Businesses have to adapt to the rapidly changing technological demands of customers and business partners. A businesses’ employees, in turn, must adapt to the changes these new technologies bring to the work environment. The psychological and cultural toll this may take on individuals and organizations should not be ignored. Human beings are always reluctant to change even when we realize that change is necessary.
The way in which a company’s employees adapt to technological change often depends upon the usability of the software chosen, the cultural support given to key personnel, and the training offered during the transition. So, how do you mitigate fear when overhauling technology within an organization?
Choosing the Correct Tech Partner
It’s a balance between getting an ERP solution that meets future needs without choosing something with too many bells and whistles that overcomplicates the tasks at hand and exceeds the budget. While some smaller companies may err on the side of something too robust, others might seriously consider an inexpensive solution that only meets their immediate needs.
What is most essential is choosing a solution that makes the tasks at hand easier and more streamlined, while anticipating needs in a projected scenario where the business grows. The new software must integrate with all departments and require no workarounds by hand, as this is precursor of inconvenience, expense and employee anxiety.
Having a trusted software consultant can help avoid these pitfalls. Vendors should help you see which pieces of your business software puzzle need to fit together and how to get the best results from them.
Culture & Communication is Key
While researching and choosing a software solution, be sure to communicate with key employees, get their feedback and involve them in the process. Having a non-commutative culture can breed fear and resentment, which makes change more difficult.
Management and key influencers who have a good understanding of how the new ERP software will positively affect the company, can communicate a positive message of change to the rest of the staff whose work may be significantly impacted by the new processes. Helping everyone see the long-term strategies that can be achieved through a new technology will be a solid investment in a positive outcome.
Training to Alleviate Anxiety
Turn fear of the unknown into an opportunity to learn and grow. Thorough training and support of employees as they learn the new system, will allow staff to move forward confident in their abilities.
Training must be customized for each process in the organization so that staff see it’s direct relevance to their department. Consider training incentives that focus on the positive and use this stage of ERP implementation to highlight key features and demonstrate how it will ultimately save time and make jobs easier in the long term.
The right ERP vendor can help you manage cultural change and establish effective training across multiple departments. If you’re considering a vendor, or have more questions about change management, give call Parallel Solutions a call at (440) 498-9920. We are a full service provider and our experienced staff can help assess all your needs from software to training and support.
Mary Jo O'Neill