If you’re like most organizations, you’ve probably come across your fair share of bumps in the system transition road. Workflows are interrupted, unfamiliarity is commonplace, and sometimes organizational leaders are met with staff resistance to change. Confusion as to why the organization is changing systems is present, a hesitation towards change is palpable, and leaders are frequently left frustrated as to how to unite their staff.
Instead of viewing the system change as an uphill battle, try to look at it as though you were experiencing culture shock from visiting another country. Routine activities may no longer be available to you, your default resources may be hard to find, and you may even have to speak a foreign language. This may be similar to how your staff feels about a systems change.
One of the top reasons for resistance to change is the discomfort of the unfamiliar and this can manifest in a variety of ways: some staff may not be aware of the organization’s vision of the finished project and therefore question the purpose of change, others may question how this change will affect their jobs, and others may be hesitant to change the ways in which they interact with the system simply out of routine habit. Another common barrier with system changes is lack of organizational communication.
So how can organizations prepare staff for a systems change successfully? By reviewing these key elements, you may be able to avoid culture shock and resistance to change.