Continuous User Enablement: Key Strategies for Fostering a Culture of Change
So far, we’ve discussed the need for continuous user enablement as well as highlighted the common challenges IT professionals face when trying to foster a culture of change within their organization. Today, we’ll conclude this series with a look at four key strategies you can implement in your own organization to help ensure your end-users remain happy, successful, and free of roadblocks amidst today’s rapidly changing business environment.
4 Key Strategies to Successful User Adoption
As a Managed Services consultant, I engage with CIOs daily to help them transform nearly every aspect of their IT, including direct end-user support. To ensure that we can continue to move forward without creating undue risk to worker productivity or our Service Desk team, and to avoid end-user pushback on necessary changes, I work closely with the company’s internal communications team to put together branding materials for all end-user IT communications. Additionally, I engage with subject matter experts to draft communication templates for things such as regular monthly server patching notifications. With careful consideration to wording, frequency, and even the look and feel of these emails using things like logos and branded templates, we ensure the communication from IT is effective, succinct, and will actually be read and understood by everyone in the organization. As a result, we have received a lot of positive feedback from the end-users.
Although the amount of effort around these tasks may vary from one organization to the next, there is a standard framework that every organization can follow to right-size their approach. As you lead your organization through change, we recommend incorporating these four key considerations into every rollout.
1. Enlist the help of people in other areas of the organization
Act as a true partner with other areas of the business. Enlist the help of expert communicators within the organization to help craft the message and present it in a way that fits the culture. Today’s technology impacts nearly every aspect of the business, so it’s important to ensure that all necessary voices are heard in the process of innovating and making changes.
2. Leverage Creative Marketing Techniques
Build confidence and enthusiasm for the change by leveraging basic marketing techniques. Consider crafting an attention-grabbing logo, subject line, and polished email template when communicating updates around a new rollout. We all have more and more things vying for attention in our inbox every day, so we are more likely to read and respond to something that looks professional and tells us what we need to know quickly and effectively.
3. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Ensure that you are informing your end-users effectively before anything that impacts their work is changed, rather than responding to issues after confused end-users experience challenges. Although some things appear to be small from a technical perspective, they can have a big impact, especially if users are unaware that they should be planning their work around the changes.
4. Let Users Know Change Is Good
Not only is continuous innovation necessary, but it should also be perceived as positive. Avoid deferring and/or piling up too many changes at once, and always highlight the positive outcomes that the changes will achieve. This small effort can have a significant impact on overcoming resistance to change and cultivating enthusiasm for what’s to come!
There are additional side benefits to having an effective voice and brand that helps bridge the gap between IT and the rest of the company. If your organization currently sees IT as just a cost of doing business, or even worse, as a necessary evil to keep the lights on, they may start seeing IT as a true partner. Key decision makers will bring IT to the table during more key business decisions, rather than moving unilaterally and expecting IT to support them after the fact. Ultimately, they will better see the strategic fit of IT within the organization and leverage this to grow the business with your input.
While technology is becoming a powerful force in the workplace, people remain the single most important piece to business success. If you’re interested in learning more about our approach to organizational change management and how to influence user enablement within your organization, contact us to discuss your specific requirements needs.