By Aisling Teillard, CEO & Co-Founder at Our Tandem
I often meet Heads of Performance, or Talent and their biggest challenge is to shift mindsets. Shifting a manager’s mindset to ready them for a changed world, where remote working, flexibility, and a changing dynamic to the old ways of working is more prevalent than ever. The change in the way of working hasn’t happened overnight and, in many respects, has been a long time coming. Yet their managers are still caught out by this shifting dynamic, struggling to understand how best to manage people in this new world they find themselves in.
The story repeats itself across multiple businesses in different industries and even in different countries; ‘we have a mindset challenge’. We need to move the mindset from the old ways of working and help people realise those days are gone. It’s time to embrace new ways of working that facilitate greater flexibility, the reality that remote is here to stay. Help them realise that the office is irrelevant if everyone comes in just to do their teams or zoom calls there. That we need new purpose to the office, and we need it to be a place where people connect, collaborate, and even celebrate. Inevitably that means the teams/zoom call days can be at home. Facing this new reality means changing the way we work.
None of us need convincing that technology can help transform the way we work, we’ve all experienced that over the past two years. But most of our technology interventions over the past two years have been out of necessity, urgency, and a drive to keep businesses going and people connected, even if not always ideal. However, technology can be used for much more purposeful connection, but the danger lies in thinking that technology in isolation can change cultures.
When addressing a mindset shift, we need to think broader about the challenge. What are the things that really enable the technology to drive the change? How can we ensure the technology gets adopted, embraced, and fulfils the value of its promise? The key is our approach to change management. The mistake is to think that change management is done after the initial training session.
Change management has multiple levers and using several increases its effectiveness. Role modelling, micro learning and generating excitement and engagement with ongoing communication activities all form essential parts of a good change management plan. Bringing your champions in early and bringing their ground floor influencing skills into the plan will not only help in spreading the word but give you the monitoring that can capture those all-important early signals about perception. Inspiring confidence with senior leadership engagement can bring a positioning that demonstrates the ambition and scale of the project. What will enable sustained engagement is the reinforcement of the behaviours.
When looking at your typical adoption curve to any piece of tech you will always have your early adopters who get excited with the new novelty, these people can lead the way but it’s your early majority cohort that will make the real difference. If you can reach the tipping point of bringing the early majority into the loop quickly, it will help capture the stories you need to drive the social proof points that demonstrate to the late majority or even the laggards that this is not a short-lived initiative and has captured the attention of others. In many respects we all look for those queues that everyone else is doing it so why shouldn’t I. The more of these signals we can provide, through infographics, stories, and even celebratory moments, the more we’ll bring the remaining crowd to the table. Celebrate early wins early and often and hold people accountable when not role modelling. Easier said than done but it makes all the difference.
So next time you’re sitting down to plan your technology initiative, don’t neglect your change management practices. They’ll be the tipping point to great adoption. In Tandem, we embed these change management practices into our approach and that’s why we see our clients in the platform on average up to twice per week use multiple functionalities to perform the everyday practices of performance management, where managers and grow and develop their people.
If you’d like to find out more about our approach, contact our VP of Sales & Marketing, Sadhbh Carson on firstname.lastname@example.org