Live blog HR Tech Paris - Inspiring employees to adopt and engage: insights from Google

Written by: Endouble Endouble

Kim Wylie, Change & Transformation Lead, Google CloudmeImE3mf

Technology is driving change and causing disruption within all industries. This can sometimes cause challenges for employees as they struggle to keep up and adjust to new ways of working. On HR Tech in Paris Kim Wylie shares top tips on how to help employees adapt and embrace change. With the right approach, organisations can better leverage technology to enable efficiency, productivity and innovation.

How to help employees to adopt technology

Employees need to adopt new ways of working to be successful in digital transformation. Companies can help employees by stimulating:

  • efficiency;
  • innovation;
  • collaboration;
  • attracting and retaining talent.

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Some employees might find it challenging to deal with changes. Kim warns that critics are passionate, so look for them and spend some time with them to figure out the real reason behind their resistance to change.  Normally the reason behind resistance is that we are fearful to let go something from the past.

How to help people to be inspired and engaged

Connect with them on three levels: head, heart and feet. Also know as rational, emotional and behavioral. 

Level 1: Rational engagement (head)

  • Executive sponsorship
    Before we change our behavior we need to know why. What is the rationale behind it? Employers need to be leading
  • Articulate and live organisational culture 
    Be very clear on mission and purpose of change. We all want to do something which has purpose and meaning
  • Over communicate 
    There is no such thing as over communication. We need to do something different and we need to do al lot of it. For example: theme your communications, brand it in an engaging way
  • Respect the past 
    Especially when we talk about technology, so many people have spent their careers on old technologies. The new reality could hurt their personal brand. It's important to respect the past and think carefully on how you formulate your message for change

Level 2: Emotional engagement (heart)

People need to be inspired, we all need emotional support. So, ensure that people have the support they need during the change.

  • Involve people 
    Let people participate! A project is much more likely to be a success if people feel involved. Redesign how they work
  • Champions network
    Bring in the idea of having a champions network alive. Get your power users involved. For example: make a special event of a go-live day
  • Experiment, launch and iterate 
    You cannot innovate without failing and experimentation. Thomas Edison made 10.000 attempts before he invented the lightbulb. Don’t expect your experiments will be successful all times, but learn from all experiments and move on
  • Have fun :)


Level 3: Behavioral engagement (feet)

  • Give people the skills and benefits to be successful
    What's in it for me? Explain them why change is needed
  • Share success stories
    Stories of successful employees shared by themselves are much more powerful than sharing top down successes, so let employees do it
  • Develop learning culture
    Create a culture where learning is just a part of what you do. Constant change is the new reality. We have to help our employees deal with this. Google has a training team - the trainers are employees, and they look for people in the business. They call this the g2g program
  • Reward and recognise
    Embrace your top performers and make sure everyone knows about the ones you reward


Kim’s closing remark:

“Success will probably look different to how you imagine to look at it, but that's ok.”