Who likes change when everything seems to be working fine. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” as most would say. While this holds true in your own reality, the truth is, change is always happening around us – as the old saying goes, “Change is the only constant in life”.
As innovators in the space of condo and HOA management, we’ve come across many management companies that face the challenge of having to get the buy-in of their managers in adopting new processes and tools that can help them optimize and improve their efficiencies. The leadership sees the high level benefits but not necessarily those on the front lines.
It’s a daunting task, especially when you have a large team of community managers. Getting all of them to embrace a new piece of software or process is challenging but when done well, it can bring about big gains in efficiencies and overall morale.
Here are 4 tips to help you overcome the resistance.
Work with the resistance.
Try to understand the reasons why managers in your organization might resist changes before you start making them. If you prepare ahead of time to meet people at their resistance points, your platform for change is stronger. Reasons to resist change include:
- Belief that the change is unnecessary or will make things worse (i.e. create more work)
- Distrust of the people leading the change effort (which could mean you or the management team)
- The change was introduced too abruptly or without consultation
- Fear that the change will not succeed
- Fear that change will mean job loss
- Exhaustion from too much change already; needing a break from disruption
Explain why the change is happening.
People appreciate a reason “why” the change must happen—even if they don’t believe or support the reason. But giving them a clear explanation about why the change is necessary becomes your platform for winning support and allies. Good reasons for changing something (i.e. better service; more efficient; less costly) will eventually make sense to most of those affected by the change. (Top tip: back up your reasons with data.)
Help managers see how they benefit personally.
Most of the natural resistance to change disappears when managers are clear about the benefits they gain as individuals from the change. Communicate the benefits clearly and stress on actual examples that can help save time for managers on their day-to-day tasks (i.e. you no longer need to print out reports for board members, as they can now access it on their own via the Evercondo community website).
Set up a feedback loop.
Establish a simple yet efficient reporting process before you begin. Keep open lines of communication throughout your management company. This will help managers feel supported and engaged (rather than neglected) during the disruptive phase of change. It also means feedback will reach the right people so any necessary tweaks to details can happen as the change progresses.
Have you been a “change agent” in your career, or survived a difficult change process? Share your stories in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
May the force be with you 🙂
Evercondo is the leading web and mobile platform that facilitates quick, useful communication between community managers, the condo association or HOA board, and residents. Contact us for a live demonstration or a free trial to see how we can keep your communities happy.