Resistance to change is common in any implementation of new technology and it may come in many forms. From a subtle drop in productivity to open hostility, any form of resistance can have a negative effect on progress. It is critical to expect and plan for resistance early, and to ensure that communication channels are open from the beginning. Understanding where resistance might stem from will help provide potential solutions for avoiding it in the first place, or resolving it when it happens.
Resistance may occur because there is:
- No clear reason for the change: People will question the need to change what has ‘always been done this way’
- No urgency to change: No clear timescale for change will likely increase complacency and limit the willingness to adapt
- Fear of the unknown: RPA may be an unknown for many people in the organization. A lack of understanding can lead to fear and resistance may be preferable to embracing the unknown.
- Lack of competence: Individuals and managers may fear a lack of skills to perform complex work that may follow as a result of automating easier and repetitive tasks
- Lack of trust: If change is not delivered effectively, there is a lack of communication or there is a lack of trust in the reasons for automation
- Lack of consultation: Without consultation, resistance to change is likely. This is particularly true when the changes impact daily work
- Poor communication: When there is insufficient communication on a change, resistance is likely.
- Perceived loss of status: Many see automation as challenging their status within an organization. For example, being the custodian of a process may bring a certain level of power or control. Automating such a process may remove that feeling of power
- A changes to routine: If individual routines change as a result of automation this discomfort may generate resistance
- No clear benefits or reward: When benefits and rewards are not seen, or the benefits are not worth the effort of automating, resistance may follow.
Explore some of the methods that can help overcome such resistance in our Business Integration section.
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