A recent blog post from Laserfiche, citing Scott Brinker, points out that the biggest problem with using technology to drive organizational change is that the technology can change a lot faster than the people do. “Technology advances exponentially,” Brinker wrote, giving the example of Moore’s Law which states that number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years.
In contrast, organizations absorb change algorithmically that is, even more slowly than linear, and certainly much more slowly than technology, he writes. So what role does technology play in change management?
Rapid Technology Development
The biggest concern with the digital workplace today is that the technology is moving faster than people’s capacity to learn and keep up. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) offer an opportunity for organizations to capitalize on employee needs by learning behaviors and anticipating actions that need to occur and thus taking the burden out of everyday tasks. In this respect, SocialChorus CMO Alison Murdock suggest enterprises develop or use technology which, rather than making people search for their Paid Time Off balance every month, makes the information appear when (and where) employees are most likely to look based on their past engagement behavior.
But besides creating simplified workflows like the one above, when it comes to change management, technology should be used to ensure that the workforce is informed at the same time, in real-time and with information that is relevant to them, Murdock added. “It isn’t just the responsibility of the communications/HR team or the CEO to keep employees informed. In fact, managers and line-of-business leaders are also responsible for communicating news, information and changes that impact their teams,” she said.
Known as “cascade communications,” historically companies have relied on messages reaching teams by way of their managers only, which is not only slow but also as effective as a game of telephone. This is where technology can help. By having a system of record for workforce communications, personalizing and targeting information to specific groups, any leader across the organization can have a part in getting everyone on the same page.
Technology also plays a critical role in measuring the success of any change management initiative. Do the people affected by the change understand the impact? What are their questions? Do they understand next steps, and are they committed to taking the action needed? All of this can be measured with the right technology in place so organizations don’t have to guess. They know.