If your digital transformation involves rethinking your quality management processes, you may not consider this initiative your highest priority. However, every little organizational change you make as a result of digital transformation requires careful planning.
In fact, when implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing execution system (MES), most organizations experience change resistance.
Today, we’re sharing tips on how to get employees excited about new quality management processes and the related roles and responsibilities changes.
How to Get Employees Excited About New Quality Management Processes
1. Explain the Reasoning
Suddenly telling employees that it’s time to change the way they handle quality control might not provoke the response you expected.
Humans are generally hardwired to resist change of any kind, even if the outcome will benefit them tremendously.
We recommend starting your change management efforts during the software selection stage and explaining the why behind the shift. Highlight the pain points, organizational siloes, and errors that will be resolved if you change your quality processes. Then, share how new ERP or MES software will enable those improvements.
Potential talking points might include:
- Improving product quality
- Improving service quality
- Improving the customer experience
- Enabling better process control
- Ensuring industry compliance
If they can visualize the benefits that will result from process improvements, employees are more likely to support the project from the beginning.
This engagement is essential because employees have valuable insights into where you might need to change your quality management approach. You can use those insights to shape your list of requirements as you begin the MES or ERP selection process.
Change Management Case Study
The client recognized their need for more comprehensive change management, so they asked us to fill in the gaps. We developed a robust communication plan to supplement the vendor’s communication approach.
2. Prioritize End-User Training
It isn’t enough to simply tell your employees about the new quality assurance processes you plan to implement. They need to be able to walk through the steps on their own.
As such, end-user training is a critical part of an organizational change management plan.
As you’re preparing training materials, remember to tailor them to each functional group. The way your research and development employees handle QC will be different from your supply chain management team.
It’s important to assess your training periodically to determine what’s working and what you need to tweak. Then, after go-live, maintain that commitment.
3. Obtain Executive Buy-in
We might be wired to resist change, but humans are also naturally inclined to follow an influential leader. If your C-suite is excited and positive about the digital transformation, it’s easier to encourage everyone else.
Of course, before you can get to this point, you must convince your senior leaders that the process improvements are even necessary in the first place. While executives might not realize that extensive quality control issues exist, you need their approval and support before you can move forward.
Outline where the inefficiencies are occurring, and what capabilities your current workflows are lacking. Then, describe the functionality you’ll look for in new software, and how this functionality can help.
Once you have executive buy-in, you can assemble a team of leaders who can serve as change advocates throughout your organization. While some might belong to your C-suite, others may be department leads or other stakeholders. Most importantly, they should be excellent communicators, capable of explaining the change and rallying support around it.
4. Don’t Ignore Questions and Concerns
While you’re rolling out quality management changes, it’s easy to simply shoo away any employee who presents concerns. After all, there is a lot of work to do, and you might be up against a tight deadline.
While the easy solution might be to keep your head down and press ahead, think twice. Your employees are bound to have many inquiries and ignoring them only feeds the rumor mill.
Instead, try to be as transparent and forthcoming as possible. Hold regular update meetings, where everyone has a chance to share their viewpoint. You can also schedule one-on-one conversations to dive more deeply into issues that are worrying your employees.
While this might seem time-consuming now, it can be even more cumbersome once you’re in the final stages of the project. It’s common for even the simplest projects to implode because employees persist in suggesting more features. This can lead to implementation failure (as we’ve seen in our software expert witness engagements).
By listening to your employees on the front end of the project, you can address those concerns early. Then, you can incorporate them into your efforts.
Next Steps: Quality Management Process Improvement
Of all the ways you can use digital technology to enable process improvement, streamlining quality assurance is one of the most valuable. By improving your quality management process flows, you can help your teams work smarter.
Your employees’ reality:
Of all the ways you can use digital technology to enable process improvement, streamlining quality assurance is one of the most annoying. By improving your quality management process flows, you can ensure your teams bang their heads against the wall.
If you need to change your employees’ narrative, contact our organizational change management consultants below. We’ll help you get employees excited about the prospect of new quality management processes.