Did you know that employees who feel heard are nearly five times more likely to deliver their best work? If you don’t currently have a process in place to receive and act on employee feedback, then it’s time to implement one.
Listening to your workforce is especially important during an ERP software implementation. This is a major transformation that can cause hesitancy and fear among employees.
If you’re planning to implement a new ERP system, then prioritizing employee feedback in change management can help you create a work culture that embraces change. Today, we’re sharing how to obtain employee feedback and use it to improve project outcomes.
Navigating Change with Rick & Christi
Watch these short and sweet videos to learn about change management from the experts! The series features Rick Platz and Christi Trinder from Panorama’s change management team.
Why is Employee Feedback in Change Management Important?
An ERP implementation is a busy time. Your team members are pulled in a million different directions, with a looming go-live date hanging over their heads. During this time, it’s all too easy for the project team to lose focus on why the organization initiated the change in the first place.
This is where change management comes in. What is change management? It is the process of looking at the human side of a project. It involves asking important questions, such as:
- How are your employees handling the news of the change?
- What are some of the most common concerns they’re voicing?
- How can we quell those worries and ease their minds?
After that first announcement, you can usually expect to hear feedback from some of your most vocal employees. These may be voices of support, questioning, or both.
However, keep in mind that for every loud opinion, there are dozens of quieter ones that belong to people who may not feel as comfortable speaking up.
This is why an employee feedback system is so important. The insights gained from this system can shape and direct your ERP project.
Creating a Continuous Feedback Loop
While it’s important to keep everyone in the loop, remember that this loop must be a continuous one. In addition to sharing information, you must be open to receiving it.
Failing to listen to your employees could mean moving forward with a solution that doesn’t meet their needs. This can lead to challenges such as:
- Longer project timelines
- Low user adoption rates
- A costlier implementation
When creating a change communication plan, it’s important to assess how each stakeholder group prefers to receive and share information.
For example, the communication methods that work for your C-suite will differ from those that work for employees on your shop floor.
When you’re able to adapt your communication method and your feedback solicitation method, then two-way communication becomes much more efficient and effective.
How to Develop an Employee Feedback System That Works
Now that you know why it’s so important to gather employee feedback, the next question is how to implement such as program within your own organization. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, there are a few common best practices:
1. Keep Change Champions Involved
Change champions are team members who act as cheerleaders for the project. They share updates about the change, explain how it will look at an individual level, and detail the benefits employees can expect.
Naturally, they are some of the first people your workers turn to when they have questions or concerns about the project.
This is why change champions should be part of the continuous feedback loop. They should share employee feedback with the project team, who can make adjustments accordingly.
2. Use Small Group Discussions
It can be intimidating to raise your hand and speak up at a company-wide meeting. Many stakeholders don’t want to make their feelings public to the entire workforce.
This is where small group discussions can be beneficial. They are a great way to facilitate more open and honest conversations.
3. Request Post-Training Feedback
After conducting end-user training, we recommend following up with a post-training survey. Ask for feedback and opinions on the system training and ask if there are any changes employees would like to see in future sessions.
You can use this information to make your training more effective, and it can also help you identify which employees aren’t grasping the concepts and need follow-up training.
4. Be Actionable With Feedback
Feedback is useless if it just stays on a comment card. Instead of simply amassing these insights, be sure to act on them.
While you may not be able to implement every suggestion, you should at least let your team members know you’re listening. Follow up on any lingering questions and address any concerns. Then, make changes where you can, and explain your reasoning if you decide to go in a direction that’s different than what was suggested.
The value of showing respect and attentiveness to employees cannot be overstated. Each moment you take to respond now can result in time savings after go-live when employees readily embrace change without the need for a large amount of additional training or persuasion.
Realize the Value of Employee Feedback in Change Management
As you look for ways to help your employees understand and embrace new ERP software, remember to take their feedback into account. Collecting and analyzing employee feedback can reinforce the messages you’re already communicating to employees. This is critical during all phases of your change management strategy.
Our organizational change management consultants can help you incorporate employee feedback into change management activities. Contact us below for a free consultation.