Implementation strategies: how to get your staff on-board with a new system

We know pretty well that getting going with a new system can be a difficult process. Often our clients will come to us asking how they can roll the system out to their staff successfully.

We know pretty well that getting going with a new system can be a difficult process. Often our clients will come to us asking how they can roll the system out to their staff successfully and how they can get them excited about the new system. That’s why we have put together this article featuring our top tips for gathering support among all your staff for your brand new system. 

Start with a plan for onboarding

You’ll need to start with a comprehensive plan on how to onboard your staff. The training process that accompanies a new system can be quite arduous. You can mitigate the issues surrounding implementing your new software with just a few simple ideas such as:

  • Planning to train team leaders first. By doing so, you can let them train junior staff. This takes some of the load off of you and the implementation team and can make it easier for junior staff to learn the system, as they are learning it from their direct superiors. 
  • Coming up with a simple way to communicate/train effectively, such as through a virtual workshop. Doing one-on-one training or sending a simple blast-out might not be super helpful if there is a lot to learn. Assess how much your staff will need to know and the level of difficulty to learn and adapt your training process accordingly. 
  • Designate in-house system experts. They can essentially be the team your staff go to when they have a problem and who can just run with the system.

Get buy-in from leadership

An overlooked, but super important point. Without buy-in from leadership, the implementation is unlikely to succeed at all. By gaining support from the top, it is far easier to get your staff on board with the software. It’s the ‘lead by example’ premise. Buy-in from leaders is one of the keys to not only getting the software implemented, but successful implementation. 

Content strategy

Creating a content strategy for onboarding your team onto the new system is a great way to raise awareness and excitement about the software. We always encourage our clients to push out some ‘comms’ to their team before going live with our software. Our team recommends at least sending out some email/news blasts 30 days out, 14 days out and the day before launch. These ‘comms’ should let your team know what the system is about, what they will get out of the system and of course, when and why they will need to use it. This is going to help you gain support, get them involved and prepped for the change and will hopefully aid in the training process.

Encourage and incentivise usage

One of the hardest tasks is going to be getting your team in the habit of using the new system. This is particularly true when your employees have previously been using another system and are quite resistant to the change. Start by setting expectations of the requirement of using the system. You can also encourage usage by incentivising it. You may want to do this by creating a training program that allows staff to be a ‘certified system expert’, by creating a ‘login streak’ that counts the number of days in a row a user logs in or by publicly rewarding those who make excellent use of the system. Any of these options can be a great way to encourage use of the software and get your team in the habit of logging in. 

Commit to support and training

No matter how easy your new system may be to use, people are still going to need ongoing support in case of issues or when an unknown area of the system is encountered. A great way to provide continuous support for your team can be by creating a knowledge base (or providing easy access to an existing one). It allows you to easily direct your team to help and saves you the time and effort of having to answer the same questions all the time. 

For systems that are always making huge upgrades and adding great new features (hint hint, like Ideagen Op Central), ongoing training may be required. When a particularly large upgrade occurs or a feature changes, if it's quite drastic, your staff may need some direction on how to use or access it. Even if it’s just a quick news blast or email to let them know of the changes, it's very important in helping your staff remain engaged.

Onboarding your team onto a new system isn’t always as easy as the system may be to use. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can ensure implementation of your new software goes smoothly and your team is happy with the change.

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