People hate changes as they eliminate the habitual processes they are used to. They lose control, and uncertainty looms close. If not carefully handled, organizational changes may slow down every other aspect of the business. But change is inevitable, especially in business where it often boosts profitability. Research shows that automation can increase operational efficiency by 20%.
But no matter how sensible and beneficial a new process is, not everyone in the workplace jumps right in. As a leader, you may face resistance and outright rebellion. You may need to make the changes more palatable to reduce employee resistance and speed up the adoption of a new process. This guide discusses how you can implement new processes at work successfully.
The Importance of Introducing New Processes When the Need Arises
A process is the lifeline of any business and helps streamline operations, ensuring resources are put to optimal use. Industries are constantly changing, and when they do, organizations must introduce new processes to stay ahead of the competition. A new system can streamline business activities, automate repetitive tasks, reduce human error, and add additional security measures to protect company data.
Why Is It Difficult to Implement New Processes?
Implementing new processes means workers have to embrace new procedures, and it's not always easy. For instance, an advertising agency may decide to have every ad go through the chief editor before publishing. It's a beneficial process that will ensure each ad is error-free, but it may face serious resistance from the production team.
Some people may feel uncomfortable about the new oversight or object to more work, while some may fear that the new process may expose their incompetence. Most of the time, resistance is what makes implementing new processes difficult. Employees don't understand why the new process is necessary, and others don't like people telling them what to do or how to do it.
But as a leader, you have to take deliberate steps to make the transition process easy for your employees and eliminate the hindrances to new process implementation.
Steps to Implementing New Processes at Work
1. Create the Right Strategy
A new process is a journey into the unknown, and you need to give your employees clear guidelines. Your strategy should clearly explain how the new process will change business operations for the better. A good strategy clearly explains:
- The specific processes that will be affected by the changes
- The action plan for implementing the new processes
- How the company will adopt the changes
- The sequence and speed of the implementation process--the timeline
- The economic logic behind the new processes
You may need to perform a SWOT analysis to establish the strengths and weaknesses of your company. Also, set the goals and objectives, and determine how the new system will help you to achieve them.
When you have a good strategy, employees will have an easier time understanding the new process, and you can readily answer their questions. And once they understand that their jobs are safe, it becomes easy for them to rally behind you.
2. Get Input from People Who Will Be Involved in the Process Before Implementing It
The easiest way to successfully implement a new process is by getting employees’ input. Talk to the people who will be affected by the changes and get their input. Many organizations fall over themselves to get customers to listen to them, but they totally ignore their employees.
Employees involved in decision-making feel responsible for the organization and its success. They contribute more, making the company more productive. Workers who know their voice is heard also have higher morale and job satisfaction. Get lots of input from staff before you implement a new system. You’ll have a broader perspective and break down their resistance to change.
The thing is, you may not be involved in the day-to-day operations of each department, and only the people in those departments can tell you the changes that will benefit them the most. Workers’ input can help you anticipate obstacles and steer clear of problems. Once they see the value in change, they will become early adopters.
3. Appoint the Right People for the Job
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh once said that poor performers cost the company "over $100 million." If you don’t appoint the right people for the job, the new system won’t work. A new process needs knowledgeable workers for its implementation to be successful.
A project is only as successful as the people behind it. Appoint workers based on their specialized knowledge and their collaboration and communication skills. They should fully understand the new process and the implementation strategy. You can also make the team inclusive by appointing process-minded and detail-oriented people from different departments.
4. Coordinate, Communicate and Cooperate
Coordination, communication, and cooperation ensure everyone does their work as expected. One business change can affect the entire business, and you need departments to coordinate and collaborate to avoid mishaps.
BPM Software can streamline business processes and enhance coordination, communication, and cooperation. Teams can map out processes, track the implementation of a new system, coordinate, and complete tasks quickly. It also provides actionable feedback, aiding the organization to make informed decisions.
5. Test Before Implementation to Remove Bottlenecks
Take a proactive approach and test the new software early in the implementation process. This determines its impact and effectiveness. It’s also the best way to identify and eliminate issues early on. Testing allows you to try out the system in a real-life situation and make all necessary adjustments.
Don't be afraid to push the system to its limits to establish any weaknesses. Testing also helps you to know the real value of the BPM software. You can make all the important changes before rolling out the software.
Get the Right BPM Software
To successfully implement a new process in your organization, you need the support of your employees. Get their input, create a foolproof strategy, address any resistance, and appoint the right people. Also, get the right software for your company--based on your needs and operational structure.