It has been said, “The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself.” While this may be for better or worse, when it comes to getting a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, it is a huge change for your company and employees. As with other changes in life, some will love it, some will like it, some won’t care, and some will resist it. It is most important to address those that are against the change as they can plant seeds of doubt in others and cause problems during the implementation and adoption. Here are a few ways to anticipate and address resistance to a new ERP.
1: Have leadership and accountability in place
Acceptance starts at the top. This assumes all management from the CEO, COO, CFO, etc. are all in agreement and on board. From there, you can delegate down to area managers to keep the team upbeat and identify any resistance. Having strong leadership that is also willing to work hard and then see the benefits of the new ERP will go a long way down the corporate ladder.
2: Communicate changes early and often
From the day you begin looking at a new ERP to the day it is fully functioning, it is important to communicate companywide each phase in the process. Be sure to make employees who may not be final decision makers be included as they will often be the ones using the software. The less of a shock they get by updates, the better. They will often be more open to changes and willing to adapt when they are up to speed.
3: Expect resistance
Simply put, expect there to be resistance at some point. Whether it be to a change in the company’s processes, in individual’s responsibilities, or change within the software. What is important is to address the issue based on the cause for resistance. The sooner you can do it the better; nipping it in the bud will cause far less issues later than letting it fester indefinitely.
4: Identify the causes of resistance
There are many reasons why an employee may not want a new ERP software, but let’s look at three of the most common reasons.
- Thinking they will be fired or their role lessened. When people think automation, some panic about machines or software taking over their jobs or greatly reducing their responsibilities. This is rarely the case with a new ERP as it is simply a tool to better run the company, not replace people.
- Dislike of visible processes, not being in total control. A new ERP will improve visibility on many aspects of the company’s day to day operations. If you have an employee who has been the sole manager of shipping, for example, they may be hesitant to have their world opened to everyone for fear of judgement or losing their previous solo control.
- A general unwillingness to change. For some employees, change is just terrible. They will resist as much as they can for as long as they can. For these people, you need to focus on the positives and how it will improve their specific work life. Do not lose sight of the big picture with them, but making it more about them as opposed to the company can have direct benefits.