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Change Management and the Human Factor

October 29th 2021

Human Factor

Good resources are rare, which is why it is crucial to do everything you can to keep your best employees and stay as attractive as possible in the job market. As a manager, it is up to you to skillfully combine development with stability.

Since management IT has faced this dilemma for a long time, several specialists have addressed change management, a key aspect of the success of any significant improvement project, whether new technology is involved.

Organizational change can be described as any change in a work environment that is familiar to employees. When change occurs, you are touching the "comfort zone" of your employees. Consequently, managing change adequately consists, among other things, in minimizing the risks of losing a good resource that is more fragile to change.

Managing change, therefore, mainly consists of managing the psychological state of the person concerned. The manager must then proceed like a surgeon who must unblock an artery to allow the change to take hold positively and gradually within their company. However, unlike an operation under general anesthesia, the employee is wide awake and may resist the procedure, hence the "resistance to change" term.

This resistance usually stems from a fear of the unknown, which can be amplified by a loss of meaning for the employee who feels dispossessed of their role and usefulness within the company.

Since no one likes to feel useless and incompetent, an employee's reaction can range from simple questions to explosive behaviour. Either way, let's not lose sight of the fact that their line is quite normal in a context of change, no matter what the magnitude.

A wise employer will need to quickly find an anchor and point of reference for an employee struggling with uncertainty. For example, introducing new technology that aims to improve customer service but disrupts the work environment of someone you care about. Here are some practical approaches for dealing with a delicate human situation:

1. Emphasize to the employee and remind them that the main aim remains the satisfaction of the customer's needs and that the change made will improve the services in terms of time and quality.

2. Emphasize that gaining technical knowledge is always beneficial, as it increases our expertise and employability. It's encouraging the employee to try and improve that is effective here. Encouragement conveys a sense of employee recognition and usefulness in the company. This positive message helps reduce employee uncertainty about their role and skills, hence resistance to new tools or ideas.

3. Very important point; it is known that motivation alone is not enough to guarantee that a person will adopt a new tool and a new way of doing things, that is, to make the employee move from thought to good intentions to actions. The project must challenge them. To create this state of mind, you must put in place the necessary framework so that the employee can gradually become familiar with the tool itself and test it. They must therefore take advantage of a flexible schedule and the appropriate professional supervision (specialized training).

Once this final aim is reached, you will find that the employee regains their pride, competence, usefulness, and belonging to the company. They also become a valuable ally in training and converting other members of your team.

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