It can be difficult to implement changes across a business, and new software can sometimes be met with reluctance if employees are unsure about how it works or how it will benefit them
From a management point of view, it can be easy to see the benefits of automating certain processes within the business, but having your employees on board is crucial to successful implementation.
So how can you ensure a smooth roll out?
Explain the need for change
Do your employees understand the problems with the current process or processes in place? Could it be that one of the reasons for implementing change is that you are responding to concerns raised by staff about these processes?
Clear communication from the beginning will help them to welcome the new technology. If appropriate, it is usually beneficial to include key staff members (who will be regular users of the new system) in the decision making process.
Sell the benefits
Do employees know that the new software does not simply benefit management and the bottom line, but them as well? Familiarity with current processes can mean people are simply unaware that there may be a quicker or easier way.
Before presenting the idea of implementing new technology, be sure to have ready a list of the benefits for the whole company and individual job roles. For example, new software will save admin time on tedious tasks or cloud based solutions will be available from anywhere they are working.
If your employees are excited about the benefits they will see, change will be much easier.
With new software, there may be some misconceptions, for example “implementing new software takes up far too much time”.
Often, concerns can be eliminated by following the tips above (explaining the need for change and selling the benefits), but just in case, ensure your employees know who to contact if they have any problems. Nominate a point of contact (a person or team) who will oversee the new project and address employee concerns.
If your software supplier offers user support, make sure your employees know they can call the supplier directly with technical queries.
Make Training Available
When shopping for new software, it is important to ensure that your new system is as user friendly as possible, but if the thought of using a new system is daunting for your employees then another top tip is to prepare to ease their worries with training.
This could be done in two ways. Firstly, by making time available to train staff in house. Software suppliers will be able to provide a series of help pages to refer to, or training videos. Circulate these to your staff, and if necessary hold mini training sessions to walk them through the basics.
The second option is to arrange training for your employees directly with your new software supplier. These can usually be conducted in small groups, virtually or in person, and are a good option if internal training is not practical.
Remember the goal is to make sure your staff are confident using their new system, so work out what would be most suitable for your business.
Maintain the Momentum
Projects generally require some time and effort in the initial stages, in the same way that a car needs an initial burst of energy to start. Once this is applied though, maintaining your momentum requires a much smaller amount of energy to keep moving at the same speed.
Sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your project, but it is important to remember that stopping and starting your project will mean devoting larger amounts of time/effort each time you restart (think stalling a car!)
Plus, depending on the size of your organisation, your requirements and the time scales of your new supplier, a new software rollout may take some time, so it is crucial to keep your employees engaged.
Be as prepared as possible for each stage of the project, by following the tips we have outlined. It is likely data will be required to upload into your new software, so ensure this is ready ahead of time.
Have a test group ready to start using the system as soon as it is ready, and then prepare your business for the wider roll out.