It’s an unfortunate fact of business life: People don’t like change. Sure, e-procurement solutions can lead to a leaner, more agile business, more transparency, and a smoother workflow, among other benefits. But it won’t accomplish any of those important benefits unless you answer the (unspoken) employee question: What’s in it for me?
So when you want your staff to adopt a new e-procurement solution, or any new system, it’s important to do what you can to increase employee buy-in. Here’s how:Give plenty of advance notice
Like we said, people don’t like change — and it takes a while for employees to warm up to a new way of doing business, even if they know that it will eventually make their jobs easier. Start enthusiastically promoting the new system and providing information about it about a year out from going live, or at least several months in advance if you can. Be sure your employees know how it will benefit both them and the company, adding to the bottom line.Invest in training
Even with a lot of encouragement and cheer leading, there will be some employees who are still reluctant to give up the old way of doing things — especially if they’ve been with the company a very long time. So identify those fearless employees who do like to try new software and new technologies, and offer them some training on the new system. They can then act as in-house trainers who can get their colleagues excited about trying the new solution.Set goals and measure results
It’s not enough to say that the new system will save money/increase automation/streamline the workflow. Set measurable goals (such as decreasing the wait time on purchase order approvals) and see how well the system delivers. That has two benefits: 1) You can show your staff how their patience, training and willingness to try something new is working; and 2) Not only can you see how well the solution is working, but you can also determine what may need tweaking.Introduce a little friendly competition
Highlight which employees adopt and use the new solution in the most advantageous way, perhaps by having the fastest processing time for purchasing requests or by getting better pricing on a particular type of order. That both helps employees learn about the tangible benefits of the new solution and also rewards early and enthusiastic adopters of it.Celebrate and reward success
Remember how we said employees are going to want to know what’s in it for them? How about a bigger bonus based on how much they saved the company by soliciting competitive bids?
It’s normal to resist change, because let’s face it — there will be a learning curve to overcome in adopting e-procurement or any other new software solution. But if you can prove to your employees just how beneficial the change will be, they’ll personally help you make it go more smoothly.
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