Putting in a new system - only to have it rejected by your team - is one of the greatest fears of any business considering a digital transformation project.
If you're investing a chunk of money in something new, you don't want it's launch to be met with crickets, or worse, outright anger or frustration.
Here are four strategies - taken from experiences we’ve had with our clients - to help avoid user rejection.
1. Find your internal champions.
When we've been invovled in delivering SharePoint Intranet projects to organisations, our technical work has almost been secondary to the work we've done in coordinating working groups, facilitating conversation and decisions (which inform the technical build) and giving the team members we're working with the information they need to help discuss the solution at the water cooler.
Having a good reference group, who meet frequently and are representative of the cross-section of your business, is priceless in this scenrio.
You will take as much information from them on how to mitigate the risk of user rejection, as they will take from you to share back with their colleagues.
So who should they be? Volunteers, and people who understand your current systems are perfect. But sometimes the best internal champions are those you think will really hate the new thing, or that struggle with technology.
If you can convince these team members, and show them how the new system will help them do their work everyday, then it's likely the whole organisation will be convinced much more readily.
2. Treat change as a marketing campaign
Consider the lead up to, testing and launch of your new system each as opportunities to create (positive) buzz with the team.
If we were about to start marketing for a new client, we'd first look at their Digital Ecosystem. What tools do they have to help us share the message.
Desk stickers. Posters. Surveys. Naming Competitions for an intranet. All of these peak interest.
3. Get creative
We recently created and launched a new website for a client. This website represents a number of geographically dispersed franchises, and given that a website is the focal point for all sales online, it was important that all players were on board.
Alongside the website we created an internal communications strategy that included the creation of short videos. These videos introduced the new site, its key features and benefits and purpose to the franchisees. Video allowed the business to get more personal with their franchisees. It put a face to the message and showed the story much more than an email or phone call could.
Are you kicking off a new campaign or wanting to do an extra sales push? Think about how you can deliver the message in a more personal way... rather than an old school blanket all company memo...
4.Take feedback - and use it
In the video, as part of the project I just mentioned, the various spokespeople for the website explained what had been created, why and, most importantly, what happens next.
So, what did happen next?
All franchisees were invited to fill out a feedback form or give feedback over the phone. Their opinions were sought to improve the website, and give them ownership of the project. Asking for opinions is a great way to encourage greater ownership of a specific initiative.
Assistance with change management, decision facilitation and internal communications is something we make sure we include in every SharePoint intranet project. Learn more about our services today.