In many (if not all) of our blog posts, we stress the importance of user adoption in achieving your outcomes. Without it, you won’t; technology doesn’t produce outcomes, people do. In our experience, the most effective way to drive user adoption is to market the benefits of an impending change to different user audiences clearly and consistently, articulating how a change will impact users’ job proficiency and perceived value to the organization, and addressing any resistance. Even when organizations do this seamlessly, however, they inevitably face resistors – a small but loud minority who resists (almost) anything new, particularly if it means they must change with it.
These are not your employees who raise valid concerns, but who refuse to see or acknowledge the value of the impending change, and who are more inclined to articulate problems than develop solutions.
It’s important to ignore this group, and focus instead on your early adopters and then the critical mass. Once you have the critical mass, organizational psychology will do its work on the resistors.
Your resistors may make cogent, reasoned arguments, and these merit consideration. You want to make sure people feel heard. But you’ve decided to invest in this project for a reason, and it’s important to focus on your expected business outcomes. Time spent persuading resistors is better spent empowering and engaging supportive employees. When resistors notice they aren’t gaining traction with their complaints, and instead see colleagues moving forward without them, they’ll feel left out. FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a powerful motivator.
In our experience, resistors are more likely to embrace change when they see the benefits in action for themselves. More often than not, they also go on to be your most effective advocates.
What do we see when you drive organizational change?