Effective communication is the most critical element of any continuous improvement software roll out. Whether or not your employees will embrace the solution and get value from it is partly dependent on how it is introduced. Whenever a new technology is deployed, people have questions and concerns that should be addressed head-on. Here are some tips for getting your team excited about software support for positive change.
Start with a Solid Understanding of Continuous Improvement
Before you dig into the technology, make sure that each member of the team has a good understanding of what continuous improvement means in your organization. They should know that:
- Improvements are based on incremental changes, not significant paradigm shifts or new inventions
- Ideas come from employees
- Employees take ownership and are accountable for improvement
- Improvement is based on two-way feedback
- Improvement is measurable and potentially repeatable
Explain Why Your Organization Has Invested in Continuous Improvement Software
When people understand the reason behind something, they are more apt to get engaged. Be sure to share the reasons behind your decision to implement a software platform for improvement work.
- The platform becomes one source of truth for all improvement projects. Improvement work is standardized and unified.
- Employees are easily able to report opportunities for improvement at any time, from anywhere, on their PC or a mobile app.
- A software platform reinforces improvement culture and creates a common language and set of expectations for improvement activities.
- Investing in technology signals to the organization that leaders are committed to the continuous improvement and willing to do what it takes to make people successful.
- When improvement work is managed with software, more projects get done quickly.
- The improvement platform serves as a repository of knowledge so that people can easily find and learn from what has been done in the past.
- Leaders have instant visibility into the health of continuous improvement within the organization.
- Goals can be aligned so that each individual, team, and department is driving toward the vital strategic goals and objectives of the organization.
- The impact of improvement work can be easily calculated to keep everyone engaged and excited about positive change.
Describe What Continuous Improvement Software Does
Whether the vendor provides training for all users or you use a “train the trainer” approach, at some point your team will need to learn the ins and outs of the particular solution that you’ve chosen. But before you get to that point, it may be helpful to provide an overview of the basic functionality of the system so that people know what to expect. The best solutions include the following capabilities:
Opportunity Capture: When an employee spots an opportunity to improve, it will be easy to add it to the system for review.
Alerts and Notifications - To ensure forward momentum on improvement projects, notifications will let people know when tasks are due and alert managers to any delays.
Reporting – When it comes to continuous improvement software, people often focus on getting data in, but getting data out in a way that helps with smarter decision making is even more critical.
Collaboration Capabilities – Often the most impactful opportunities for improvement involve people from more than one function. A continuous improvement system is an ideal platform for cross-functional collaboration.
Search – This may seem like an odd feature to mention, but it is essential. The ability to search for past improvement projects and learn from the outcome is necessary for rapid improvement.
Address Common Causes for Resistance
It’s natural to be skeptical of something new, so it makes sense to take on some of the most common reasons people might be resistant to adopting continuous improvement software.
Fear that it is about punishment or blame – Make it clear that the focus of improvement software is streamlined processes and communication. Finger pointing and blame are contraindicated for a culture of continuous improvement.
Concern that it will be just one more system to manage – The key message about this needs to be that an excellent continuous improvement management system will make things easier for employees, not more complicated. All relevant documents, communication, and plans will be in one place for easy access.
Answer “What’s In It For Me?”
What continuous improvement software represents for employees is an opportunity. The solution provides a platform for each person to contribute their best ideas and see them come to life. It gives team members and supervisors a way to measure and report on how their contributions positively impact the organization. It helps everyone stay in line with the strategy and offers a way to track accomplishments. It also gives managers an easy way to recognize and express gratitude to those who are actively working to achieve the ideal state. Most importantly, the investment means that leadership is committed to creating an environment in which every person can do their best work.
These tips should help make the introduction of continuous software go smoothly for your organization. Once it is up and in use by everyone from the C-suite to the front line, your organization will begin reaping the rewards of a daily focus on positive change.