How to Encourage Workforce Management Adoption in Your Organization
Workforce management is an essential aspect of any organization but without successful employee adoption, its full benefits will not be realized. There are several reasons that employees may resist change, including a lack of incentive as well as fear of new technology threatening their jobs.
To overcome these obstacles when implementing new workforce software or processes, it’s helpful to have a plan in place to encourage employees to get on board. This article provides some suggestions for how to do that, so you can reap the rewards that the best workforce management software has to offer throughout the entire employee lifecycle.
What Are the Barriers to Adopting New Workforce Management Solutions and Processes?
Resistance to Change
Employees may be resistant to change, especially if they are comfortable with the current way of doing things. Additionally, they may feel overwhelmed by new systems or processes. After all, so much change has occurred over the last couple of years due to the pandemic that the thought of any more disruption may cause some individuals to disengage.
Fear of Job Replacement
Another cause of resistance is the fear of AI potentially automating their jobs. While there are certain jobs that are likely to be replaced in the coming years, the majority of your workers will not be affected. Their roles may change, but they won’t become obsolete.
While we know this, your workers may not – so it could be worth addressing during any training sessions held when you implement new technology.
In fact, a Voice of the Workplace in Europe report by Deloitte shows that 65% of respondents said that the flexibility to change tasks or working environment was important or very important to feeling motivated/happy – so, this could in fact be a motivating factor for adoption.
Perceived Indifference to Staff Needs
Another issue is that many staff feel that their needs are not addressed when new technology is implemented.
An international study by PWC that included participants in the UK and Germany showed that, while 90% of C-suite executives said their company paid attention to employee needs in this scenario, only 53% of staff agreed.
Engage employees in the process, gather their perspectives and feedback, and take their needs into account when making decisions about change.
Lack of trust
If employees do not trust their managers or the organisation, they may be hesitant to adopt a new system. They may feel that the new system is being implemented for the benefit of management rather than for the benefit of employees.
If there is a language or cultural barrier between employees and management, it may be difficult to effectively communicate the benefits of the new system. This can result in a lack of understanding and increased resistance.
Some organisations may have a culture that is resistant to change or innovation. This can make it challenging to implement a new system that is perceived as a departure from the status quo.
Methods to Improve Adoption of Enterprise Workforce Management Software
Conduct an Initial Survey
Before launching any new system, it’s beneficial to conduct a survey so that employees can share their perspectives on it. This will provide insights into the barriers to change among your particular workforce. From there, you can use appropriate methods to address the situation.
Communicate the Benefits of Workforce Management Software
As keen as any executive or manager may be to implement new systems because they’re aware of the benefits, it’s unlikely that most staff will share that enthusiasm. It’s therefore important to communicate the benefits of any new system to employees.
However, we’re not talking about the benefits the company will gain. It’s not likely that your shop floor staff are interested in the company’s financial success – at least not beyond knowing their job is secure. It’s therefore more important to communicate how the software will benefit them.
How will it make their lives easier? It will make it easier for them to request vacation time and have it approved. It will make payroll and compensation management more efficient, ensuring they are paid correctly and on time every month. Employee scheduling features will make rosters more organized. Think from their perspective and you’ll find many benefits to discuss.
The principle above can also be used to reframe the aspects of a new WFM system that employees may not like. For example, they may feel resentful about having to use fingerprint scans to clock in if that was not part of your former attendance tracking process. While many employees do commit time fraud, the remaining honest employees may resent the feeling of mistrust that comes with such monitoring.
To overcome these types of issues, reframe them in a positive way. For example, let them know that the new system accurately tracks their hours to ensure they are paid correctly and on time every month, with no delays caused by any disputes.
Another step to take is to identify staff that are particularly skeptical, as this may have a negative impact on those who would otherwise be willing to implement new systems and processes. Make a point of having one to one conversations with them about their concerns, reassure them, and again, remind them of what’s in it for them.
Discuss the Benefits for Senior Staff
If it’s senior staff that need convincing, give examples of how workforce management has improved operations in other organizations. Back up your claims in with data to show the impact of workforce management; this can include data on performance management, efficiency, cost savings and other key performance indicators. (Our total workforce management system is proven to reduce labor costs by 3% to 7%.)
Also, let them know ahead of time that you’re investigating a new system and ask for their perspectives on the matter. Explain how it supports business objectives and the objectives of their individual departments. Highlight the way it will improve the efficiency of their working days.
Involve Employees in the Process
Another way to encourage adoption is to involve employees in the process, and this can be done by soliciting feedback and input on new systems and processes. As mentioned, when employees feel like their opinions are valued and that they have a say in the direction the company is going, they are more likely to be invested in its success. Overall employee engagement will likely improve as well.
Remove the Alternatives
If employees have no option but to use the new workforce management solution, then they will have no choice but to use it. If you’ve just transitioned away from paper-based vacation requests or timesheets, for example, let staff know that this documentation can no longer be accepted. They’ll soon be willing to get on-board with digitization if it’s the only way for them to get time off or get paid.
Appoint a Champion or Dedicated Team
Having an individual or a team that is responsible for encouraging adoption will help set the tone for other staff, making it easier for them to follow suit. Large organizations may decide to appoint a team for each department; these individuals may also be assigned the task of communicating the benefits, as discussed above.
As well as encouraging other employees to use the system, these early users can be a helpful source of feedback during the transition stage.
Send Regular Reminders to Inactive Accounts
If your system requires users to set up or activate accounts but your staff aren’t doing it, send reminders as often as needed to ensure they take the necessary action. Eventually, they will get tired of the notifications and will comply just to make them stop.
We’re not talking about spamming or harassing them with numerous emails per day, but anywhere from once per day to once per week will encourage them.
Another way to incentivize them would be to hold a competition, where the team or department with the most activations within a specified period of time wins a prize of some sort.
Make the Transition Gradual
This will not always be an option, especially when implementing new software. However, if you are making smaller adjustments to your WFM processes, phasing them in step by step allows employees to adjust gradually and become comfortable with new processes before moving on to the next change.
Provide Training and Support
When implementing new software, provide thorough training and support to employees. This can include hands-on training sessions, online tutorials, or Q&A sessions for any staff that are unsure about certain features of your workforce management system. It’s also helpful to provide ongoing help desk support to employees in case they have questions and need assistance.
When onboarding new staff, make sure the new systems and/or processes are part of their training. Don’t let them learn on the job from staff who may be reluctant to use the new system or do not have a clear understanding of its functionality.
Ensure new staff only know the new ways of doing things – and not the old processes that you want to leave behind.
Keep Training Simple
Make sure any training you implement is easy to follow and does not involve a lot of technical jargon. Your staff should not need to consult any user manuals in order to understand a system’s functionality – and if they do, it may be a sign that you’re not using the right workforce management software. (The ManusPlus WFM Cloudsuite is user-friendly and has a clean and intuitive user interface design.)
Continuously Evaluate and Improve
Finally, it’s essential to continuously evaluate and improve your workforce management plan. Collect feedback from all relevant stakeholders, analyze the data, identify areas for improvement, and refine your processes and systems accordingly. By doing so, you can ensure that your workforce management plan remains relevant, effective, and sustainable.
Having a plan to encourage adoption is important for the success of any new workforce management systems or processes. While some staff may be reluctant to embrace change, there are many ways to make it easier for them. These include communicating how the software makes their jobs easier and appointing designated individuals to advocate for the new software. You can also remove the alternatives, giving them no option but to get on the bandwagon.
In addition, conduct thorough training in different formats for different types of learners, and have someone available to provide ongoing support.
One of the best ways to ensure WFM adoption is to select an easy to use system. Manus Software Europe/Softbrick B.V. provide state-of-the-art WFM solutions throughout Europe and beyond, helping large, multi-national organizations to optimize their workforce and payroll processes.
Our systems are cloud-based for easy implementation and integration with other systems – which is another way WFM can make your people’s day-to-day tasks easier.
Contact us today to arrange a demo and see how your WFM processes can transform.