Quick Tip: Rules of ERP Implementation- Get Employee Buy-In
Rule #3: Get employee buy-in
This Quick Tip is part of a series on the six rules of a successful ERP software implementation. The first rule is to provide full management support to the ERP implementation and the second rule is to have a system champion.
The third rule is all about getting employee buy-in for the project and holding your staff accountable for learning and using the new ERP software. If you give deadlines for the initiative but fail to follow through, your employees will quickly assume that you are not serious about the change.
To make the change more attractive to employees and encourage buy-in, you must:
Communicate. Describe how the new system will make their jobs easier and how the company will benefit. At the same time, explain how difficult it will be for your company to remain competitive without efficient ERP software to manage production.
Demonstrate commitment and support. When your staff sees that management is fully behind the ERP software implementation, they are far more likely to support it (*Rule #1). If there is a dissonance between management, then it is highly likely your staff will take sides as well.
Insist that employees take ownership of the process. Start by telling your employees, “We’re depending on you to learn this because we’ll be coming to you with our questions.”
Studies show that when someone is assigned a specific task – or, in this case, is asked to learn something that will benefit them and their team – they are more dedicated to completing that task.
What you are, in fact, saying is “I am going to need your help understanding this process someday. Can you help me when that time comes?”. This gives your employee a sense of purpose in the ERP implementation and displays your belief in their abilities.
This leads us to the next step:
Assign tasks and responsibilities. Resistance is often due to a fear of the unknown. However, when people know what is expected of them and what they are responsible for, they are far more likely to embrace the change and move forward.
Without employee buy-in, the ERP software implementation will take longer, be more stressful than necessary, or fail altogether. With that in mind, it is important to take the proper steps to get your employees to trust your judgement and follow your leadership throughout this process.
Keep an eye out for the fourth rule of ERP implementation: “Have a Written Plan”.