Did you know that 70 percent of change programs fail? We may assume which factors are the cause of such failure (poor communication, lack of adequate resources, unclear objectives or poor company culture), chances are there is another shining star in the seat of factors that block company success: Change Fatigue.
Digital transformation change fatigue often perks up its pesky head after a number of unsuccessful initiatives for change and is often characterized by a lack of interest from the beginning, sometimes arriving in the form of resistance. Deflated morale and frustrations are common symptoms of change fatigue, which can be a big problem when it comes to corporate innovation. Organizations must determine how to combat digital transformation change fatigue – especially when working towards digital transformation is high on their list (as it should be).
Companies need to focus on their change management techniques to help their organizations adopt technologies and procedures that support a digital-first business strategy while avoiding change fatigue.
Although there are no specific symptoms you can watch for to diagnose or treat digital transformation change fatigue, you can assume that when apprehensive attitudes begin to fly at you, it is likely lurking around the corner. When an organization is oversaturated with initiatives for change with numerous unsuccessful implementations, company morale drops and change fatigue enters. It makes sense. If your new technologies or processes are proving to be a waste of time and energy due to a lack of positive results, who can blame them for expecting future attempts at positive change to fall flat?
But organizations must push forward toward innovation, optimizing processes, strategies and tech. How can organizations approach change management in today’s digital era without crashing hard into the wall of digital transformation change fatigue?
Begin by Looking Forward
Rather than implementations, begin with conversations. More often than not, when new technologies are brought in, conversation does not take place until post-implementation evaluations. Although this tactic is still used, it may be impacting stakeholders’ feelings toward the new technology, resulting in negative feedback.
Instead, start by conversing about the tools you want to adopt to gain interest and support from the get-go. This not only encourages excitement, but enables employees to learn more about the product early on. Building up excitement around new initiatives is a great way to combat digital transformation change fatigue.
Talking ahead of time gives individuals the ability to ask questions, voice concerns and understand how they play a part in adopting the new change and any impacts it will have on the individual as well as the company.
Look for that go-to employee (or employees) who is able to push internal acceptance or buy-in while promoting new changes among coworkers. Encouraging individuals who can get others excited about upcoming initiatives can have a drastic impact on culture. In fact, this may be a very good tactic to run at the forefront of any change initiatives.
Positivity and celebration go a long way. Celebrate the small wins – and losses. Foster a learning-based culture by celebrating even the losses to encourage individuals to feel more empowered to try – no matter what. If things don’t work out, evaluate it, brainstorm alternatives and celebrate what has been learned through the process.
“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison