What if I told you to go run around the block three times. Your immediate response would likely be to ask why. My response could be (a) because I said so/it's not an option, go do it or (b) running helps clear your mind, increase your heart rate, improve oxygen and blood flow to live a long, healthy life, improves your overall happiness, give you energy, etc,.* Which response is more likely to get you to put your running shoes on?
In my last blog Leveraging the ABCs of Change to facilitate end-user adoption I talked about tailoring your message to help build user trust and drive change. When users can see the intrinsic value of something, when they can visualize the positive outcome and benefit, when they feel that you are genuinely interested in their well-being, they are much more likely to take the action you want them to. This is the known as the ‘What's In It For Me’ (WIIFM) mentality.
Henry David Thoreau said "things don’t change, we change." We change the way we look at things, we change our mindset, we change our attitude and we change our actions. Until someone makes up their mind to change and take action, you will not see results. Pushing users into change (response a) doesn’t work. Pulling users (response b) into your way of thinking gets results.
So how can you get people to see the value in a technology like Skype for Business so that they want to change their current way of working and use this new technology? Remember that change drives adoption which, in turn, results in ROI.
The first thing to acknowledge is that change is not a "one size fits all" model. This means that you cannot have one single value statement that works for everyone. By focusing on the individual and understanding what motivates and drives them, you can really connect with them and get them to take action.
If you're like many organizations I work with, you are likely wondering how you target every individual when you have 10,000 employees; it's simply impossible and overwhelming. You're right!
My recommendation is this. Group your users into roles and personas, 5-10 groups is sufficient, and identify common characteristics across them.
- Road Warrior - someone who travels frequently, spends a lot of time in airports, hotels or on the road. They need a mobile way to stay connected with their colleagues and customers, with easily transportable devices like a wireless Bluetooth headset on their mobile phone.
In my RPM method (Role Persona Mapping), I help identify top groups in relation to Skype for Business and apply scenarios, messaging, devices, training and support tactics to help accelerate change. When you can tie business use cases to a user and make the solution relevant to their needs, you can facilitate change and adoption.
"Debbie was not only knowledgeable but open to odd questions and took notes about what to include for next time. I’ve attended many SfB trainings and they are usually pretty canned and don’t really customize their sessions for the audience. She really did and that’s key to adoption." Feedback from an end-user - July 2016
Next, be patient. Change takes time. I am a born and raised New Yorker; patience is not something that comes easy to me. I do understand, however, that every person goes through a series of emotions when dealing with change in their lives, whether personal or business related. The more you can understand the emotional change curve, the more you can support your users through the change, the faster you can see results.
Let's take a closer look. Many users will ignore the first warning of change, or they may miss the memo all together - that's denial. Let's say you sent an email indicating that change is coming and you are moving all users to Skype for Business. If a user does not understand how the change applies to them, they deny it will impact them at all and ignore any call to action. Once they realize change is imminent and that it will impact them, they enter the state of resistance and may push back or offer reasons why they can't use Skype for Business. This is why it's critical to drive the WIIFM message early on. The sooner users can begin to see the value of Skype for Business for them personally, the faster they will go into the exploration phase, asking questions, testing it out, attending training. During exploration you want to ensure the user experience is a positive one, with the right awareness, training and support resources. Once the user buys in, they commit to the change and adoption begins.
The final tip in focusing on the individual to drive organizational change is around the actual act of communicating. Studies have shown that the majority of communication (results ranging from 75%-90%) is non-verbal. While email is the most convenient and familiar way to communicate, it can also be the most impersonal and disconnected. When your employees can look you in the eye, when they sense your empathy to the change they are going through, you establish rapport and trust. This trust helps them believe that you have their best interests at heart, and helps facilitate the change process. Whether needing to reach an audience of hundreds or thousands, locally or around the globe, consider an all-hands event using Skype Meeting Broadcast (ah… nothing like using the technology to showcase the technology) to communicate the launch of Skype for Business. Leverage video to bring your C-level executive closer to your users and utilize PowerPoint sides to add a visual component. When users feel like they are part of the conversation, when they feel that senior management can relate to their challenges and can walk a mile in their shoes, you can focus your energies on successfully managing change, instead of managing resistance to change.
Most companies already do some sort of all-hands or company-wide meetings throughout the year. My question to you is this: Are you doing your all-hands, all wrong? Do you have the right sponsor, are they prepared to drive that empathetic message, have you tested your network for large-scale events or do you find yourself repeating the same message over and over to reach all of your users?
Practice Lead - Adoption & Training
* Note - this statement has not been evaluated and is used for illustration purposes only