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Guest Blog: The Fear of Change

Change. Whether the word or the process, change is often considered to be a scary endeavor. When I first started in the payroll industry I used to wonder, why are people so afraid of change?

After being in the industry for nearly a decade I no longer wonder, but have come to understand this fear, as it is very real. It’s rare that I meet a prospective client who does not have a horror story to tell. The story is usually one of a handful of tales, and always starts with a salesperson, who promises the moon, and a transition of rainbows and butterflies, only leading to a broken promises that end in bitterness, regret, and frustration.

The prospective client is dazzled, with a “song & dance” presentation and the appearance of a system that is visually stimulating and aesthetically appealing. A so-called, “dream system,” that has every bell and whistle imaginable. Yet in reality, what has been shown is nothing more than a shell that lacks substance, functionality, and never remotely addresses the need of the prospective client.

When asked and questioned about specific functionality the salesperson magically turns into a metaphorical dancing bobble-head uncontrollably nodding his head up & down in what appears to be a barrage of adamant confirmation while systemically performing a dance of illusion and uncertainty. The prospective client, so enthralled and dazzled by the presentation, signs on the dotted line without hesitation and is promised “a seamless transition” where nothing could possibly ever go wrong. Only over time to be led down a road of false expectations, sparse communication, and broken promises. The newly minted client left to do all the heavy lifting, and after several months the only thing left is the realization of regret, as there are numerous loose ends and system workarounds to be resolved.

This is the story that so many have come to know. Fear is often a primary factor in the decision making process whether known or unknown, especially when it comes to payroll and its related services. Fear is not an easy thing to overcome, over the course of my career I have learned that sometimes it’s better to simply say ‘no’ and to be honest with a prospective client about reality. Reasonable timelines and proper expectations about the hiccups that will inevitably occur during the course of system implementation and over the course of our relationship. This mutual understanding and agreement leaves both parties loyal, satisfied, and working together for the foreseeable future. Let’s face it, mistakes are going to happen, but how you handle and correct the mistakes are what define the character of an organization. Anyone that tells you different, is simply giving you a song and a dance.

Matt Whiteley
Director of Sales
SBS PayrollContact us to learn about payroll, HR, HCM, benefits, and time clock services

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