What to do if employees have problems with changes?

With the ever-increasing need for more productivity, many call centers are constantly changing: processes, structures, and especially technology. This often increases the employees’ fears and sometimes anger. Some are wondering if they can cope with the newly introduced technology. Some fear that organizational changes could make them redundant. Some may be upset with new processes and technical changes that “slow them down” and “make them too complicated” – without seeing the big picture.

This can reduce the overall acceptance, e.g. cost a new CRM system or seriously block structural changes. Sometimes people refuse to work with the new system and just keep using the old system as it may still be available. Or they complain to the works council. All this costs at least a thousand, sometimes millions of pounds.

This is not about change itself, but about human behavior. Technology providers and project teams often underestimate the complexity of behavioral change. It is assumed that the employees simply adapt to them after the changes have been introduced. If there are problems, the staff will approach them and openly discuss with suppliers and project staff. Not right.

It is the nature of man to protect himself. Everyone, especially nowadays, wants to make sure they keep their jobs. Therefore nobody wants to appear incompetent and everyone wants to be seen as a team player, without criticizing too much.

Reporting problems with the changes made to the supervisor increase the problem because it may indicate that the employee can not or does not want to accept the change.

For many project managers and executives this is a surprise. Worse, in most cases, they learn very late in the project that the planned changes are being blocked. Many project steps often have to be repeated.

All this can be avoided through targeted coaching. The coach addresses fears and anger among employees, provides opportunities to manage change, and works with the employee to select and put into practice an option.

Crucial here is that the coach must be competent both in organizational changes (including processes, structures, and job descriptions) as well as behavioral changes.

It is certainly helpful if the coach can prove that he or she has worked in a similar position as the employee. If the coach is external, the fear of employees opening up for a manager can be reduced to almost zero. It is helpful if the coach is allowed to keep employees’ concerns confidential and provide supervisors with feedback from the entire team rather than individual opinions. For individual questions, an experienced coach knows how to steer the supervisor in the right direction, without disclosing the things entrusted to him.

In this way, an experienced trainer with diplomatic skills can solve acceptance problems quite efficiently and quickly and save the organization a lot of time and money.

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