Announcing a new software system can send ripples of panic throughout an organisation.
People are naturally resistant to change and a whole new ERP system sounds like a scary beast. Earning your employees support is one of the most important things to an ERP implementation. Ensuring everyone is using the system correctly and is enthusiastic about the solution will enable the full company-wide benefits of ERP to be realised. Reluctant and negative users could spell disaster for an ERP implementation, no matter how good the solution. But there are some simple ways you can ensure a happy and accepting team.
Be clear about the benefits
If your team are unsure why you are enforcing such a big change then they are going to be even more resistant to it. So be clear and explain exactly how the new software is going to improve their working day; how it will save them time and make their department more efficient. Leverage your internal systems of communication; include it in your internal newsletter, post about it on your company blog and send out regular email updates about the project. Try to spread a positive, exciting message about the project, rather than it being a daunting change. Be specific to the individual’s role rather than emphasising overarching benefits that sound a million miles removed from the everyday. Once your team realise that the software will actually benefit them personally they will be much more enthusiastic when it comes to training and implementation. It’s also very important to set project objectives at these early stages. By stating clear objectives your team understand what you are working towards and you have a way of measuring the success of the project when the implementation is complete.
Change is always a lot harder to accept when it has been forced onto you. Try to avoid an atmosphere of resistance, involve all departments at very early stages, even before you’ve decided on the software that you are going to implement. Ask them about their daily struggles, what limits they face in their roles and how they think efficiency could be improved. You could even set up a suggestion box so staff can make anonymous comments. By including wider opinion, staff will feel more involved in the decision process.
Training, training and more training
Introduce everyone to the system as early as possible. Involve everyone in navigation training where they can get to grips with the general look and feel of the software. Again, it’s good to show people the system they will be using early on to build excitement about the implementation. We then suggest identifying ‘key users’ in each department who can be trained in more detail and pass their training onto others in their team. You can then start running short workshops for all users, these could even just be ten minutes at the end of the day. You don’t want to overload people with too much information and by keeping things short they are more likely to actually take in and remember the information.
The right mentality
People underestimate the importance of goodwill to a project. It cannot be emphasised enough how essential it is to have your whole team approaching a new ERP system with a positive mindset. People will be nervous and anxious about a new system, the best way to deal with this is to keep everyone informed and involved. Encourage people to be excited about the project, about the benefits it will bring to them, so they are actually looking forward to the implementation rather than dreading it.
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