Digital change management in schools: how to onboard staff

Over the last few months, change has been inevitable. Teaching shifted to remote learning, teachers and school staff had to get their head around new technologies and platforms – and the unfamiliar seemed daunting.

Although many teachers will be thankful for returning to their familiar school environment, that doesn’t mean change is behind us. Schools have done brilliantly to adapt in a relatively short space of time – with plans waiting in the wings should the worst happen and schools deal with staggered start times and local lockdowns.


But what this period has further highlighted is that not everyone is open to change; in fact, many of us resist change. Many of us welcome predictability and stability in our working lives – and this pandemic has thrown everyone a curveball.


As you transition your staff from a traditional way of working to embracing more digitally agile and adaptive solutions, how can you onboard staff and manage change effectively?


Firstly, understand who is resisting change and why

You can’t manage change effectively if you’re not sure why it’s resisted. Take the time to talk with staff on an individual basis, or consider an anonymous feedback process. Knowing what challenges your staff face and their anxieties surrounding digital change is the first step to onboarding staff onto new processes and systems of working.


Seventy percent of change programmes fail to achieve their goals – due to employee resistance and lack of management support, McKinsey research found. If your staff are technophobes, you can enrol on courses and workshops to help strengthen their skills and demonstrate why it’s essential that digital change happens in your school.


“Much, if not most, resistance comes from teachers who feel threatened by the forced changes.”

Curriculum Planning: Integrating Multiculturalism, Constructivism, and Education Reform, by Kenneth T. Henson


Lead with the benefits of education technology

What will the tech you’re hoping to implement do for your teachers? What will they get out of it, personally?

Ask yourself:

  • Will it save them time?
  • Will it better engage parents/guardians?
  • Will it make their job easier? 


You need education tech solutions that help support your school’s objectives. Teachers will want to know whether this piece of technology will lighten their workload, make their job easier and ultimately benefit the children. 

Learning your way around a new piece of software can be overwhelming, particularly when your teachers are already stressed and busy amid COVID.

Ultimately, you need to assess whether, in the long run, education technology can save your school money and your staff time. With a school communication app, for example, you remove paper costs – instead, you can send letters instantly via SMS or email to every parent. Digital consent forms mean access to critical information is easy. Digitising these processes means information is shared and easily obtained from parents and guardians.


At Parentapps, we work with schools to deliver first-class app training – your staff will know their way around the dashboard and understand all its time-saving features within one or two sessions. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service – our app support is second to none.

So if you’re looking for a supportive, innovative and future-proof education technology partner, Parentapps could be the perfect solution for your school.