Businesses that have decided to take the plunge and migrate to an ERP system are already aware of the benefits from a productivity and efficiency standpoint. Selling the reality of an ERP migration to your employees is a completely different ballgame, however, one that will require careful planning and diplomacy.
Human beings are creatures of habit. Particularly when it comes to work, employees are used to doing things a certain way. If the process isn’t broken, they may be reluctant to embrace something new.
As a result, businesses need to understand the importance on getting their employees on board with an ERP migration project from day one to ease the pain of transition. When workers learn about the myriad benefits of ERP tools and how they will actually make their lives and jobs easier, they will be in a much better position to accept change.
There are some important actions businesses and managers can take throughout the ERP migration process to ensure employees are on board and excited to undergo the transition.
Here are the five most important things you can do to ease employee adoption.
1) Identify and Engage Impacted Employees
Not all employees will be impacted by the move to an ERP system, although many will. To start, pinpoint the personnel who will be most affected by the move.
Businesses then need to come up with an outline of how each employee and department will be affected by this major change in an effort to engage and excite workers. Instead of springing a surprise process change on employees, businesses can prepare them for the transformation of their existing jobs into more powerful and efficient roles as a result of the roleout.
So know who needs buy-in, and what will help them buy into the project.
2) Communicate Often About the Project
Managers should maintain communications with their employees throughout the entire ERP migration. This builds on the first objective of engagement, and ensures workers remain engaged throughout the entire process.
Effective communicators will also ensure that employees understand how their jobs and roles will be impacted by the new ERP system, as well as the productivity and efficiency increases that will benefit them.
As part of this communication, it is important to remind them about all the support options for onboarding and learning the new system. The worst situation for a new ERP rollout is the employee who doesn’t know how to use the system or even where to turn for guidance.
3) Include Employees in ERP Selection and Rollout
Your employees are likely your most valuable resource when it comes to an ERP migration. No one understands the nuances of your company’s workflows and business processes better than employees. So it makes sense to include them in the implementation process.
Empowering employees in such a major project not only helps the project move forward, it also creates buy-in early. And by participating in the implementation process, workers will get hands-on experience with the new system so they can feel comfortable with the tools by the time of ERP go-live.
4) Targeted training is an invaluable part of the migration process
As mentioned above, not all employees are tech-savvy and may not embrace the idea of an ERP migration right out of the gate. Training is an ideal way to sell the value of this type of system to workers who might otherwise be hesitant.
Comprehensive training will cover everyday operations and processes, and will also explain why the migration is necessary and the types of benefits and value workers can expect compared to the previous way they performed their jobs.
More technologically inclined workers may also be utilized to lead training sessions and help teach their coworkers the importance and value of the new ERP system, as well as the everyday minutiae of working with it.
5) Monitor Adoption During Rollout
Any ERP migration should be accompanied by comprehensive monitoring and management to proactively address issues before they cause problems. These include technology issues, of course, but also employee behaviors resulting from a changing workplace.
Managers need to be sensitive about the magnitude of change an ERP migration represents, and closely monitor workplace behaviors during and after implementation. Context-sensitive training and help can also be beneficial during this phase, ensuring workers are kept up to speed about new technology and workplace changes.
Workshops, webinars and consistent internal communications about the scope of the migration are all important tools that can be used to ensure employees remain engaged, receptive and sold on the benefits and value of the new ERP system.
Undergoing an ERP migration is a major process for any business. By being mindful of the steps above, businesses can ensure their employees are truly sold on the idea of ERP and will enthusiastically embrace and utilize the new system upon rollout.
For more on implementing a new ERP system, download our free ERP Implementation Guide.