4 Easy Ways To Engage Employees In Your ERP Implementation

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According to the Gallup Employee index, in April 2016, only 33% of employees said they were engaged at work. While it might be an oversimplification to say the remaining 67% are disengaged, we do think it’s safe to assume 33% is a low number! In an ERP implementation scenario, that number takes on an even more concerning significance, because if you already have less-than-enthusiastic employees, what is the likelihood of getting them to embrace change in the enterprise? Not great we’re thinking!

So here are some ideas on how to get employees engaged in your ERP implementation, whether it’s a new project or a significant upgrade.

1. Get leaders involved in a way that puts the employees first

Having the leadership be a part of things is perhaps a given, but attitude matters too. Sometimes, the bosses create an environment that is less than ideal by having expectations of employees that are unrealistic. Brief your leaders on what to expect and encourage a culture of opportunity in relation to your enterprise system. Talk about the impact the changes will bring. Make people aware of what might be hard and what the quick wins are. Allow employees to react in ways that they are comfortable with and take the time they need to embrace the change (within reasonable limits, of course).

2. Define and manage the change

ERP implementation is a big change, and it needs a change management plan just like every other significant change. Top of people’s mind is always the question of how the change will affect them. So help them understand that. Have clear, regular and open communication on what to expect. Define how the change will impact the organization and, in turn, them. Think multiple pieces of communication for each new message. Break things up into bite-sized pieces for easy understanding and step-by-step buy-ins. Invite feedback to the extent you can handle, because asking for opinions and then not being able to use any will do more harm than good. Above all else, make sure your employees hear about the change from you and not outsiders. If their jobs are being modified or departments restructured, be honest and transparent about what they should expect.

3. Find champions and empower them

Every organization has high-performing, fully engaged employees. Use them! This is the time you want to urge those employees to take ownership of things and encourage their peers. Hearing from peers what the changes mean and having them demonstrate how things will become better for everyone is powerful. Employees are capable of a lot when they’re not micromanaged. Empowering high-potentials will work for you by unleashing their potential to create a voice that the average employee is more likely to listen to.

4. Share successes and keep communicating

Things don’t end at ‘go-live’, especially not in the case of employee engagement. Through the process of adoption, communicate ‘wins’ to your people. It’s the little, daily storytelling that makes the biggest impact. When employees feel included, the will be invested. Take it a step further and have their backs when things go wrong. Encourage feedback here to fix the glitches that exist and you’re much more likely to have a workforce that embraces the new enterprise system.

Good luck!

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