Every day I work with new clients to develop and manage change within their organization. Although our clients know their staff (users) better than anyone, our staff knows change. We have an enormous passion for change which drives an exceptional employee (user) experience.
As professionals, we are continually asked to do more, in less time, with fewer resources. I understand the pain. Gone are the days of one large change every 12-18 months, here are the days with 2-10 major changes (and sometimes more) every year. This volume of change can be overwhelming and often lead to an emotional detachment or indifference to changes taking place - and as a result we often see similar detachment or indifference to the employee (user) experience. This is not intentional, it’s simply become transactional.
Osmosis is real, and it’s a part of every change initiative out there. We’ve all experienced that one person that can join a meeting and completely change the atmosphere and spirit of every person in the room, positive or negative. We all absorb some variation of that positive or negative energy that will drive not only our spirit for the meeting, but sometimes the day and even our outlook on the entire project. The same is true for those we deploy change to. The energy or indifference is communicable and can be destructive or invigorating. It’s likely not our goal to carry that destructive energy into a project, it’s human nature to ‘want to excel.’
Obtaining that invigorating energy or passion for a change isn’t easy, especially when the change involves human capital reduction, restructures or sometimes even technology changes. As the project owner, you may not have been the technology solution decision maker.
It’s not enough to sell employees (users) on the benefits of the change. We must sell ourselves first. We must believe in the change taking place – failure to believe will multiply that destructive energy.
Take Microsoft 365 (Office 365), for example, what if you had the same passion and excitement for this solution as you have after your child hits a homerun? Ok, maybe that’s a stretch…but let’s pretend you’re a bit closer to the homerun excitement when talking about, and planning for, the features and tools staff get with Microsoft 365 and the positive impact this suite of tools will have on employees and the way they work. That passion will spread through osmosis within your project team and the organization. The exhilarating energy will carry into every conversation you have about the change. The tone we set when talking about, and planning for, staff (user) change management has a direct impact on adoption levels. Negativity and indifference, regarding the change or staff, garner remarkably different results than positivity and passion. Seem hokey to you? It might be…but it’s true!
I met with a client this week that truly understood the correlation between positivity, passion and change. It was evident from the instant he joined the call; the energy was palpable. Did that energy carry? It absolutely did! It will continue to be present in every interaction, discussion, communication and training throughout this project. He was genuinely passionate about the employee (user) experience.
In your upcoming project meetings, take a step back, watch the room, assess the tone. If you leave the meeting feeling a sense of exhilaration, kudos to the team – keep up the great work! If it’s not, it’s time to make a change.