Businesses around the world now understand the value of change. They know it is essential to adopt technologies faster and make organizational changes to give them the best path to advance.
However, while you, as a leader, can understand the need for this change and be bullish about it, your employees might not see it that way. We have all heard stories about businesses that did not care how their employees would react while adopting the latest technologies and re-engineering and renovating how they worked. It led to a disparity between the upper and the lower management, leading to their downfall.
If you don’t want the same to happen to you, understand the impact of process changes on employees. Knowing that impact and developing strategies to make the changes more inviting will help you fruitfully integrate ERP and other technologies you need to increase efficiency.
General Reactions to Expect You to Re-Engineer the Business Process
“It makes everything so easy. Then, of course, the employees would welcome it.” – that’s the statement many myopic business owners give when implementing a change in the business process.
Whenever you change the way you conduct business operations, expect blowback. We are naturally wired to resist change, which comes with varying degrees of uncertainties; employees will react negatively no matter how “innovative” the new process is.
Why? If you’re introducing a new ERP in your organization, your employees will feel inept. They spent years working on legacy systems; their methodologies are now embedded with them as muscle memory. And when you introduce a new system, an ERP, they’re likely to resist learning a new process. It can further make them stressed, which will impact their performance.
Here are the general reactions of employees when you’re trying to bring change.
- They feel less satisfied with the job.
- The new business process can cause them not to trust their employers.
- They can also develop a desire to change employment.
Why Do Employees Resist Change?
Hammer and Champy, in 1993, researched and found that 70% of businesses don’t get the productivity they seek when introducing Business Process engineering. The research paper cited the following factors as the main reason for their resistance.
1. Change in the culture and the management systems: Introducing a new business process significantly changes the management system. With time, it also has an impact on the culture of the ecosystem.
2. Management Support: In many companies, management didn’t provide any support when a new business process was introduced, and it further widened the communication gap between the employees and the management.
3. Change in organizational Structure:
Business process changes can only be adequately enforced by changing the organizational structure of the business entity, which further can stress out the employees.
Note: According to the 2017 study by the American Psychological Association, 55% of the people said they suffer from chronic stress due to organizational change.
4. Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) Project Management:
Many employees thought the persons behind BPR project management weren’t receptive to their complaints.
5. IT Infrastructure:
The last factor is the change in the IT
infrastructure. The introduction of ERP creates discord in the long-standing hierarchy of the IT infrastructure, which can cause employee issues.
It would be best if you addressed these factors to make your staff more receptive to the business process change.
How to Implement Process Change More Acceptably within your Organization?
Change is good for your organization, but only if your employees accept it. Here are the tips to make your employees more accepting of the process change.
Creating a Change Management Plan
Draft a plan before implementing the change. Make sure to include the following components:
- A communication plan
- An organizational assessment
- A resistance management plan
- A training plan
- And a sponsorship roadmap
Having a plan at the start will give you a path to follow.
Never Neglect Employee Communication
As we said earlier, upper management often haphazardly implements change and expects the employees to accept it. As a result, it alienates the employees and can harm their performance.
Therefore, always engage with your employees. Talk to them and tell them how the new system would enhance their productivity and help them grow within your organization.
Always be clear about how their tasks would be affected by the introduction of the ERP. Again, being upfront but kind is the key here.
Now, communication is another thing that you must put effort into. Therefore, create a communication plan beforehand.
Train Each Department Separately
You can’t get away with a single training session while teaching the team about the newly introduced ERP. You need to assess and train each department differently. They must understand what the business process is all about. The more they know, the less mystified they will be, and the more quickly they will accept the new changes.
Take Survey and Respond to Feedback
Making your employees accept the changes will not be a one-day job, and you must know how they feel. Therefore, take a survey and gather critical feedback. If your feedback is vital, think about re-strategizing your training method.
Listening is crucial and would make the change management process more manageable.
Understand The Importance of The Impact of Process Change
While it is an exciting time for a company to implement process change, you can’t ignore your employees’ feelings. If they’re unsatisfied, you won’t leverage your ERP as you intended – reducing your productivity.
Your employees are accustomed to the way they perform their jobs. You need to be a leader and listen to them to pull them from their comfort zones. Make the change more amiable and employees more receptive to it.
Understand change management before implementing it. And if you want assistance, reach out to us at BHC, and we will be happy to discuss how we can help you achieve your goals.