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Change management in turbulent times
User adoption during digital transformation
None of us can escape the digital revolution. Digitalization has been shaking up every corner of our lives – both private and professional – for quite some time now. As a whole, we seem to be accommodating these changes better in our personal lives than at work.
The employees’ fears
While we embrace all the everyday chances to make our lives easier – using smartphones on a daily basis or ordering food online, for example – we tend to be more skeptical about going digital at work. Research has shown that almost 40 percent of workers in Germany don’t anticipate any improvement from digitalization. The most acute concern is the perceived prospect of job losses. How can companies calm their employees’ fears and help break down resistance to digital change?
“Being a fast learner is key to maintaining market success during the digital revolution.”
Ulrich Ude, Managing Director tts GmbH
Using change management to turn fears into energy
The best way to counter fear is through understanding – transparency creates trust, while knowledge provides a point of focus. Once employees are clear about the changes heading their way and how they can react, they become much more open-minded. Having said that, being more informed doesn’t automatically make everything better. If you have ever made a New Year’s resolution, then you’ll know all too well how difficult it is to change ingrained behavior. On its own, vowing to lose weight or do more sport is not enough. You have to break your routine and start consciously doing things differently – and sustain this behavior. In a business context, individual measures won’t achieve lasting change – it’s too easy to forget good intentions and fall back into old habits. What does sustainable change management look like? How can knowledge of an environment fraught with disruptive change be maintained and spread?
Push successful learning!
Sustainable learning success can be attained in three ways:
1. Learning from mistakes
2. Learning from the best
3. Learning spawned by intrinsic motivation
Who says you can only learn from your own mistakes? Best practice examples enable companies to learn from the experience of others, and being a fast learner is key to maintaining market success during the digital revolution. Having said that, digitalization also opens up opportunities by providing faster and easier access to entire databases of knowledge and supporting the transfer of knowledge beyond company boundaries and national borders. Software as a Service (SaaS) offers businesses three advantages in one. Examples of best practice are not only available company-wide in an instant, but can also be adapted to any business model and thus be put into productive practice fast. Apart from anything else, employees learn particularly well if the experience is enjoyable. It’s therefore crucial to boost their personal motivation. In this regard, companies would do well to heed the age-old advice from William Butler Yeats: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
“The sooner your workforce gets behind change processes, the better your digital transformation will succeed.”
Ulrich Ude, Managing Director tts GmbH
HR – from killjoy to catalyst
The bottom line for businesses? The sooner your workforce gets behind change processes, the better your digital transformation will succeed.
Facts & Figures
- Full-service provider for performance support, talent management and corporate learning
- tts has been helping companies unleash their full potential with innovative IT- and SAP-based solutions since 1998
- More than 500 companies have benefited from the multiple award-winning products and services from tts
- 300 employees across 13 sites
tts Managing Director Ulrich Ude has been helping organizations successfully implement digital change for 15 years. His advice is that “if your company is squaring up to digitalization, then adopt proactive change management and address your corporate structure and culture.”