Moving to the cloud is a huge milestone in your digital transformation journey, and with huge milestones come massive changes for your workforce. In the case of cloud migration, employees won’t just have to come to understand the need for the project and give their support, although that alone can be a big hurdle. They’ll also need to adapt to new ways of working, which will likely entail:

  • Adapting to a new IT environment.
  • Learning new skills based on their roles.
  • Adjusting to new security protocols and applying them to their daily activities.
  • Embracing a culture of collaboration since enhanced collaboration is a popular perk of the cloud.
  • Adopting a mindset shift toward agility and innovation – another draw to the cloud.

These changes aren’t small and will take some getting used to. And with every new technology implementation that ushers in job responsibility changes, there will be at least a few people wondering, “Will these changes be so drastic that I’m rendered obsolete?”

Fortunately, you can ease this process through effective change management. If you play your cards right, you can get your employees on your side and give them the skills they need to support your cloud solution for optimal results.

Here are 5 tactics you can use to promote change management for your cloud migration:

5 Ways to Promote Cloud Change Management for Your Migration

1.     Communicate How the Cloud Will Impact the Organization and the Employee

That pesky question, “Will I be rendered obsolete?” is enough to keep anyone up at night and opposed to the change at hand. That’s why it needs to be addressed as quickly as possible in your cloud change management plan. Clearly communicate why you’re migrating. Here, you might outline the benefits organizations that migrate enjoy or statistics demonstrating the urgency of this change to avoid falling behind in your industry.

Better yet, communicate how it will benefit them directly. The details will vary based on role, but generally, here are a few benefits your staff can look forward to post-cloud migration:

  • Enhanced flexibility, which means employees may have the chance to work remotely.
  • Easier upgrades and updates, which will be a relief to staff who were previously involved in the painstaking process of software upgrades and updates.
  • Better resource accessibility since employees will now have access to a wide range of resources and tools that may not have been affordable or available for on-premises deployment.
  • Career development opportunities. Yes, some of their responsibilities may change, but encourage them to look at it as an opportunity to evolve their skills to keep up with the future of work, which will only open them up to more career opportunities going forward.

2.     Find Your Cloud Champions

After you’ve explained the “why” and direct benefits of migration to your employees, a little backup can’t hurt. To keep motivation and spirits high surrounding the cloud, appoint a few employees as your cloud champions. Cloud champions are technical-savvy users who will advocate for your cloud transformation project. They do this by:

  • Promoting your messaging to their peers as the conversation comes up. Even if you crushed it with your “why” conversation with your employees, hearing these points from a peer can go a long way in squashing any remaining hesitation.
  • Answering questions peers have early on and post-training. They’ll be your eyes and ears when it comes to identifying employees who might benefit from additional training, too.
  • Since they’ll be early adopters of your cloud solution, they can let you know what’s working and what isn’t so you can do some fine-tuning before the rest of your organization dives in.

3.     Create an Ongoing Open Dialogue About the Project

With all the change that cloud migrations bring, you definitely don’t want to let “the why” conversation be the last time employees hear about your migration until the deployment is over. By then, they might be thinking, “Wait, what did that project entail again?” and the resistance might creep right back up.

That’s why your cloud change management plan must include ongoing, transparent communication at every stage of your migration. It’s a crucial determining factor of your project’s success. That means regular updates on good news, bad news, and everything in between on your journey. Communicating the good along with the bad will build your employees’ trust. To blast this information throughout your organization, you can try communication channels like:

  • A weekly or bi-weekly email update from the CEO with either a video or written summary of the digital transformation’s progress, challenges, and successes.
  • Town hall meetings where the leadership team provides updates on the digital transformation journey. For example, you could spotlight a new aspect of the project at each meeting, presented by the team who executed it, and offer a Q&A session at the end.
  • Video interviews with project team members explaining their roles and achievements can help bring your transformation’s broader mission into context for employees.
  • Internal newsletters dedicated specifically to digital transformation updates can be a fantastic option to meet the needs of employees who prefer to read vs. watch videos.
  • Digital portals, a one-stop-shop for all things digital transformation, from documentation of the initiative’s roadmap and mission statement to regular updates and videos about progress.

It also means opening up the floor for questions and feedback. Your cloud champions’ insights will also help you understand what concerns or questions to cover in your communication. But there are many other ways to encourage feedback from your staff. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Google Forms
  • Ask-Me-Anythings where your leadership answers employee-submitted questions in a newsletter column, videos sent to employees, or a webinar series
  • Polls within your communication application like Slack or Microsoft Teams
  • Interview a sample group of impacted employees
  • Dedicate an email address for employees to send feedback

4.     Identify Each Department’s Training Needs

To make your training plan as effective as possible, be sure to consider the variety of learning styles and experience levels you’re working with. Taking on a new solution like the cloud requires staff to internalize a pretty high volume of technical information, and that’s going to come easier to some than others. However, having options for training methods can help make the process smoother. Consider options like:

  • How-to videos
  • PDF guides and articles
  • Live instructional sessions
  • RPA-based in-application training
  • Peer mentoring
  • Small group collaborative learning

5.     Keep Adoption Rates in Check

Once you’ve migrated to the cloud, it’s wise to continue checking in and see whether your solution is being adopted. After all, your cloud implementation’s ROI relies greatly on whether your employees use your solution as intended. But too often in digital transformation, if training is insufficient or if an employee remains on the fence about a change, they develop workarounds, like modifying protocols or avoiding using the tool at all.

To identify issues like this, schedule routine adoption check-ins. Here, you will assess your cloud solution’s adoption rate, pinpoint adoption gaps, and investigate where and why they occur. Determining the root cause of adoption gaps will let you know how to remedy the situation. The answer will depend on the roadblocks you encounter but could include efforts like:

  • Offering a refresher course that targets topics that many employees didn’t grasp the first time and reframes them in a new light.
  • Having 1-on-1 conversations with employees that discuss their reservations about the cloud and how it can help them. If your “why” conversation didn’t get through to them earlier, this more personal connection may be more effective.
  • Setting incentivized goals that motivate employees to adopt the solution correctly.

How to Prepare for a Hyland Cloud Migration

Enjoy Cloud Success Alongside Your Entire Workforce with Cloud Change Management

As we’ve seen in the points above, achieving a happy, invested cloud-based workforce takes more than just choosing a cloud solution and implementing it. It requires a holistic, people-centered approach to change management. By understanding your employees’ concerns and needs, helping them understand why you’re migrating, and supporting them every step of the way, you can make the process far easier on them and maximize your results. And as an added bonus, if you achieve all these objectives, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a change-positive culture, which is invaluable in our ever-evolving digital landscape.

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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.