I am an IT Manager for a relatively small company. At our corporate office, we are switching from Outlook/Exchange to a cloud email platform.
Most of the employees grumbled (they are all used to Outlook), but most knew it was a change they'd just have to grin and bear. They are attending the training and are figuring it out.
A little background on the way I'm tackling this transition:
- Outlook will remain available to everyone until the cutoff date. This way everyone can use both platforms at their own discretion to become familiar with the new system on their own time.
- Group training sessions on the different sections of the software are taking places every couple weeks. They are hands on and Q/A take place.
- Online information is posted so users can train themselves on their own time.
However, one employee (an older lady, if it's relevant), seems basically disgusted with the change. During the transition process she has done the following:
- Pointed out even the most minute differences between the new and old software, even those that are changes for the better.
- During training, using Q/A time to point out as many flaws as time allows, and essentially ranting about how the change is unwanted.
- More recently, stating that the reason she is refusing to use the new platform is because "only those under 50 can understand it". Likewise, she claims the new platform was simply chosen because I'm young and software like this comes "second nature" to "kids like me".
- Attempting to rally support from others in the office, not in the form of constructive criticism, but in the form of dissent and general rudeness (it seems to be becoming rudeness directed at me).
It's starting to frustrate me. I totally understand how change can be hard, especially when you have a busy schedule and learning something new is time consuming and seems unnecessary when you already know the old way of doing it.
However, this change is necessary, it's decided, and as far as I'm concerned, I've planned the change so it occurs slowly, smoothly and with plenty of time to learn the ropes without getting overwhelmed.
So here's my question:
What steps can I take to better do the following:
- Help the user understand why the change is being made
- Train the user so they understand the changes
- Prevent the disagreement from becoming personal (it seems it's headed that way)