In our last post we discussed how you can use change management techniques to challenges of office culture and accountability during a digitization initiative. In part two of this three-part post we will explore the challenges of inclusiveness and the importance of facing user fears about your digital transformation.
Tip #3 – Leave no one out
Truly effective change must be driven from all levels of the organization. As critical as it is for senior leadership to endorse your destination, close attention must also be paid to the people who will get you there. This means engaging everyone.
It is never too early to start communicating the benefits and objectives of your planned digital evolution through any means available. Effective engagement means not just talking to staff, but listening to them as well. Frontline workers, administrative staff and specialized resources all handle the day-to-day details of the world in which information is captured, used, accessed and stored. These same people can play a critical role in foreseeing practical and technical challenges which might otherwise be unforeseeable, allowing the digitization team to build in solutions remedying those same challenges.
With so much industry literature on change management emphasizing C-level leaders and frontline staff, it is easy to overlook middle management. Engaging this all too important middle layer early and continuing that engagement throughout the implementation process serves two purposes:
helping to focus the link between organizational goals and digitization benefits ensuring participation and resource commitment
Tip #4 – Face the fears
If you’ve successfully applied Tip #1 and assessed the culture of your organization, you will know too well the different concerns and anxieties staff on all levels feel about the pending digital transformation changes. Use these concerns to your advantage by listening to all worries and concerns of staff, and then integrate them directly into your key messaging. This will show that you are listening, thereby increasing buy-in.
One example of the fears associated with digitization is privacy. In communicating the benefits of your new and improved system, be sure to emphasize the different security and privacy controls which help make up the value-add of digital recordkeeping.
Key features and benefits to emphasize include:
- Centralization: Consolidation of information into one central, authoritative record
- Accountability: Ability to assign business owners and track chain of custody for records
- Assignment of rights and permissions: Control and track exactly who can access, read, edit or delete a record
- Audit trails: Track every individual who viewed, altered or otherwise touched a given record
- Retention management: A well configured electronic records management system can track retention periods and apply records disposition workflows
Of course, privacy is just one example of how a successful digital evolution can solve rather than add problems. The same principle works for staff concerns about the time burden, since time savings have long been observed as a key justification for digitization. No matter what the concern, there is always an opportunity to turn negatives into positives and make them a key part of your change management strategy.
In part three of this post we will explore where to start with your pilot program, and the importance of communicating the positive outcomes of your pilot project.