In any business, the idea of change can terrify some people but excite others. Management should not underestimate the importance of managing organisational change – if it’s not done properly, it can result in unhappy employees or worse.
The introduction of new systems and processes is a complex process, with the end result having the potential to greatly improve business efficiency and team morale. After all, a business wouldn’t introduce a new system with the expectation that it would fail.
When we start working with a client to roll out our software, the key from the very beginning is communication. Communication between our staff and the client, and communication within the client and their team. It’s critical that everyone involved in using the software is kept informed and updated with how the software will be rolled out, and how they will be impacted as individuals.
Emails are a fantastic way to keep staff updated on changes, however meetings and training sessions are also hugely beneficial. It is also important to have senior management involved in these meetings where possible, so that staff feel reassured that the change is necessary and their involvement and cooperation is appreciated.
Ideally, when introducing change, those involved in the change project should try to be as empathetic and understanding as possible. It’s important to remember that although the project manager may have been across the project for weeks or months prior, it’s a new idea for the staff involved and they will need time to adjust.
Often, employees may be fearful of job loss or reduction due to the new systems being implemented – if software is being introduced that will save time, then what will the staff member do in that spare time? It’s important to be clear from the beginning about what their roles will look like after the software is up and running.
Give your employees the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions, and ask questions – it can make the world of difference to them.
Finally, it’s important (particularly with software roll outs) to give staff the chance to use the software without pressure of a go-live environment. Let them test it, play with it, learn it. It will help them become more accustomed to it, and therefore more welcoming and trusting.
The above all sound like simple and obvious steps, but they are overlooked more often than not in projects – so add them to your project plan, and don’t neglect them.