Many B2B companies are considering investing in a digital commerce platform. Several have already taken their first steps, and some have come a long way in their digitization. However, many feel that it is difficult to get the entire business onboard on the digitization journey. The solution is change management.
Regardless of whether you are in the starting blocks or have already come a long way in your digital journey, it is important that all employees are involved in the digitization. Here, communication is a crucial tool to successfully reach different parties and get needed information out to the entire organisation.
Two-way communication is the foundation of change management
Many gather for one or two meetings where the management tells the employees about the digitalisation journey. Unfortunately, this type of one-sided communication is not sufficient. Often, both workshops and several Q&A sessions are needed. This gives the employees a better understanding of how the project will proceed, what it aims for, and above all, what it will mean for their roles and tasks.
Many workplaces have a mix of older and younger employees who have worked at the company for different lengths of time. Digitization often means that old working methods and routines change, which can lead to uncertainty and create confusion about how this will affect their work. It is therefore important that all employees, regardless of how long they have been at the company, understand how the new tools and working methods can help them do their work more efficiently or simpler.
Change means new roles – and opportunities
With a digital commerce platform, it is not uncommon for sellers to question whether they are really needed. They absolutely are, but their role will rather consist of helping customers find the right solutions – not punching out order forms.
In the same way, the finance department can discover new opportunities. Instead of checking numbers in Excel, they can spend more time on analysis and forecasting. Much of the work in change management is therefore about listening to employees and their concerns. Then you can work together to find new ways forward.
Both understanding and willingness must exist
Colleagues in the organisation must both understand and want to be on board in order for the entire business to move in the right direction. Otherwise, there is a great risk that they will act in a way that hinders the project’s success.
An enthusiastic employee who does not understand what needs to be done or how it needs to be done, risks doing the wrong things and creating friction. A person who does not want to be part of the change risks actively hindering or creating discord among the employees. Both of these challenges can often be handled with good communication.
As a change leader, you need to ensure that the employees can use the new tools in a way that is relevant to the organisation. But also that they should want to use the new solution to become more efficient and achieve more profitable results than today.
Do you want to know more about how to succeed with your digitization project? Then we recommend that you download our guide Maximize your digital B2B business, which offers several useful tips.