Fieldman Blog

Managing Resistance to Change and Implementation of New Technology

Best Practices
Fieldman Management Platform Utility Vendors New Technology
Executives encounter a lot of pressure from the utility industry's digital transformation. Business consultants keep warning that new technology is a must for companies who want to compete and grow in the nearest future. Tech companies promise that with new software and platforms, businesses will be more efficient, reduce costs, and become more competitive in a rapidly evolving digital era.

The majority of corporate leaders recognize the call to change and support new technology in many different ways. However, all of them agree that one of the most challenging tasks is not only to choose the right IT platform but to deal with teams' resistance to adopting new technology. Company employees often reject the idea of switching from spreadsheet to IT platform or moving from outdated, costly software to new cloud-based security solutions.

Тhe implementation of new strategies is considered the most difficult stage since it often causes uncertainty and confusion. According to McKinsey & Company's famous report, "70 percent of change programs fail to achieve their goals, largely due to employee resistance and lack of management support." So how to do it successfully and overcome employee pushback without losing the intensity?

Effective change management can erode much of this resistance. In the modern, post-COVID business environment, specialists suggest focusing on a few critical elements.

Companies have a better chance to succeed if they concentrate on their people during digital transformation. Researchers from Copperfield Advisory, Insider, and Revolution Insights Group (RIG) who came together as a team to learn what puts some companies on the path to success concluded that How companies engage their employees can be the difference between success and failure.

Researchers found that workers' compensation is significant for success. Employees of companies who were able to navigate through successful digital transformation were better compensated comparing to companies that failed. In addition to traditional salary, compensation in some companies include health care, in others stock options. For utility vendors, it can be special bonuses for meeting clients' needs, attracting new customers, or transparent KPI for digital transformation achievement. Financial stability for employees is more critical than executives might think. 

Business leaders should dedicate their own time to such projects. All research highlights that change cannot be successful without executives' contribution and sponsorship. If top managers don't commit to the technological transformation or waiver their support, employees may perceive this change as unimportant and resist it. 

Ask employees to volunteer. Usually, workers who are willing to implement changes work harder. They are the most valuable asset of your company. Their passion is a change engine, while their energy and effort will motive others. Asking employees to volunteer will exclude unmotivated people instantly. 

Let's consider two operational managers who have been using the same existing field management software for several years and know its strengths and weaknesses. One learned how to navigate it, and from his point of view, there is no need to try an IT cloud-based platform. This particular operational manager is not interested in the company's potential risks, and he doesn't believe that cyber-attacks are a severe threat, which may hurt company business. This employee perceives change as more work. He would probably never volunteer, even if they are aware of its IT team's exertion to meet clients' requests to collect extra data or change a workflow schedule. If the company appoints an employee like that to be a part of such a project, there is a massive risk that he would bury it.

The second operation manager is open-minded and sees the potential of the new software generation and the benefits of achieving client’s satisfaction. Therefore, he will gladly volunteer if the company gives him an opportunity. People like him can change the company environment since they will collaborate with other departments and do everything to implement digital transformation successfully.

Software characteristics like adaptivity are also crucial for success. The implementation fails if the platform has not been tested in the specific field or has not been designed with user needs in mind. 

To create Fieldman, we used our team's ten-year experience in the utility industry. We reconstructed each step that people in the field typically make by deploying a project; we interviewed managers and supervisors to ensure the platform has everything they might need to manage a project.

In Fieldman, we also have mapped every stage of our implementation plan to tackle resistance using the new platform. We demonstrate project managers Fieldman's adaptivity and how easily any new business requirement can be added to create a new workflow.  
Because Fieldman can be used on any smartphone, users in the field are quite comfortable with our technology, and they do not resist giving Fieldman a try.