Getting Employees to Accept Change- in eProcurement and Beyond

In a blog post by Anne Field of Register Rep, the author writes about the importance of communication and collaboration when implementing a change and then offers practical tips for adoption.

From the post:

You know what they say: The one constant is change. That said, there’s another eternal truth: The one constant about change is that people hate it. And since your employees undoubtedly are people, you can expect that they, also, feel uncomfortable when facing the prospect of a disruption to their routines. But that can make it very difficult to try to introduce changes, large and small, into your practice. We’re talking about anything from a new CRM system to an all-out revision of strategic direction. Making matters even trickier, according to Daniel Crosby, an organizational psychologist in Huntsville, Ala., who specializes in change management for financial advisors, the natural inclination for many results-oriented advisors is to move at top speed, completely ignoring the time-consuming spade work they might need to persuade their staff to get on board.

Trouble is, if your employees don’t embrace whatever change it is you want to introduce, you can forget about it: You won’t succeed. “Trying to make a change without staff buy-in is a recipe for disaster,” says Crosby.

Still, introducing change is quite doable if approached with sufficient finesse and patience, as Story discovered. “Change is a process,” says Crosby. Understand what’s involved and you, most likely, can make just about any change stick.

First place to start is a reality check. That means acquiring an understanding that you and your employees might regard a specific change very differently—and that you need to respect their point of view.

Like any sale, however, introducing change ultimately is about convincingly demonstrating the benefits of whatever you’re pushing. In other words, you need to show employees how the move will help them and the practices do better. “When people are well-informed and understand the decision, change is much easier,” says Palaveev. In some cases, that might take some doing—but the effort is essential.

After you’ve made your case, then you have to persuade employees they have a stake in the outcome. And you do that by, as the jargon goes, getting them to assume ownership of the change. Best is to identify the people directly affected by the change and incorporate them into the decision-making process.

By getting employees involved in the decision-making process, you also can save time in unexpected ways.

How are you including your employees in decision-making processes, particularly when it relates to new procurement processes?