I was recently involved in the implementation of a new HRM system for a client. To say they were operating in the dark ages is an understatement. They had all this stuff called ‘paper’ stored in these things called ‘filing cabinets’. I proceeded with caution, unsure of what these so called ‘filing cabinets’ were capable of. I soon realized it was very little, other than holding onto thick files full of outdated and largely inaccessible information. ‘Employee file grave yards’. Madness! And so it became very clear to me that I had been sent there to save the day. And after a swift system implementation I was going to be the cowboy riding off into the sunset, ready to find the next organisation in need of my tech savvy support. But to the staff who had heard about the grave digger in the filing room sifting through decades of old information, I was there to do the worst thing possible – introduce change.
We all know that change is often resisted in a business, and with good reason. People like to feel safe, and enjoy the comfort of knowing their job and being able to do it well. Often the introduction of new systems brings with it uncertainty. What if I don’t know how to use it? What if the evil computer program steals my job and the company starts hiring robots?? Unlikely – but even still, when bringing about change, especially in the technology space, it’s worth talking to your employees about the benefits of such change and engaging them in the process. This will not only engage them and increase buy in, but will also make sure you get the most out of your new system and prevent employees from potentially hindering the implementation by holding onto information or resisting change.
Ingrained processes and outdated methods often get in the way of real work, and it isn’t until employees are provided with the right tools to do the work that they can reap the real benefits. Double handling and data entry become a thing of the past. Information’s obtained with ease, and visibility reigns. All of which frees your employees up to do real work. Satisfying work. Productive work. Work that actually makes them more valuable to your business. Once I was able to sell the gun slingers the benefits of their new system my foes became friends, and I even got invited to a morning tea. Bonus! So when looking at new technology for your business, it’s always good to engage your workforce and see how a system might work for your employees, and in turn, for you.
It’s a win-win, and may just stop any potential Mexican standoffs in the boardroom.