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Yes, we can change: How to handle resistance against change?

Are you planning to migrate to a new IT tool? It’s exciting, but it could also significantly change your employees’ work routine. As a result, change often leads to stress - and to resistance. As each person handles the change process differently, the times and ways in which this resistance manifests vary widely. Fortunately, there’s a tool that can be a tremendous help when implementing change: the ADKAR model.


Does the word ‘change’ conjure up mental images of protesting employees holding up signs at the entrance of your company? Well, that’s not how it really happens. If you want to handle resistance wisely when implementing changes, it’s important to understand that it’s a completely normal phenomenon in any change process. It comes in all shapes and sizes and it could happen anytime. We’ll illustrate this with the ADKAR model (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement), a 5-step plan to support change on an individual level. Our Xylos Learning Consultants use this model as a baseline to develop an individual approach for each situation.


1. Awareness

“I don’t know why I should change.”

At Xylos, change management begins with the question ‘why’. Why is a certain change necessary? By answering that question, we remedy the uncertainty that could lead to resistance. It’s completely normal for your end users, who have been working with the same IT tools or software for years, to feel uncomfortable when they need to adopt a new routine. When implementing Office 365, we immediately make it clear that this change has many advantages. For example: Office 365 introduces the New Way of Working, which greatly increases personal efficiency, optimises security when saving documents and makes it easier to collaborate with colleagues.

2. Desire

“But I don’t want to change.”

For some people, a reason is enough to accept change. Others just don’t want to accept it, even after you’ve explained the reasons to them. They don’t feel like doing something new, but why do they feel this way? Well, some people don’t think the new way of working offers them enough personal advantages, so it doesn’t tickle their fancy. Our Learning Consultants solve this problem by analysing the causes: is it fear of the unknown? Do people think their applications won’t work with Office 365? By asking the right questions, we clear up any uncertainties and look for each person’s answer to the question ‘What’s in it for me?’.


3. Knowledge

“I don’t have the necessary knowledge to change.”

End users can also resist change because they lack the necessary knowledge to use a new IT tool. Office 365 is packed with features, which may make learning how to use it seem like a daunting task. That’s why we offer our customers’ end users helpful trainings. From class courses to online trainings and webinars: we offer support tailored to your needs.

4. Ability

“I just can’t change.”

Trainings help end users get acquainted with Office 365. They acquire skills, learn how to use the tool and discover its possibilities. But are they ready to apply those skills to their everyday tasks? Knowledge alone isn’t enough to make change happen. It’s each employee’s ability to implement their new insights in their work routine that makes the difference. That’s why we at Xylos always use a hands-on approach. For example, our Digital Coaches visit our customers to answer their employees’ questions on site.

5. Reinforcement

“I’ll need constant support if I am to really embrace this change.”

Change doesn’t happen in an instant. Our Learning Consultants understand this. People learn by doing. This means that users often end up in situations where they don’t know how to proceed; after all, it takes more than a few trainings to really master a new tool. It takes time and coaching. That’s why Xylos offers permanent training and remediation: we send out useful tips & tricks through practical mailings or the company’s intranet. Our customers can also use our online video platform OASE, which is available 24/7. Are your colleagues at a loss as to how they should use a specific tool or function? They can just browse the platform and watch one of the over 1,000 ‘how-to’ videos about Office 365 to find the answers they need.


Wondering how we would implement change management in your company? Have a look at our series: ‘How up to date are you?’ and visit our website.

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