Managers Have To Learn How To Deal With People Who Don’t Like Change

Managers need to understand that some workers can't deal with change
Managers need to understand that some workers can’t deal with change
Image Credit: Ben Chun

So just exactly how much change is there in your life right now? If you are like most of us you’d probably say that there is a lot of change going on. What this means is that there is probably a lot of change going on for your team also. What managers need to understand is that we all tend to deal with change differently. The members of your team will be a great example of this. Some will take to new things like a duck takes to water – they’ll dive in and learn all about it. However, others will push back and won’t want to change. When this happens, you are going to have to use your manager skills and get them to accept the change.

Dealing With People Who Don’t Like Change

Managers know that every team that they manage will have at least one person who is resistant to change. They’ll say something like “I’m just not good with technology” and then they will use this excuse to avoid spending any time learning the new technology that has come to the office. Any time there is a change in technology in the office there will always be tension between the team members who complain about it and the team members who embrace it with open arms. What managers need to realize is that just one resistor can end up hobbling your entire team. Managers who want to convince their laggards to accept technology changes have to take the time to use their manager training and understand the psychological challenges that these people are facing. It will be your job to help them see the benefits of the new technology and you’ll have to provide them with enough time to become comfortable with it.

When managers introduce new technology to their team, they may be surprised at what they see. Some of your team members may fight the decision to use the new technology in the first place. Once it arrives, they won’t watch any of the training videos that came with it. They may work against you and secretly continue to use the old technology to perform their work. If there are any problems with the new technology, these are the people who will instantly say that you should get rid of it. The reason that these people will be pushing back so hard is because they are afraid of change. They are afraid of making a mistake when they use the new technology. These are the people who know how to perform their job using the old technology even if it is old and slow – it’s comfortable. Comfort equals security to these people.

Managers will find that some of the people on their team will seek to blame the new technology for creating grunt work for them to take care of. Managers need to communicate to these people that team members who complain too much are running the risk of getting fired. Let’s all face it: change happens and so all members of a team have to adapt to new technology – this is a part of everyone’s job. The reason that many people don’t accept new technology is because struggling with new technology can make them become afraid of starting to look incompetent in front of their peers or causing them to lose status in their workplace. All of these things can pose a threat to a worker’s sense of identity.

Getting Everyone To Go Along With A Change

Managers need to understand that some people may be too embarrassed to admit to others that they just don’t fully understand how to go about using new technology when it is thrust upon them. Their solution to this problem is to just not use the new technology at all. Note that some people who don’t do well with new technology may attempt to come up with workarounds so that they don’t have to use the new technology. It turns out that how old someone is will not be a big driver of somebody’s resistance to technology. In a recent survey, 76% of the people who were in their 50’s said that it was important to work for an employer who is a technology leader. The study showed that workers who were in their 20’s felt the same way. It turns out that older employees are the ones who outperform the younger employees when it comes to seeing strategic ways to employ new technology.

Managers may find themselves dealing with two different types of problems when it comes to new technology. On the one hand, getting experienced workers to learn something new can be difficult. At the same time, some team members may be too eager to use the new technology to disrupt the status quo. Different team members will learn in different ways and they will need to be introduced to new technology in ways that they will be able to grasp. What managers need to do when they encounter a team member who is having difficulty with a new technology is to express empathy for them. The manager should then ask if they can provide them with assistance.

Managers may need to be careful if the person who is having difficulty adjusting to the new technology is their boss. When the adoption challenges are coming from your boss, sometimes the best way to deal with this is to treat them like they were clients. This means that you take the time to pay attention to what their habits are and what their comfort level is. A good way to encourage a boss to adopt a new technology is to take the tact of making helping the business your key focal point. Show them the results that can be achieved by using the new technology.

What All Of This Means For You

In order to be successful, managers have to be able to deal with change. What this also means is that their teams have to be able to deal with change. It turns out that everyone is different and not everyone on your team will be able to deal with changes in technology when they happen. When this happens, it’s going to be up to you as the manager to find a way to help them move forward.

Every team is going to have at least one person who does not deal with change well. What managers need to understand is that person can end up slowing their entire team down. When new technology is introduced, some people on the team may fight back against it. What is going on is that they are scared of looking bad to the rest of the team because they don’t know how to use the new technology. New technology is a way of life and everyone on your team is going to have to either adjust to it or they may end up having to leave. New technology may pose a threat to how someone is seen by everyone else on the team. Some people may be embarrassed because they don’t know how to use new technology. Managers need to show empathy for people who are struggling with new technology and they need to be willing to work with them as a form of team building. If the person who is struggling is your boss, you need to treat them like a client and make sure that they understand why the new technology is good for the company.

Let’s face it, change is a part of everyone’s life. New technologies will always be entering our lives. We need to learn how to deal with them and as managers it is our responsibility to find ways to help the members of our team find ways to deal with new technology also. The good news is that this can be done. We just need to be willing to take the time to find the people who are struggling and then work with them. If you can get everyone on your team to use a new technology then your team will be better positioned to make you look good!

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How long do you think a manager should give team member to get used to a new technology?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As a manager, what is your legacy going to be? Do you want to be remembered as being a good manager or as a bad manager? The best managers are remembered for what they did for their team, the bad ones are remembered for what they did to their team. Using your manager skills to be remembered as a good manager is a tricky thing to do. It’s tricky because, as a manager, it’s easy to focus solely on tending to the business and your career, forgetting that tending to your team first will take care of both. Here are the five most powerful things you can do for your team today in order to do right by your team.