Change is closely tied to an emotional response. But too often, the employees’ emotional response isn’t considered when planning for a change. Leadership often underestimates the power of comfort.

We can be very rooted in our ways. As a result, it can be challenging when we experience major shifts without proper timing and sufficient information. When sudden change leaves us feeling shocked and frustrated, it can be difficult to make the leap to accepting and adopting the change. Instead, confusion, resistance, anxiety, and frustration can kick in.

And it’s not just the employees – Leaders of change often go through this process as well. But this process typically occurs before the news reaches the wider organization. By the time leadership news shares the news with the wider audience who will be most affected, they’ve had time to think and plan for the change and are excited about the new challenge and ROI potential. As a result, it can be easy for leadership to forget that their workforce has yet to undergo the journey to acceptance and ultimately, excitement, that they’ve already experienced.

This can result in little attention being put on change management efforts, which means those unpleasant feelings – confusion, resistance, anxiety, and frustration – are allowed to grow, dragging down employee morale, obliterating your adoption rates, and limiting your ROI potential.

But you can prevent this fate: As a leader of change, it’s important to be on the lookout for common undesired outcomes beginning to unfold from the beginning of your digital transformation. This way, you can intervene in time to fill the gaps within your change management approach. This will also help you to see digital transformation success and faster ROI. Read on to get 5 warning signs of undesired outcomes to look for and how you can respond:

Reach a Faster ROI With These 5 Change Management Warning Signs

1. Confusion

If you team responds with confusion, they may need to hear the “Why” behind the transformation. Have you clearly articulated your vision for the change? If you have already communicated this information, consider reiterating it from a different approach. The goal is to get your whole team to rally behind the driving motivation for change. Help them understand exactly what it will mean for them, their department, the organization, and the customer. Paint a vivid picture in their minds of what the future state will look like.

2. Resistance

Beyond articulating the “Why” and leaving it at that, you also need to help your team develop a WIFM statement. WIFM stands for “What’s in it for me?” If an employee is unable to identify how a change is going to impact them individually, you will experience resistance to the change.

In the world of digital transformation, it is common to see employees resist automation efforts due to misconceptions that automation will steal their jobs. When you clearly articulate your automation vision to employees, they will quickly realize that automation will improve their daily work life by eliminating manual work and helping them provide MORE value.

Check out this quick video for more on why Intelligent Automation won’t steal your job

3. Anxiety

If you are seeing a lot of anxiety surrounding a change, that may signify that your team is not confident that they have been provided with the appropriate skills to make the change sustainable. Look at the training and development around the change to ensure you are supporting your team with the right resources.

When it comes to technology implementations, the training is a common gap. Put together a plan to support upskilling and allow your team to get a basic understanding of the tools you will be using.

Check out this episode of interview insights featuring Sam Best and Vandana Khanna on supporting Upskilling within your organizations.

4. Frustration

Do you have an unrealistic timeline? What about your budget? Are there enough people dedicated to making the change succeed?

If your team feels that they do not have the adequate resources to make a change successful, you will quickly begin to see signs of frustration.

Check out this quick 10 second video to see the 5 things that every digital transformation must have to be successful.

5. False Start

Change is not a one-and-done process. Instead, you need continuous improvement to sustain a change’s positive momentum. Do you have a long-term strategy in place to help support the outcome of a long-standing change?

An Everest Group study suggests that 73% of digital transformations fail to provide their business value. Don’t get off to a false start.

Here are some of the top reasons for this failure rate:

  • Organizational Culture
  • Lack of Vision
  • Under Communicating the Vision

Reach ROI Quicker with Change Management: Change Management ROI

Reach Change Integration Faster

But how does organizational change management support a quicker ROI on your company initiatives? An effective plan will help your employees embrace change faster. And if you can get ahead of the obstacles above, you will spend less time combatting your team’s emotions and more time supporting your efforts to get you to the finish line.

You will be well served by:

  1. Clearly communicating the “Why” behind a change and helping your team identify their own “What’s in it for me?” Statement.
  2. Taking the time to put together a user adoption plan that supports upskilling and allows your team to feel confident they have the appropriate skills to help the change succeed.
  3. Ensuring that you are bringing forward enough resources for the project and that you have a realistic timeline and budget.
  4. Use continuous improvement practices to ensure that your change is sustainable and you don’t get off to a false start

If you can appropriately manage the change on your team, you will quickly see your efforts pay off with faster ROI.

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About Kara

As a Naviant Content Writer since 2019, Kara is passionate about helping organizations unleash the power of technology to solve their business challenges. In her weekly articles, Kara breaks down the latest research, trends, and tips in the digital transformation world, specializing in intelligent automation, the cloud, AP & HR automation, artificial intelligence, change management, and more. She is also a Copywriter for the American Marketing Association-Madison, where she contributes bimonthly articles that interview industry experts and highlight the latest marketing trends. When she’s not writing, Kara is working on her latest art project, scoping out new music, or out for a run.