Everybody has a good “light bulb” joke. You know, “how many [type of person or group] does it take to change a light bulb?” Well, here’s a similar type of question that isn’t so funny: How many managers does it take to change one employee…if that employee isn’t interested in changing?
This rhetorical question has become more and more relevant as technologies advance and fleet owners and managers see benefits to adding new tech to their toolbox to help the business run smoother, make dispatching easier, get job orders filled faster and make more customers happier. Unfortunately, though, a lot of people see technology as intrinsically difficult to learn and adjust to.
Dealing with employees who are resisting change for whatever reason can be a challenge, but the following tips can help you deal with your staff members who are saying, “But I don’t wanna…”when you’re trying to introduce changes to the workplace.Put yourself in their shoes. Don’t assume that your employee is being difficult on purpose or is being irrational. Ask yourself: Are my actions contributing to their resistance? Is there a better way I could be facilitating or communicating this change? Am I giving them what they need to be successful?
Hear them out
Sit down and listen to your employee’s concerns and try to address them. Ask open-ended questions about why they may be resistant. It may be that they are OK with the change in general, but would prefer a different training process, and you may be able to work with them on that. However, also make sure you aren’t going so far out of your way to address their needs that you’re neglecting your other duties.
Offer extra help
Again, you don’t want to make sure you’re redirecting too much of your energy to one employee, but it’s good to make sure your employees (not just the change-resistant ones, either) know you are available to answer additional questions or work with them to make sure they understand the new technology.
Let them know it’s OK to mess up
Fear, especially about new technologies, can be a big reason an employee is resistant: being afraid of not understanding the new process and not wanting to say so, or being afraid of making mistakes. Let them know that they are a valued employee, and you want to make sure they are comfortable with the new process and that it’s OK to make a mistake while everyone is learning the new technology. At the same time…
Don’t take no for an answer
Gently ensure your employee understands the change is not optional, and that this is the best thing for the business. Explain the reasons you’ve decided to implement the new technology and how it can make his life easier, as well as make the business run better.
Implementing new technologies can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can get your employees on board and make them wonder how they ever existed before this exciting new way of doing their jobs. Then you can answer the question, “How many managers does it take to change an employee?” with, “Just one, as long as that manager remembers these key tips.”