ClickSoftware | 06.13.18
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From streamlining scheduling to increasing the productivity of your remote workforce to enhancing customer experience, a modern field service management software solution could be a game-changer for your organization.

So why are you encountering resistance from your employees?

All too often, information concerning your reasons for change trickles down and dries up before reaching front-line users, leaving them to fall in line or get out. Is it any wonder roughly 70 percent of change efforts fail despite the huge investment that companies have made in tools, training, and books?

Field service organizations that don’t support change strategy and management are leaving millions on the table. Willis Towers Watson (formerly Towers Watson) reported that companies that have good change management practices are three-and-a-half times more likely to outperform peer organizations—a figure likely to have increased as more sophisticated technology emerges.

Change is hard, but there are things you can do to increase your odds of success. Below, you’ll find the steps field service organizations can take to ensure they’ll be able to realize the full potential of adopting new field service software.

1. Put a Change Management Program in Place

As the saying goes, “Before you can run, you must walk.” One of the most important things you can do to nurture your change initiative is to initiate it almost as soon as you make the decision to implement field service management software.

Build out a multi-step plan that defines the scope of the project, resources needed, estimated costs, measurable targets, incentives, and metrics for success. That way you won’t subject your employees to sudden, unplanned changes that will be met with resistance.

2. Be the Change You Want to See

If you expect others to change, lead by example. Although the size and type of change will dictate the level of sponsorship needed, the number one contributor to success for any change initiative is active, visible participation from key stakeholders.

Early on, form a coalition of supportive leaders at all levels of the organization to provide direction, reinforce the initiative’s importance, identify resistance, and manage it. Don’t forget to engage managers and supervisors, who can be effective coaches owing to their close relationship with direct reports. In order to truly mobilize key stakeholders, provide them with the training, tools, and support they need to secure a smooth transition in their area of responsibility.

3. Over-Communicate

You’ve been plotting your migration to your shiny new field service management solution for months, but have your employees? McKinsey says failure to involve front-line employees and their managers is a main reason that some transformations fail and others succeed. Leaders often neglect to share the rationale behind their decisions, but doing so is the first step in understanding and processing change for any individual.

Reduce friction by giving your front-line employees ample time to digest upcoming changes, and take the time to frame its importance from their perspective. The earlier you engage, the more time they have to get onboard.

4. Foster a Change-Ready Organization

Many organizations provide learning opportunities when rolling out change, but few execute it well. While it’s important to ensure employees know they will receive training so that they learn the skills and knowledge needed to operate efficiently, don’t bombard them with with lengthy training workshops before they understand and agree with your vision.

Strive to foster a change-ready organization by engendering a sense of belonging in your employees. Do this by periodically providing insight into your mission, vision, values, and strategies and encouraging learning and knowledge sharing. With any change, provide clarity around new processes and behaviors.

5. Celebrate Success

Change doesn’t happen overnight. If you don’t want your employees to become discouraged before you can declare your initiative a success, establish project milestones that are attainable for quick wins. Find ways to  demonstrate how your new software will, or already has, made work life easier, and recognize the success of those involved.

6. Get Feedback and Refine

It’s normal for your change management strategy to evolve over the course of your project. Build measurement and feedback into your initial plan so you can measure the business impact of your changes and gauge opportunities to build proficiencies. Look to those directly impacted by your initiative to help you determine the effectiveness of your project and even document lessons learned.

Beat the Odds… and Your Competition

Introducing technological change into your field service organization presents itself with a unique set of challenges you must overcome if you hope to benefit from the value field service management software promises. Organizations often impose their vision on employees, omitting steps that are crucial for gaining widespread support for changes that have the potential to transform field service operations — from enhancing the customer experience to simplifying the lives of your employees. But, if you follow the steps from this post, you’ll be setting yourself up for sustainable change that will help you stand out from the competition.

For more change management best practices, head to the ClickSoftware blog.