Have you ever considered which of your employees (non-decision makers) will have the greatest influence your ERP software selection? It may not be who you expect.
The largest generation in the American workforce is the Millennial generation. Depending on your industry, they likely comprise about 35% of your workforce. Naturally, this generation’s preferences and propensities will significantly influence your ERP software selection – if you put any weight on user experience when making IT decisions.
User experience is an important consideration during ERP selection as end-users across departments and across generations will use the new software. You have a lot of people to please.
While people pleasing isn’t generally a fruitful pastime, the rules change when it comes to ERP software. Your evaluation criteria should consider user experience as a factor equally as important as functional requirements and total cost of ownership (TCO). The risks of not considering user experience include low employee morale, low system usage and process inefficiencies.
The influence of the Millennial generation isn’t relegated to its size – its unique characteristics also contribute to its power. Millennials are “digital natives,” meaning they’ve never known life without digital technology. This unique characteristic makes them critical of technology that doesn’t meet their expectations.
For example, Millennials expect software to be intuitive, much like their favorite social media platforms. Their familiarity with social media also primes them to expect software features that promote collaboration.
They also expect accessibility – your ERP software better be mobile-friendly. If it takes more than two clicks to navigate somewhere, they may throw their laptop across the room.
If you want to gauge the more specific needs of your workforce, you can conduct anonymous surveys, encouraging employees to provide honest answers.
Many ERP vendors have accommodated Millennials by building user interfaces that resemble social media platforms, adding social collaboration features, improving their mobile-compatibility and reducing users’ click-fatigue.
Deciding to implement modern ERP software is the first step to meeting the needs of your Millennial employees. However, many companies avoid ERP projects because their legacy applications are “fit-for-purpose,” and seem too expensive to migrate.
Some of these companies resort to time-consuming workarounds to please Millennials. They’ve built new front-end applications to improve the usability of their software, while overlooking inefficiencies throughout the ERP software solution.
Meeting the needs of Millennial employees not only requires careful software selection, but it requires a focus on organizational change management. This should start during the selection process in the form of communication.
Even if you select the best ERP system for Millennials, they will still be resistant to it unless you communicate with them before implementation. This ERP communication should include details about project goals and potential process changes.