While most employees aren’t lazy, none of them particularly enjoy doing extra work. And that’s understandable. But in order to implement and integrate your new document management system (DMS), it’s crucial to get your employees involved in the process. This article explains why it’s necessary to set employee expectations for DMS integration and how to do it right.
Why Employee Buy-In Is a Requirement for DMS Integration
Your employees are the ones that have to use the new DMS on an everyday basis. There are numerous advantages to using a DMS like eFileCabinet, but you won’t be able to reap any benefits without employee buy-in.
When employees don’t feel comfortable with new systems, they may not use them properly. They may also sabotage the implementation process and drag out the time it takes to make the switch. Worst of all, employees who aren’t comfortable with change may affect your work climate negatively. Misery likes company, and the last thing you need is employees collectively wishing for the old days.
Why You Need to Set Employee Expectations
You need to tell your employees about your DMS and how it will affect the way things get done in the future. Most employees will want to know specifically what will change for them on an individual basis. And while it’s a good idea to talk about the company’s reasons for making the change, you also need to set expectations for your employees.
Your employees deserve to know when things are going to change. If implementing your DMS is a multi-step process, then your employees need to know what happens next. The best thing you can do for them is to give them concrete deadlines and adhere to them as much as humanly possible.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to determine which old procedures they’ll have to let go of or change. For example, if your company is going completely paperless, it’s important for your employees to know that.
Make the Switch Easy for Your Staff
Employees don’t get paid extra to use a DMS instead of doing things the old way. That’s probably one of the reasons they might feel resentful for having to learn something new. In order to reduce employee dissatisfaction, you should make it easy for your staff to switch.
The best thing you can do is to offer your staff appropriate training and give them the tools they need to succeed. Everybody learns at a different pace, so it might take some employees more time to master the new system. You might also want to experiment with different training methods until you find the things that work well for your company.
Test Your Employees’ Knowledge
You can have all the training in the world and still have employees that don’t know what they’re doing. If you want to make sure that everybody is ready for your go-live date, then you might want to find out what your employees know. Knowledge testing doesn’t have to be as blatant as the type of tests schools administer.
Testing can be done in a group setting as long as you have someone present who can identify the employees who are struggling. The more often you can get your employees to use their new skills before they have to start using the new system, the more comfortable they’ll be with the change.
During training and after implementation of the new DMS system, it’s important that your employees have someone to talk to. You should identify a few super users in each department that you predict will have an easy time with the new system. You can ask those employees to provide post vendor training and help employees who need additional assistance.
Provide Clear Expectations
As soon as it’s feasibly possible, your company should set some clear expectations for DMS use. This includes creating standards for DMS use as well as a go-live date. In a nutshell, your employees should know how to use the document management system and what to use it for.
For example, maybe all of your inter-departmental requests are currently handled via paper requests or emails, but they will now be handled inside of your DMS. Your employees need to understand that sending emails or paper requests will no longer be acceptable.
In the beginning, you might choose to allow employees to use both methods as you slowly introduce the new DMS. However, sometimes employees respond better to a cutoff date. Instead of phasing it out, you might have to forbid requests outside of DMS by a certain date. Of course, it’s essential that your managers are aware of and cooperating with this change.
Get Started with Your DMS Integration
We’re not going to lie to you—implementing a document management system is not necessarily as easy as going for a walk in the park. For one, training can be very intensive for HR. But the effort is well worth it. As long as you understand that there is always a learning process for your employees and offer them training along with clear expectations, things should go smoothly for your organization. To learn how easy it is to use eFileCabinet, fill out the form on this page, and start your free 15-minute demo.