Change can be quite troubling for employees. The reality many upgrading companies face is that, when the workforce has an established way of doing things, it can often be rather resistant to change. So, as with any major change in your operative software, your employees are likely to only vaguely—and perhaps begrudgingly—understand the benefits of the transition. Ultimately, an ERP system where one previously didn’t exist is going to force your employees to master new procedures and responsibilities outside of their comfort zones. 

However, if you can get your employees excited about the prospect of working in an ERP, then this mix up of processes is only beneficial for the business; giving it a fresh coat of paint, so to speak. So, if you are looking to reimagine your business—without taking it out on your staff—then follow these tips to get your staff excited about the opportunity to work in an ERP system.

1. Communicating the Benefits 

There is no such thing as too much employee-employer communication when it comes to an ERP transition. Companies should consider opening a dialogue with their sales staff, discussing why they consider this technological advancement to be a good thing and highlighting the potential value it will offer; not just to the company, but to the daily lives of staff as well. Be sure to communicate the stuff that is important to staff, including the opportunity to learn new skills, or the ability to improve their daily tasks.

2. Identifying the Agents of Change

Among the bigger mistakes companies adopting an ERP platform make is not including more of their employee leaders in the decision-making process. By keeping important employee leaders in the loop your staff will likely be better informed, and more likely to trust that all factors were considered when the decision to make the transition was made. 

3. Providing Adequate Training

A system can only work as effectively as the employees that control it, so ensuring your sales staff is aware of the proper way to interact with the system should be a top priority. Beyond the operating capacity of your staff, you should also consider the steps you as a decision maker are talking to ensure that your staff is adequately trained. This requires setting aside time for training and answering questions.

4. Easing your Staff’s Minds

Employees don’t always openly express their concerns, but unfounded fears can often eat away at a staff member facing an impending ERP change. These fears often stem from an insecurity regarding the new systems’ role, their role in the new system, or their ability to adapt to the changing work landscape. Much of this fear stems from a lack of information and a lack of understanding, so reassuring your sales staff that you are there to foster their learning is also essential. 

5. Demonstrating Support

 It is critical to ensure that an effective network for employee-employer communication is established, through which fear can be eliminated and replaced with understanding. By creating this feedback network, you make it clear to your staff that they are still the heart and soul of the operation—a comforting reminder in a time of transition. It's key to remember, however, that simply hearing your staff isn’t enough: action must be taken upon hearing this advice in order to properly support sales staff.

Regardless of the task you and your team hope to accomplish, it's critical to always be aware that practice makes perfect when it comes to anything new—and ERP is no exception. So, at the end of the day, even though employees are resistant to their changing work landscape, business still need to keep pace with the advancing word of business, regardless of resistance. Thus, continued efforts to communicate with your team is likely to greatly reduce the resistance faced in the implementation of a new ERP.