How to Overcome Common Barriers to Change

March 7, 2017

Anyone who has ever been involved in a new system implementation or update will agree that there are always individuals who resist the change. Resistance to change is a normal, human reaction. However, left unmanaged, it can undermine the efforts of your project team.

So how do you manage resistance before it stalls the progress of your entire initiative? The key is understanding the underlying concerns and taking action to resolve those issues. For each member of your team, think about what their motivation might be, how they will be affected by the change, and how you might revise your plans accordingly. 

Below are three of the most typical types of resistance to change, and how to plan for them: 

Emotional reactions are a common response to the disruption that accompanies change. For individuals who tend to feel first and think second, it's important to provide opportunities for them to express their emotions. Recognize and validate their response by engaging your employees in conversations about perceived risks and problems. Anticipating and identifying barriers before implementing changes enables people to engage in problem solving that can mitigate risk and prepare them for any emotional upheaval.

Individuals who value routine are a valuable resource for assessing current processes and systems as you explore areas for improvement and enhancement. To minimise fears of disruption to routine, provide a rationale for the changes, along with a timetable or schedule of what to expect and when to expect it. Define project roles and responsibilities to manage expectations, avoid confusion, and fortify a supportive, team effort. 

Some employees hold consistent views over time and don't change their minds easily. As well as establishing there is a need for change, you will need to demonstrate the benefits of the change. A high volume of communications in a variety of formats—face to face, presentations, FAQs, blogs, forums, emails—can help make your case. Include a way for communication to be two-way, capturing and integrating feedback throughout the project. 

In addition to these approaches, we've found encouraging employees to take on project-related tasks also leads to greater engagement.Try to involve them in all aspects of your project, from planning through implementation and training. 

As you implement new enhancements and updates to your Salesforce instance, anticipate employee reactions and design an action plan to open up employee commitment to change, and witness the impact via increased adoption and employee engagement. If you're looking for a partner who can help manage your implementation and change management strategy, connect with us at the Sydney World Tour.

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