The best ERP software in the world doesn’t operate by itself. Rather, the value of a software solution depends directly upon how well a company’s employees use the system to efficient and effectively accomplish their jobs. Therefore, the success of a company’s implementation of a new ERP solution depends directly upon how earnestly its employees adopt the system. Here are some ways to ensure that employees embrace the change that comes from moving to a new ERP implementation.

The process begins with predicting and preparing for resistance ahead of time. It’s just human nature to resist change. Anticipating potential objections can help a company more effectively focus its adoption plan. And that is key – every company moving to a new ERP system must take the time to formally address how implementation will be rolled out to its employees. Working with a knowledgeable consultant who is experienced in change management can be a valuable resource. While other consultants may know software in and out, a really good consultant will also specialize in predicting and overcoming employee resistance. Their experience working with other companies can help an organization put together a rock solid implementation plan.

Hopefully, key players throughout the organization were brought in during the selection process for the new ERP system. This early involvement of key employees can pay great dividends when it comes to getting departments to successfully adopt the new package. Make sure these key employees are involved in developing the roll-out initiative. If managers and team leads aren’t on board, what’s the likelihood that their direct reports will readily adopt the change? Prepare these leaders with additional training that will help them troubleshoot any problems that arise during the early adoption phase.

Take every opportunity to present the big picture of how the new software will benefit the company. Having employees invested in the success of the company is the goal of any organization, but it is especially important to successful user adoption. The inconvenience of learning a new system can be lessened if employees know the payoff. Obviously, companies that offer stock incentives have an advantage in these efforts.

Make every effort to emphasize how the new software will improve each employee’s workstreams, making them more efficient. Every good employee takes pride in their work. Therefore, helping them see how a new system will make them more productive is important. Also give the employees background information into how the old system was failing to produce the right results.

Lastly, empower the user through proper training. Employee certainly shouldn’t be seeing the software’s user interface for the first time while they are busy trying to complete their daily tasks. During this training process, make sure information can be sent up to management and system implementers as well as down to the employee.

Planning and executing an effective user adoption plan may cost a bit more money, but the cost of poor adoption is significantly higher. For example, disengaged employees can create problems by trying to work around the new system. If they deal directly with customers, their inability to effectively use the system can adversely affect the company’s image and customer service.