Did you know that up to 30% of your workforce are most likely not using your Employee App or Intranet? You've invested a lot of time, money and training in developing an App, Portal or Intranet for your Employees. It ticks all the boxes. Employees can get their payslips, check leave balances and find updated policies. The Communications Team can share updates, notices and important information. So, why aren't your employees using these tools if they're supposed to be for them and helping them?
Most change efforts take longer and cost more money than leaders and managers anticipate. In fact, research from McKinsey and Company shows that 70% of all transformations fail. Why is that? There are many contributing factors like a culture that isn’t aligned with the mission, a lack of participation and buy-in, under-communicating the vision, over-communicating a poor vision, or not enough training or resources. However, one very critical roadblock standing in the way of bringing any kind of change into fruition is Change Management Fatigue.
Change fatigue is the result of many elements such as past failures plaguing the minds of employees and the sacrifices made during the arduous change process. When a transformation is poorly led, fatigue can set in quickly. The need to lead change is growing, but our ability to do it is shrinking. Hence why people often get discouraged and eventually give up. Even when organizations make great strides during building a change culture and preparing for the change battle, fatigue can derail even the greatest efforts for change.
When change efforts have failed in the past, people often grow cynical. They start to mutter under their breath, “Here we go again…” or “Here comes another flavor of the month…” or even, “We’re lying low until this fad blows over.” It’s incredibly difficult for managers and employees to get motivated when they believe that the latest project or initiative coming from the top is going to die just like the last one.
Your employees may be seeing the new app, portal or intranet that you've introduced as just another 'new tool' management has decided to implement to improve communication, when they're already using other communication methods. Remember that employees aren't just receiving and sending communication with their companies, but in their personal lives as well. That's a lot to process and adapt to, especially if it's something new to them.
Your employees may be reluctant to use a tool that is unfamiliar to them. It's just one more thing they need to learn how to use, with time they may not have or don't want to spend, on something that they may not believe has value for them.
You probably decided you want to improve communication and make it easier for employees to access information, then developed a strategic plan for how to do so, and then deployed a new tool, app or intranet as part of that vision thinking it will be a game-changer. Six months later you're sitting around wondering what on earth happened because your employees won’t use the tool you implemented. It wasn’t the vision that was wrong; it was the execution. Focusing on employee adoption of a new technology is crucial to a successful deployment, and there are often overlooked issues that account for almost all of the problems you're facing getting your employees to adopt your new tool.
There are still companies out there developing and investing in expensive technologies without ever asking the opinion of their frontline workers. Remember that it is natural for people to resist change because it is fear of the unknown. This resistance is even greater when the change that is being introduced is a top-down, forceful change which is how it feels to an employee on the ground is handed a new technology they didn’t ask for and don’t feel they need. Much of the struggle you face with technology adoption could be eliminated if you simply started by asking what your frontline employees think, want, and need.
Failing to get input from your frontline employees often leads to the introduction of a solution that isn’t as effective as you think it is. For your employees to truly embrace a new technology, the tool you’re putting in their hands and asking them to use has to be an improvement over their current methods. This may seem obvious and this is why this issue is often overlooked. You need that firsthand perspective from your frontline employees to find something that is truly tailored to their needs and to craft it into something they will be on board with using because it works.
It’s easy to get caught up in what you feel a new technology can do and forget that the real key is what your employees will actually do with it and whether they will really use it. Social messaging could give your internal communications strategy the boost it needs to help you mitigate change fatigue and adoption resistance. Why not use a tool that employees are already comfortable with using and helps to liberate internal communications from static desktops and can serve as an enhancement to your employee app or intranet. WhatsApp is a tool that almost everyone is already familiar with, making adoption a simpler process as employees don't need to adapt or learn how to use a new channel because they already use it every day.
Read more about how to use WhatsApp for Internal Communication to kick-start your efforts in reaching frontline employees and creating better employee experiences!
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