The mortgage (and title) industry’s pivot to a predominantly purchase market is bringing change to many. That includes staffing challenges, workflow rearrangements and, to address the increased need for client service, new technologies. These changes will probably continue for quite some time.
If you are making a change, you probably have given it a lot of thought, thoroughly researched the time and money investment, and considered the possible disruptions during transition.
Your staff is generally not part of that initial process, and you may find some employees are a bit resistant to jumping on board.
You will need to sell them on the idea; but not the old-fashioned “hard sell” type of selling. The best sales strategy for change is consultative selling. Consultative selling involves focusing on the customer, asking questions, learning about the customer’s processes and challenges, and figuring out how your product or service might solve problems for them.
Following this same logic, you can consult with your staff, focusing on their needs and concerns, and working together to determine the best path forward. Here are some strategies to achieve that goal.
Tell Your Story
Communication is the most important precursor to any change in the workplace. You will need to explain the who, what, where, when, why and how of the new technology, but HOW you communicate is just as important. Change is emotional, so you want to reach people on an emotional level, rather than taking a pragmatic cost/benefit analysis approach.
Odds are, in most cases, your staff will be relieved to have their most menial, repetitive tasks—such as returning customer calls requesting their closing dates—taken off of their plates. Just be sure that they understand that new technology is not their to replace them, but instead, empower them for more important, complex tasks.
Share with them your plan for their new roles once the new technology is in place, including the benefits to them. Think of this as a discussion you are having with a friend or family member, showing concern for their work environment and well-being.
Listen to Concerns
Ask lots of questions and listen carefully. How do they envision this impacting their daily work in the transition period? What do they see as the benefits of the change? Avoid overriding their concerns with long explanations about how “that won’t happen.” Let them know their concerns are heard and you are willing to work with them to minimize potential problems.
Don’t shy away from naming the fears in the room. Yes, there will be disruption during the transition. Yes, there will be a learning curve. Yes, we may experience some anxiety, but we are in this together and will support each other.
Let them know you value their input and would appreciate their help in carving a path forward. Create committees or teams to address specific challenges that have been identified. Make sure they feel a sense of ownership and teamwork.
Reinforce and celebrate
Reinforce the benefits throughout the process and keep your staff focused on the end goal. When everything is up and running and working efficiently, remember to thank your staff for all the hard work it took to get there. A catered lunch or happy hour event to celebrate achievements goes a long way to making your staff feel appreciated.
At Alanna.ai, we’ve helped more numerous companies across the title industry to install our technology. There’s always a learning curve for every new venture, but what we know is that improving the processes always leads to improved relationships with your customers and greater work life satisfaction for your staff.