More and more companies are recognising the benefits of cloud-based collaboration and implementing a SaaS solution like Google Workspace. Access to your files from anywhere and collaborative work in a single document provides greater flexibility and productivity in daily work.
However, the transition to new tools always involves changes, and this can initially be met with resistance from many employees. Therefore, in addition to the technical transition, leaders should also focus on the value of change management for the Google Workspace transformation. Initial concerns must be taken seriously and addressed. How should you go about it?
The following guide is designed to make the transition easier at all stages of the migration process, from decision-making and preparation to deployment and maintenance:
Find out which collaboration tools are best for your business
Inventory of own work culture and workflows
Start by evaluating and analysing your company's existing work culture. Understand how your employees communicate and identify areas where workflow processes can be enhanced. This can be achieved through methods such as interviews, anonymous surveys, or simple observations. This will help you gauge the value of making the transition and pinpoint areas with the greatest potential for improvement.
Define technological requirements
Create a comprehensive overview of the specific needs you have for the new tools, taking into account any forthcoming changes in your company, such as expansion plans.
Managers must support change
When introducing a new technology company-wide, it's crucial for the leadership team to fully endorse the change, especially if it arises from a merger or acquisition. Employees typically closely monitor how their managers discuss the change and adjust their behaviour accordingly. In this context, leaders should not only address the business rationale but also consistently emphasise the opportunities.
Prepare your company for migration
Addressing Employee Concerns
During the transitional phase, uncertainty often prevails, leading to apprehensions among employees that could jeopardise the successful project implementation. For instance, experts in the old tools may fear becoming redundant after the transition. Address these concerns by communicating transparently about what happens after the change and referring to the planned Google Workspace training sessions if necessary.
Ensure support for enthusiastic employees
Identify employees in the preparation phase who are looking forward to the introduction of the new Google Workspace tools. Give them the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in advance and don't forget to show appreciation for their special commitment. These "Google Guides" can later assist and encourage colleagues, reducing the burden on the IT department and contributing to overall higher acceptance.
Determine the required time
Analyse how much time needs to be allocated from the decision-making to the deployment of Google Workspace. This depends on both the company's size and individual requirements. Employees should neither feel rushed nor have to work with two parallel systems for an extended period.
The Technical Transition
An approach that has been successful for many companies, involves breaking down the technical transition process into three phases: "Core IT," "Early Adopters," and "Global Go Live." Therefore, plan necessary actions and activities for each phase.
- Core IT Phase: During this phase, the IT team receives email accounts in Google Workspace, but data migration has not yet commenced. This allows the IT team to establish guidelines, for instance. Additionally, select 5-10% of your employees to be the initial users of Google Tools (Early Adopters), who can later assist the broader workforce.
- Early Adopter Phase: In this phase, you start migrating the data from your old systems. Further, you set the Global Go Live date and plan training and support offerings.
- Global Go Live phase: During this phase, the IT team should provide open office hours or similar support, and the Early Adopters take on the role of the described Google Guides.
Deploy the new tools
Regardless of how long the actual transition took, it's essential to understand that the implementation of Google Workspace doesn't mark the end of the introduction. Sustained support is of paramount importance. Recognise achievements and remind your employees of the reasons behind this change.
No one claims that transitioning to new technology is a walk in the park and always goes off without a hitch. However, when leaders prepare for the process through careful considerations, they can help minimise disruptions to employees and encourage long-term engagement and productivity. This way, your company can truly reap the benefits of Google Workspace.
As an experienced Google Premier Partner and MSP, we repeatedly and successfully support companies of all sizes and industries in implementing Google Workspace. Reach out and benefit from our experience.