Finding ways to impact employee habits, team dynamics, and company culture is nothing new for seasoned IT professionals. Many people outside the IT profession are surprised to learn that we’ve long been tasked with changing company culture to facilitate software conversions and other internal projects.
However, the shifts associated with digital transformation initiatives present a particularly tough challenge considering how deeply embedded these processes are into employees’ everyday workflows. In addition to influencing business strategy, the quest for digital transformation success is pushing IT as a department to become a more visible and vocal entity across the company as a whole.
Many of the customers we work with at Nitro, from the smallest startups to the biggest Fortune 500 companies, see the greatest success with software migrations, change management, and overall digital transformation when the IT team and its leadership are more involved. We work with these customers to smooth the path toward more difficult culture shifts by helping them create a regular cadence of communication with employees. This establishes trust—and even excitement!—around IT projects.
You may ask: How CAN you get people excited about IT projects? We’ve found that the best way is to show employees how successful projects impact them on a personal level. Here are some examples from right here at Nitro:
- Since we’ve started using Agile methodologies to manage our productivity, our workload has become more flexible and predictable. We can now move faster and are able to set realistic expectations, delivering on time and within budget. This helps us build relationships with the employees, because they know their needs are going to be met, and with the Executive team, because they know that we can deliver what we promise.
- We’ve created a Business Intelligence unit for Enterprise Data here at Nitro. This unit is enabling Nitro IT to engage in the real aim of every company—finding and keeping customers. Through effective use of data, that unit recently helped secure our largest-ever deal.
- By adopting a “cloud first” strategy, we’ve been able to help our employees be productive from wherever they are working. With collaboration available anytime, anywhere, our IT staff is less concerned with maintaining equipment and more focused on helping people meet business goals.
These are just a few examples of how Nitro’s IT initiatives are directly benefiting employees. But in order to appreciate these projects, the employees need to hear about them! Here are some ideas for how you can spread the word about successful projects at your company:
- Promote them in company newsletters and blog posts. IT staff is often used to working behind the scenes. Having them write and present to the company is not only good communication, it’s good staff development.
- Hold regular one-on-ones with every department head. These will serve to spread the word about what your team is working on, as well as gain valuable input on the challenges business leaders are facing.
- Present at all-hands meetings.
- Enlist managers and functional heads to talk about the projects with team members. Get other team leads to be your champions.
As companies everywhere become more and more dependent on technology for their productivity, IT is moving out of the back office and into the front lines of the company, where they are increasingly connected to revenue generation. In fact, IT leaders are now an important bridge between those two areas.
By sharing IT strategy, IT leaders help employees feel that they are invested in the success of IT initiatives. Then, when the Big Hairy Digital Transformation projects come along, employees are more receptive to the necessary culture shifts.
Bottom line: Change management must be a fluid process. It’s not “one size fits all,” and thus it needs to be handled in a way that fits the needs of the people most affected. By communicating the impact of your projects to everyone, you set yourself up to be the leader your company and its employees need to emerge successfully from the digital transformation process.
How have you communicated IT successes at your company? Share in the comments below.