change management program to implement new email software.
Foster effective sponsorship
Senior leaders play a pivotal role in championing change and facilitating a successful implementation. To ensure that project sponsors fulfill their duties, the change management team should coach sponsors on their role and provide behind-the-scenes support throughout the process. Sponsors can often benefit from assistance with developing an action plan, drafting communications, scheduling meetings and introducing the software to their peers.
Effective implementation teams communicate with sponsors regularly to discuss challenges and opportunities. By outlining clear objectives and practical tactics, the change management team can guide sponsors in championing the new software with their teams. Sponsors need to know that the company is relying on them to generate change and that they have access to support and resources to make that happen.
While the project team understands that the new email software will improve your day-to-day operations, you may encounter some employees who are reluctant to make the change. The team should anticipate and consider possible reasons for the resistance. Perhaps these employees don’t believe that change is necessary, don’t trust the project team, can’t manage any more disruptions, or have specific concerns about the process or software.
To facilitate a successful implementation, the project team must listen to why employees are resisting. Resistance indicates that there is an issue that needs to be addressed, so it is important to understand the cause of their concerns, rather than dismissing them. Engage your employees to solicit their feedback throughout the implementation process and work together to find solutions to any challenges you discover.
Create a reinforcement strategy
Encourage employees to adopt new software and processes by strategically deploying rewards and consequences. By implementing a reinforcement strategy, your company can leverage the basic principles of human behavior to drive faster adoption.
To keep the tone of the implementation positive, you should create more reinforcements for using the new solution than consequences for using the old one. People tend to remember negative events much more than positive ones, so a strategy that feels excessively motivational may be just right.
The specific tactics you choose should be unique to each workgroup. Work with managers to identify what motivates their teams. Regardless of which reinforcements you select, they should be directly connected to specific behavior and applied as soon as possible after an employee demonstrates that behavior. As the implementation progresses, the team should use the reinforcement strategy to decrease the effort required to use the new solution while increasing the effort necessary to revert to the old way of working.
Get expert support
To facilitate a seamless transition to our collaborative email software, SEDNA offers change management services and ongoing technical support. Our experts will work with your team to implement an efficient email solution that manages all of your transactions with minimal downtime. Schedule a call with our solutions consultant to learn more about how our onboarding process streamlines implementation.