HR experts say that one of the biggest challenges that come with implementing a new workforce management system is selling the idea to the workers. Many employees will either feel excited or apprehensive when a new workforce management system is being implemented in the workplace. However, some will also have mixed emotions (thrilled and, at the same time, scared) about its introduction. This is because workers have the perception that the implementation of a new system means drastic changes in work schedules, salaries, benefits, and vacation times, among others.
Introducing a New System in the Workplace
Certain changes will indeed be enforced in the workplace once a new workforce management system is introduced. But because employee engagement is one of the most crucial factors for the effective implementation of the new solution and its impact on the overall success of the business, it is important to ensure that these anxieties are handled properly without affecting team morale or causing an increase in turnover (which is often high enough in the contact center).
A leading provider of workforce tracking and workforce management solutions explains that there are different ways businesses can help employees overcome their apprehension and learn to adjust to the new system.
Even before investing in a new system and after its actual implementation, communicating with all employees at all levels is crucial. Since the implementation of the new workforce management software affects all employees, they should be involved in as many processes as possible. This means clearly and consistently communicating with all employees to avoid costly surprises. This can be done by sending company-wide emails or through group meetings.
At the very least, employees must know and understand why the change is needed, the benefits they will enjoy, and how the new system will improve different business processes. To make sure everyone understands all the processes and are constantly updated, organizations are advised to develop and implement a good change management plan.
Designate one or more formal liaison officers
Communicating personally with hundreds of employees who have various concerns and questions may be an impossible task. To make sure no employee feels left behind or ignored, there should be one liaison officer or project coordinator for each department who can effectively collate and relay the concerns of employees to the management and, at the same time, answer their questions and address worries. The department manager or supervisor can take on this additional role since they already work closely with the employees daily and are always informed about the different stages of the implementation of the new system.
Ensure all employees undergo the official training
All employees will use the new workforce management software. At the very least, the workers will use this powerful technology to clock in and out, to request for vacation leaves, or to take part in schedule bidding and swapping. Those in management and the HR department will use the software for payroll, labor budgeting, demand forecasting, employee skill matching and onboarding, and asset tracking.
Because the new system is loaded with various features, employees will need sufficient time to adjust and learn to use them. As such, comprehensive training is essential to ease the culture shock and help both the employees and the software to ultimately arrive at a place of peak functionality. Workers have to attend the mandatory training which should be handled by the workforce management solutions provider.
Continue open communication and training activities, when necessary
Once the new system is in place, make sure all employees know how to use it and that they do utilize it. Encourage everyone to share their comments or feedback regarding the system. This can be done by asking employees to fill out a feedback or evaluation form or by encouraging them to simply send an email about their experience or opinion regarding the use of the system. They can also inform their manager or supervisor immediately if they are encountering any difficulties regarding the use of the software.
When it is clear that many workers are having issues with the new software, scheduling a new training session or refresher course will help them understand the system better and, eventually, use it correctly and effectively. In case the system will undergo critical updates or changes, it is also important for your team to undergo training again.
A new workforce management system can effectively streamline internal processes so that employees can dedicate more time to doing their actual job. It also improves data security in the workplace and minimizes the possibility of human errors. The software will also provide easy and quick access to important processes and resources and real-time evaluation of employee performance. Lastly, it can increase employee satisfaction since they will be able to check and edit personal schedules, request time off, confirm shifts, and clock in and out by using just one system.
Keep in mind that an organization will not enjoy these benefits if the employees are not on board with the system and unable to use it properly. As such, from the start, make sure you show your full support and equip your team to effectively deal with the implementation of a new workforce management system.