We have just installed a new EPoS system and it has had quite a few glitches. The staff has found migration to the new technology difficult and are very negative about the implementation. It will make it much easier for ordering and stock control in the long term, but how do I motivate and engage my staff to adopt the new technology?
Successfully introducing change is as much about managing the attitudes and behaviours of your staff as it is about introducing new equipment or processes. It’s perfectly normal for some team members to be resistant or wary, particularly if a change involves automation. That’s why it’s important to involve staff.
It’s normal for your team to focus on the present. As a manager you need to share the vision of the future. Provide purpose, explain the reasons for the change and highlight the strategic benefits. If a benefit of the new system is long term, such as ease of ordering and stock control, don’t assume that your team understands this. Recruiting ‘ambassadors’ that use the new system can be a great way of cascading that information to them. These ‘first adopters’ can provide feedback and let you know about any issues, as well as support colleagues.
Coaching can also be highly effective when introducing change. It’s natural, when glitches occur and queues to the till are building up, to feel negative. Counteract this by giving your team a structured way to communicate the issues. Have coaching conversations with your team and give them the opportunity to come up with solutions or ideas to improve the situation. Let them feed back as part of a training programme and organise meetings or forums for staff to have their say. Always document and follow up the feedback you receive.
If the only outlet for conversations about the new system is informally, in the staff room or around the coffee machine, then negative feelings will grow. By giving your team structured ways to understand and communicate issues, staff will feel involved and part of the solution. With your team on board and feeling valued, the change process will be a whole lot smoother and less stressful for everyone.