Manufacturers of all disciplines appear to be uniquely poised to take advantage of present and future digital technology, as data collection techniques and metrics adapt to new and efficient technologies at an increasingly complex level. Many manufacturers, however, are also unprepared for now-overdue digital overhauls, and may have trouble finding ways to successfully implement new digital systems in the workplace. These six change management strategies should help to smooth out an upcoming digital transition in your manufacturing factory.
Change must begin at the top of the chain of command, as executives and managers adopt and adapt to new technologies alongside or even before those lower in the business hierarchy. Much like soldiers looking to a general on the battlefield for inspiration, so too do many hard workers look to their superiors for guidance and inspiration in the workplace. If the top levels of the company are not involved in the digital change, it may be difficult for other employees to be successful.
Perhaps the most direct way for upper level management to be involved in a change process is through direct communication with lower level employees. Leave voice and written messages for your employees, be there to guide them, and overall make your experience and vision for the change more accessible for all. Let employees know that they can communicate with you, and try to lift the iron curtain of formality as best you can.
From the top down, every part of the company should be involved in a change process. Communicate your ideas directly to lower levels, and ensure that every level of management and employment is participating. Make plans for each level, and perhaps assign objectives.
Proactive and reactive management is crucial in removing resistance and optimizing the company to a change. Proactive resistance management looks for sources and types of resistance to change in the company, and reactive management reacts to those resistances and implements solutions to them. Use both extensively to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.
Ensure throughout the change process that proper funding and resources are being dedicated to digital implementation. Be this spending on technology, new infrastructure, employee incentives, or any other expenses, understand that there are costs associated with a significant change and dedicate resources accordingly to ensure flexibility.
Getting feedback and proper measurements on the change is an important part of measuring the end result, and one of the core aspects of change management involves gathering metrics and employee feedback on new systems and technology. Make sure that systems are in place for feedback and data collection after changes have taken place, at all levels of the company.
Merkur is a consulting and project management engineering firm for industrial companies of all sizes and disciplines. With premium technology, ideas, and staff, Merkur brings to the table expertise unmatched among companies of its kind.
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