We all know that finding a great administrative team is an absolute must. They dabble in a bit of everything when it comes to your business making them a crucial piece to your success or failure. But if there’s one area that plays just a bit more importance than the rest, it’s the transition to new technology and software.
Consider the scenario — you’ve just invested in some great new tech. It’s user-friendly, cloud-based and it consolidates several workflows. Exciting, right? Well, your admin team doesn’t exactly think so. Not to mention, they’re reluctant to change and aren’t thrilled to spend hours relearning new systems.
We’ve heard plenty of brokers tell us about this scenario. Brokers, finally committed and eager, find their admin team to be the roadblock in their tech revolution. But honestly, can you blame them? And that’s the first thing you need to know — change is hard. Step one: acknowledge that the upcoming change will be hard, and it will take time for your employees to become comfortable. So, what we guess we’re saying is to normalize resistance — but keep reading because here’s how to remain supportive and make cultural changes when your admin team is reluctant to change.
Acknowledge the difficulty behind change
Can we all agree that company culture is important (we heard that collective YES)? Your attitude and leadership absolutely play into your company culture. The way that you handle the transition process changes the way your employees feel about you, their job and their ability to make the transition.
The fear and anxiety of an upcoming change spurs a split-second decision more often than you realize. Now, what we don’t want is overwhelmed employees who think their only way out is to leave the company — not good. It might sound ridiculous at first, but an overwhelmed employee can be quickly pushed over the ledge and make that decision to leave. With turnover, there comes the need to recruit, onboard and train new employees, which takes up a lot of you and your brokerage’s time and expenses. The less turnover, the better — now that’s a motto we can get behind! Here are a few ways to acknowledge that change is hard, and keep a positive company culture moving straight through a transition.
- Remain open to employee feedback, no matter how bad or negative it seems at first. Hear out your employees by maintaining that open dialogue. This is also a great way to get feedback, and see if you need to make any changes to training opportunities. And PSA, this does not mean you need to have a cliche open-door policy.
- Be sure to verbally tell your team that you realize the change is hard before beginning the transition. Knowing that your admin team is reluctant to change, prepare and support them as much as possible before the process begins.
- Set reasonable expectations and convey those goals to your team. Everyone must relearn the processes, and that doesn’t always come at the speed of light.
Reinforce that the long term benefit outweighs any fears of change
As a higher education administrative specialist, Eric Stoller identifies the major reasons why people easily fear new technologies. He breaks it down to three main reasons including a fear of the challenge, the loss of a job and having a bad perception. Let’s dive a little deeper.
Fear of the challenge
Stroller reminds us that learning something new in the professional setting is incredibly challenging. When will we find the time to do our daily duties AND learn something new!? We don’t want your team immediately counting how many hours are left in the day. In today’s world with work from home, school from home — let’s face it, we’re all at home way more than we want to be — it’s overwhelming to think how we’ll be able to do it all and learn a new system. This is why it’s important to make tech adoption a part of your company culture. Your team is much more prepared to adopt processes, make transitions and understand the importance behind changing systems.
Fear of losing a job
Likely, a major motivator behind your admin team’s reluctance to change is the fear of losing a job. And that’s completely valid and understandable. It’s easy to consider how a new software solution or back office management system could take the place of your job. As the broker, it’s your responsibility to ensure your team members know a new solution is not a replacement for their jobs. Explain the long term benefits — Will it make their job more streamlined? Will it expedite processes and remove tedious tasks to free up an admin? Do you need them to focus on something new, or their position is evolving within the brokerage? Sure, the transition will be challenging right now, but in the long run, it will improve their daily work experiences.
Fear of a negative perception
Let’s be frank, no one wants to look dumb in front of their coworkers. Your team has a grasp on current processes and they feel confident, but a new tech adoption brings the possibility of misunderstanding, confusion and straight up struggling in front of one’s peers. This is where your company’s culture of support comes into play. You need a strong training and support system to help your team members transition as they need it. By prioritizing training and learning, your employees learn that change really isn’t that bad, and they have the support to be successful. If you can’t afford a software training specialist, or don’t have experienced staff members on board, make sure to look at the onboarding processes offered by different partners. Evaluate the level of support given before making any decisions.
Over time, your company culture will become seamless at adopting new technologies with a team that is confident in its ability to deal with change. You can alleviate the fears of your admin team by remaining transparent, supportive and realistic — with the proper training, of course.
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