Being a business owner in charge of new IT procedures can be a major pain, especially when it comes to your employees. How often do you experience pushback on any significant change to your IT infrastructure or policies? You’re not the only one–many organizations are in the same boat as you, and it can be a difficult situation to be in.
The average employee is either unaware of the everyday IT security threats or what could happen as a result of poor data sharing habits. They probably know a passable amount of password security best practices at the most, and even getting to this point can be difficult. We aren’t trying to sound negative–it just comes with the territory. You don’t hire your organization’s employees because they are tech-savvy (unless they are your IT department), but it’s still your responsibility to make sure they understand any new security initiative, as well as respond to any initial pushback.
To best illustrate this point, let’s take a look at password security:
An Examination of Employees Rejecting IT Security
Imagine this scenario; your IT provider creates a group policy that forces users to change their passwords every 30 days. Repeating the same password is out of the question, and it has to meet a certain complexity threshold in order to be accepted. You might think this is a great idea, but your employees are going to spit fire at you the second they find out what’s happened. If they don’t, they will let it simmer on the back-burner, complaining about the new policy to anyone who will listen. Eventually, you’ll find out about it, but this kind of scenario can quickly become a toxic work environment. You might have your organization’s best interests in mind, but your employees will only see it as an inconvenience.
This might seem on the extreme side, but you’d be surprised by how often this happens. Here are some other topics that might stoke the fire under your employees:
- Bring Your Own Device Policies: If your employees use their personal devices for work purposes, it’s a best practice to have a BYOD policy in place. Your employees likely will push back against this, but in reality, it’s in the best interest of your network security to have it.
- Firewalls and Content Filters: The Internet is a major time-waster, and you might be surprised to see how much time is wasted away by employees streaming video or lurking on message boards. The solution is to block these sites, even if it seems a bit extreme.
- Implementing New Technologies: Any time you implement a new solution, you’ll experience pushback, even if it’s something like adding an application or moving data to the cloud. Some might adopt the the solution no problem, but others will fight to the bitter end just to keep to their old solutions.
Ultimately, just about anything new is enough to ruffle your employees’ feathers and create some difficult situations. They don’t care that you’re trying to protect your business–even if it’s in their best interest.
What Can You Do?
The biggest reason why your employees might push back against any change to your IT policies is simple; they want to get their job done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and they see change, whether it’s in the form of a new application or a password reset, as an inconvenience. Something meant to secure your network will look like a roadblock to your employees, and when it gets in the way of them doing their job, of course they will fight back.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to improve the company as a whole. Someone on your staff is going to look at the new solution as a disruption of everything they know. Some might even see a BYOD policy or content filter as a sign that they aren’t to be trusted, when in reality it’s just to protect your organization from the possibility of a data breach. There’s only one solution to this goal, and it starts with you, the business owner.