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Rapidly changing technology is something most IT staffers expect and even embrace, but when it comes to the business they may be less prepared.
Your IT staff are no doubt used to dealing with rapid technological changes, however, they may be less prepared for larger and often unexpected business developments, such as mergers, acquisitions and company reorganizations.
Even when the news is positive, some employees may still show signs of resistance. That's because everyone reacts differently to change. Many people become accustomed to the status quo and don't want to alter the way things are done -- regardless of the potential benefits. Some may have a fear of the unknown. Still others may be concerned about the ramifications on their jobs.
So, to get everyone on board with change, you need to have a clear strategy.
What follows are some techniques that can help:
Share as much information as you can with your employees and solicit their input on key decisions. For instance, if your firm is planning to expand into another country, ask your IT staff for their ideas on how to manage the increased demands.
Do they feel much of the necessary service to that country can be handled remotely? Are they aware of unique technological issues that may arise? What are their initial concerns about this business move, if any?
By encouraging involvement and open communication, you will help them feel a part of the change and increase their support of the initiative.
Just be sure that you wait until the proposed business development is a certainty before informing staff. If there is a chance it may not materialize, you don't want to cause undue concern. Employees will take future news far less seriously if they believe the change may not actually happen.
Take the lead
Your team will be looking to you for guidance, so it's up to you to set the right example. If you complain about recent developments, managers and staff are likely to take a cue from you and adopt a negative mindset.
While you should acknowledge potential hurdles, reassure employees by sharing your plans for overcoming these challenges. And be realistic. If you tell already overworked staff the spike in IT demands after another firm is acquired "won't be that bad," you may appear insensitive to valid concerns and employee resistance may grow.