When an organization rolls out new software, there is usually a good reason for it. But it is often met with pushback from employees who don’t like change. So how do you implement new software while also getting employees to buy-in?
Finding software that works for your company and employees
How To Identify the Right Software
If you’re going to fight this battle to overcome people’s fear of change, who’s going to be your champion? What software company should you choose to lead the charge?
Here are important factors to look for in software adoption that will improve workload and work processes for your employees:
- Easier interface — Once you learn how to use the software, does it really save you time and money? Generally, if something will make their lives easier, people are willing to learn a bit more to get there.
- Personnel support — A big key to the puzzle of adopting new software is if the company behind it is willing to give you training. That instruction should not only show you how to use the software, but also answer some of the systemic problems the employees may have. You should expect trained professionals who can make the transition so painless that they assuage the fears of the employees. And this, usually, only comes from years of experience in the field.
- Technical support — Finally, how much technical support is your software vendor willing to offer? You need to have a dedicated support guru who can answer all your questions in real time without having to wait hours for a support specialist.
The Causes for Pushback (Why Employees Don’t Like Change)
The leading cause of employee pushback against new software adoption is stress. Let’s face it: if you’ve been using the same software every day for a year or more, it’s stressful to start back at square one with a new piece of software.
But there are other stressors involved with change. Most employees ask what this means for their upcoming workload. Not only will they be working harder to learn the software, but they are also worrying that the new software will make their job more difficult. In fact, some employees may think this is going to cause more work in the long run because they can’t see the benefits that come from this change. Clearly communicating the benefits can go a long way in increasing adoption of the new software.
Finally, there’s also a subconscious level of stress. Some may wonder if, with all the changes, their job is secure. To workers who fear replacement in a shaky economy, they’re terrified, nonetheless.
How to Get Employee Buy-In (Tips for Software Adoption and Best Practices)
How exactly, then, do you get your employees on board with this process? There are a few ways to make the transition smooth and get your employee’s buy-in.
- Include your employees in the process — The first point may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many companies skip this one. When you’re picking new software for your company, let your employees be part of the decision-making process. Have several teams of employees representing all departments to help ensure buy-in from your employees. This also means that you should communicate every step of the way with all employees so you can keep them in the loop.
- Pick your top team members — When putting together your transition team, you need to look for employees that are not only able to handle the demands of the transition, but can do so with a positive attitude. You don’t want “yes men,” but you also don’t want someone who will try to sabotage the transfer with their negativity.
- Make a plan — There should be a step-by-step plan in place that lays out all the parts of your implementation. This should also include who handles each part of the plan. While this is important for implementation, it is also critical for buy-in. Your employees need to know where they are going and how they will get there. This needs to be communicated clearly early on to give the employees a sense of being “kept in the loop.”
Switching software is not a light decision. It is a major undertaking for any business, and this can naturally scare employees. To get buy-in from your staff, you need to work hard to make sure you ease any fears and know exactly what is coming with the change.