Fear of technologies and failure: why are employees resistant to digital transformation and how to overcome the resistance?

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Up to 70% of digital transformation programs don’t reach their stated goals. There are more causes than just low budget or poor IT infrastructure. Resistance among employees is one of the common causes of failure. Why are the employees resistant to digital adoption? Keep reading and find out.

Reluctance to change

Digital transformation introduces new technologies and processes in the company. Did you know that over 80% of workers said new processes made them anxious which may make them hesitant to try new digital processes?

However, the hesitance associated with negative change is quite natural. The well-known Kübler-Ross Change Curve indicates that people go through several stages, such as shock, denial, frustration, and even depression, before accepting the change.

Only then they decide to try and, finally, accept the new reality.

Kuebler-Ross Change Curve

Kübler-Ross Change Curve describes the stages people go through when exposed to negative change. Retrieved from: Researchgate.net

This curve can also be applied in digital transformation. In this case the managers, who should motivate the workers and make the change as easy as possible for them, play a vital role.

Don’t forget that training is absolutely essential, too. Employees often feel frustrated because they are expected to perform well while working with tools they haven’t mastered yet.

Please, be aware that employees remember very little from face-to-face training.

Instead, use a digital adoption platform that guides the workers throughout the new software solution and provides at-hand instructions in the form of notifications, context-sensitive help, and pop-ups.

Pop-up window

Pop-ups and other widgets show instructions to help employees learn how to work with the company’s software. 

Their advantage is that the instructions are displayed permanently and employees can get back to them anytime.

This is how our YesElf digital adoption platform works and helps employees master world-famous software solutions, such as Salesforce, SAP Concur, Workday, and Genesys Cloud.

The option to implement YesElf in your company’s software goes without saying. Get in touch and we will find a way to implement YesElf in your software.

Lack of skills

Even though technologies have become part of our daily lives, not all people are sufficiently skilled. After all, it is quite common that companies employ five generations at once. It is therefore natural that different employees have different sets of skills.

Furthermore, some employees even refuse digital technologies. Their age is not the only issue.

Problems also come up when employees get used to working with established tools and processes. The longer they work with them, the harder it gets to develop new technology-related skills.

This might be surprising but the reluctance to learn is also related to the fact that employees do not realize the importance of new tools, and hence the resistance.

What can you do? Communicate the changes to them and explain why the changes are essential to the company. Higher engagement will pay off by faster change acceptance among the employees as they realize all the benefits.

frustration from digital transformation

Fear of failure

Have you thought about how your employees view themselves as team members? If they suffer from technology anxiety, it means they fear that they will not cope with the technologies as well as their colleagues or superiors.

They can also be scared of failing to learn.

Technology anxiety has become quite common and incorporates the fear that one damages the tool or loses his or her job due to the lack of skills as well.

The good news is that this fear can be overcome.

First of all consider which technologies you are going to use and build appropriate IT infrastructure.

As discussed, training is a vital part of digital adoption. It requires enough time, even weeks or months. Only then will your employees accept new tools and develop sufficient skills.

In order to overcome the resistance, digital transformation must be well planned and communicated. The engagement and feeling of importance also contribute to the success or failure of digital transformation.

Poorly informed

One of the reasons why digital transformations fail is because the employees have been poorly informed. If they are not aware of the goals, plans, strategy, and even expectations after going digital, they get frustrated.

help with digital transformation

The same attitude is developed if you are not honest to them. This means you have to inform them on both the positive and negative side. In case you have chosen a bad tool and it failed, tell them.

If the employees are well informed on the progress of digital transformation, they will know what to do by themselves, and, at the end of the day, you will digitally adapt together.

Inefficient tools and loss of privacy

Companies greatly benefit from AI-powered tools and machine learning. Automation speeds up the processes and saves both time and money.

Nevertheless, there are still people who are hesitant about technologies. Why? They consider the robots a danger to the work processes and their privacy.

It is true that AI-powered tools know a lot about the users. Your job is to explain to the employees that the information is used solely to improve the processes.

In conclusion, we strongly recommend properly considering the technologies you choose. As long as the tools are inefficient and employees face barriers, they get frustrated again and then resistant to digital transformation.

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