Automation & Technology
Automation Insider: 3 steps to drive adoption
Communications are key to the success of any new initiative, and this is especially true when it comes to the rollout of mortgage workflow automation. There are many unknowns and assumptions with such a large undertaking, and good communication can have a huge positive effect. Our latest eBook series, "Creating a Culture of Automation in Your Organization," details how to embrace and create a clear automation strategy. In this blog, we’ll identify the key elements of impactful communication, which drive automated workflow adoption (before, during and after launch) and create a culture of automation.
The essentials of continuous communications
A well-planned communication strategy will help drive adoption right out of the gate. Key messages need to be amplified during rollout, and continually reinforced throughout the process. Here are three key steps to consider:
1. Re-emphasize the vision
Keep communications coming from a combination of sources and roles throughout the organization, each of whom should reinforce the “why” behind the change. “It’s important for your associates—whether they’re new to the industry or seasoned veterans—to understand that the way they have been taught to work and do their jobs is evolving,” said Keri Rogers, Sr. Vice President, Strategic Planning, Lennar Mortgage. “They have to see the vision of what the future will be.”
2. Celebrate the victories
Sharing the wins—and even small achievements—can keep employees motivated, engaged, and moving forward. Just as you used data to justify the automation initiative itself, use data in your ongoing communications. Share how much time specific groups are saving, productivity boosts, or any other positive metric that is a direct result of mortgage workflow automation. Include employee comments or video clips to make it personal.
“Get testimonials and share successes until people start to recognize that, yes, this is really working for me,” said John Ashley, CIO, PRMG. “Sometimes people are so focused on the fact that they’re dealing with change that you have to transfer that focus to the actual benefits they’re seeing because of that change. The best way to do that is for their peers to tell their stories.”
3. Engage resisters in a positive way
Even with the best planning and advanced communications, you will still have some resisters. In those situations, it is wise to incorporate a “resistance plan”, with targeted communications for those who may be reluctant to get on board. We recommend basing these communications on the Prosci ADKAR® (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement) method, which is built on the understanding that organizational change can only happen when individuals change. Prosci ADKAR promotes identifying possible resisters upfront, and surrounding them in knowledge to ease uncertainty. The methodology also recommends addressing any concerns and reasons for resistance head on, in order to add clarity and boost confidence.
Post-implementation: Keep the goodness going
A strong post-implementation feedback process will help drive overall project success. The more you engage your employees, the more open they’ll be to future initiatives. Most of our experts had a mechanism in place to communicate daily or weekly updates, FAQs, and tips. “We have weekly operations calls, which typically turn into working sessions, said Margie Ambrosio, Senior Vice President, Information Systems, George Mason Mortgage. “For us, they are the ultimate feedback loop, because we dig into specific files.”
Short user surveys are a simple way to measure user attitudes, satisfaction, and comfort levels related to new processes or changes. “We want to hear from our employees and get their feedback. And we respond,” said Michele Buschman, Senior Vice President, Information Systems, American Pacific Mortgage. “It’s important that we not only survey them, but also listen to what they’re saying and make the appropriate changes.”