ERP Software Implementation

How Does Employee Engagement Impact ERP Implementation Success?

Discover how engaged employees drive ERP success. From change management to data accuracy, employee involvement is key in an ERP implementation.


Introduction

For ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) projects, employee engagement is critical for successful implementation and ongoing operation. ERP system implementations typically involve significant changes to business processes, workflows, and technology infrastructure, impacting most or all departments within an organization.

This article delves into the pivotal role that employee engagement plays in achieving a successful ERP implementation outcome.

Understanding and Ownership

Fact: ERP projects require employees to understand the new processes and tools they'll be using. They need to take ownership of their roles within the new system.

High engagement levels ensure that employees are motivated to learn, adapt, and actively participate in the transition. If an employee knows and understands their role in the project this will lead to less confusion and more ownership taken of the assigned tasks. Better ownership of tasks allows for a smoother ERP implementation. 

User Adoption

Fact: ERP systems are most effective when they are widely adopted by employees.

Higher engagement levels increase the likelihood of employees embracing the new technology and incorporating it into their daily tasks. Clear instructions and documentation can lead to better user adoption. Also keeping users engaged in training and discovery sessions where they feel involved will allow for better user adoption. 

Change Management 

Fact: ERP implementations often involve significant changes to established workflows and procedures.

Engaged employees are more receptive to change and are willing to adapt their work habits to align with the new processes. To lay the groundwork for success, it is essential that you set the expectations internally that processes and procedures will be changing to make the business more efficient.

Data Accuracy

Fact: ERP systems rely on accurate data input.

Engaged employees are more likely to pay attention to data quality and completeness, reducing errors and enhancing the reliability of the system. It is extremely important that data is validated internally for a smooth implementation. The last thing you want to do is bring over bad or stale data. Before the data migration takes place, please make sure that data is validated and cleaned up internally.

Training and Skill Development

Fact: Employees need to be trained to use the new ERP system effectively.

Engaged employees are more open to learning new skills and technologies, making training efforts more successful.

Our methodology allows users to get into the system early and allows for hands on training. Reports can be run to see how many test transactions are completed. You will be provided with a test plan, and it is essential that this is followed in order to drive a successful implementation. Poor testing leads to poor user adoption and poor skill development. It is very important to have an internal lead to spearhead the user acceptance testing to ensure it is completed.

Communication

Fact: Transparent communication is crucial to ERP project success.

Clearly communicate the goals, benefits, and impacts of the ERP system to employees. Address any concerns and provide regular updates on the project's progress. You would rather over-communicate versus under-communicate. Ensuring employees understand timelines and goals of the project is essential for a successful implementation. Dates, milestones and tasks should be clearly outlined in order to ensure there are no surprises and that everyone is on the same page. 

Feedback and Improvement

Fact: Feedback drives the optimization of ERP systems.

Engaged employees are more likely to provide feedback on the ERP system's usability, functionality, and areas for improvement. This feedback is invaluable for optimizing the system over time. Taking employee feedback and reviewing and providing prompt solutions is important to keep users engaged and satisfied with the direction of the implementation.  

Data Security and Compliance

Fact: Data security is paramount in the digital age.

Engaged employees understand the importance of data security and compliance with regulatory requirements. They are more likely to follow security protocols and guidelines within the ERP system that tie to authorizations and licensing. It is important that someone from your company understands the team’s roles and responsibilities to ensure the correct authorizations and licenses are assigned to make sure users are only accessing areas of the system that are required for their job role. 

Cross-Departmental Collaboration

Fact: ERP projects, by nature, often involve multiple departments.

Engaged employees are more likely to collaborate across departments to ensure smooth integration and alignment of processes. It is important for employees to understand how decisions make in one department can flow into other departments. 

Long-Term Success

Fact: ERP projects aren't just about the initial implementation; they require ongoing maintenance and improvements.

Engaged employees are more likely to be invested in the system's long-term success and continuous enhancement. Their commitment extends beyond the initial implementation, shaping the system's evolution and ensuring its continued relevance.

Conclusion

To have the required level of engagement for projects, the following items should be top of mind when trying to keep employees engaged in the activities of the project: 

Involvement: Involve employees in the project from the early planning stages. Seek their input, involve them in decision-making processes, and create a sense of ownership. 

Training: Provide comprehensive training programs to ensure employees are comfortable using the new system. 

Change Champions: Identify and empower change champions within the organization who can advocate for the ERP system and support their colleagues throughout the transition. 

Recognition: Recognize and reward employees for their active participation and contributions to the project. 

In conclusion, a high level of employee engagement is essential for the successful implementation and utilization of ERP projects. Engaged employees are more likely to adapt to changes, contribute positively, and ensure the system's long-term success. Their collective contributions facilitate the realization of project goals, transforming challenges into achievements.

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