One of the best ways to reduce employee resistance to change is to engage them throughout the project. In an ERP implementation, this means engaging them throughout the planning stage, software selection stage, and beyond.
Today, we’re sharing how to ensure employee engagement during organizational change, whether you’re planning a digital transformation or an ERP implementation.
5 Steps for Engaging Employees
Step #1 – Communicate Effectively
If you’re making organization-wide changes, communicating with your employees is a necessary component of the process. This is especially true for business teams and leaders who want to ensure high benefits realization.
Rather than simply informing employees that the company is going to be rolling out organizational changes, it’s important to provide them with information that will help them adjust. Explain the scope of the changes that will be taking place, why these changes are going to happen, and what each team can expect during implementation.
Ensuring that your employees understand the plan is a critical part of organizational change management. By keeping everyone informed and on the same page, it will be much easier to encourage and monitor collaborative efforts along the way.
ERP Training Success Story
We helped this manufacturer implement a training strategy to increase user adoption of its new ERP system.
Step #2 – Develop a Strategy
Announcing your company’s plan for change is only one element of organizational change management. Your employees are also going to need a roadmap that directs them from Point A to Point B. This way, your teams know which initiatives to focus on, and how their actions will help the company reach new goals.
When developing a strategy that works for each team within the organization, make sure to answer the following questions:
• Will your teams need to learn and implement new skills as a result of the changes? If so, what skills do they need to learn?
• How will your employees effectively learn the new skills they need?
• How will team leaders and managers keep an open line of communication while employees are adopting these changes?
• How will team leaders and managers measure successes and failures when it comes to implementing workplace changes?
• How will the organization take steps to cement these new processes into the organization’s everyday operations? How will leaders and managers ensure that the new changes are permanent?
Step #3 – Evaluate Changes in Real Time
As you implement organizational change, it’s important to treat the implementation as an ongoing process. Explaining the changes that need to be made is essential, but making the announcement and then leaving your teams to their own devices isn’t advisable.
Instead, leaders should be involved in making the new company vision a reality. Throughout each step of the process, ensure that your team leaders know what to expect of employees, and that employees know their roles in organizational change.
Team leads should report to managers and owners, so each group can review the steps being taken to provide advice, support, and ideas about how to adjust to challenges along the way. This helps prevent any employees from being left behind during implementation and ensures that everyone involved in organizational change knows the role they’re going to play in making the future vision a reality.
Step #4 – Evolve Training Modules
There are several elements to include in organizational change, including employees, company processes, business technology, and company data.
To ensure that organizational change is introduced and adopted in the most effective way possible, including each of these elements is paramount. On top of clearly explaining the tasks that will need to be completed to implement the new operations, it’s important to design training that includes all of the affected functional areas. Training opportunities should be provided to members of various teams. These opportunities should reflect the team’s function and any new tasks or practices that need to be perfected.
Step #5 – Emphasize Team Efforts
A company, despite all of the smaller groups and departments that exist therein, works as a whole. Every moving part needs to be facing the same direction in order to realize the benefits of new technology and improved processes.
As your company adopts new practices and accepts organizational change, teamwork is essential. You’ll want to encourage collaborative efforts and clear communication between teams.
Along the timeline in which organizational changes take place, pay close attention to the work employees perform as groups. Schedule regular meetings that allow team members to discuss challenges, provide advice, collect feedback, and remain up to date on how the new changes are progressing. Before the end of each meeting, ensure that each person is on the same page, and let each team member know who to reach out to if they run into any new challenges between the current meeting and the next.
As you implement major changes in the workplace, take time to appreciate your staff members and the efforts they’re making.
Change Doesn’t Need to be Difficult
Adopting company-wide changes isn’t always easy, and encouraging employee engagement during organizational change can be challenging. However, the right change management strategy gives your organization a clear vision as you prepare employees for new processes and technology.
Our team of change management consultants can give you the knowledge you need to begin your OCM efforts. Contact us below for a free consultation.