Corporate Culture, Change Management, and an ERP Implementation

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Picture this: a new project, a corporate environment, a lot of technology, and a big budget.

Where does culture fit into this equation?

Company culture is embedded within your employees, and believe it or not, projects and business depend on positive company culture. Negative culture arises when there are ‘detractors’ within your company – these are people who often complain about their tasks or duties, are not receptive of change, and bring down the overall morale of the office. These people, and the overall ‘people management’ of a project are handled via change management. This can be done with internal change management personnel, or through a consultant involved with the project. The key is to ensure company culture and change management are organized and attended to during the life of any project; having the company and its employees on board is of the utmost importance.

When the overall culture is: stressed, nervous, anxious, worried, or fearful, it can cause issues among employees and increase the resistance to change. If this occurs, it makes a successful implementation much more difficult. Any sort of project can cause anxiety when duties are changing, people may become concerned about job security, nervous about learning new skills, and performing well in a new role. This is where the change management coordinator is concerned; he/she is responsible for reviewing processes and ensuring that the corporate culture remains motivated and positive.

There are three distinct concepts that will enable you, as a company, to ensure that your corporate culture is in check and allows for a smooth transition to your new ERP software.

  1. Leadership
    The most important part! It is difficult for change to be implemented from the bottom up so, it’s key for the executive team/leaders to initiate the changes and exemplify the proper behavior. If those in a leadership position are being positive, flexible, and open, during the ERP project – it’s more likely that the employees beneath them will be the same. Similarly, ensure that everyone is aware of who is in charge. It’s easier to follow the leader when everyone is aware of who is at the helm. So, make it clear who is steering the ship!Consider creating a culture checklist – and hanging it up throughout the office. Repetition is by far the best tool for adopting a new set of beliefs; in addition, it will hold employees accountable for their actions and the culture they exude.Here is an example of a company culture poster:
    company-culture-image
  2. Recognition
    Once you’ve identified the values of your company, and/or a company culture checklist, you can reward those who follow it. As humans, we naturally want to be recognized for the work that we do – we strive to achieve our goals and be patted on the back for them in one or another. Recognition can be as simple as a thank you email or as extravagant as a celebration. The key is to recognize the actions of your employees who have positive corporate culture – this will show other’s that the organization values those who adhere to the culture.recognition-image
  3. Positivity
    It’s important to ensure that everyone is on board when it comes to change. Maintaining positivity throughout the business is crucial for multiple reasons. First, and the most basic, it helps with the aura and allows people to enjoy coming to work every day. No one likes to sit next to a ‘negative Nancy’. Second, it creates a more fluid culture, in that, the employees ability to react to change is much more successful and allows the business to flow smoothly. Finally, positivity and good reaction to changes (i.e. the ability to successfully flow throughout company changes) reflects well in the eyes of your customers; when you have happy employees, that attitude is transferred to your customers.

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It’s a pretty simple concept. Happy employees mean a positive work environment, which leads to successful projects, increases in sales, and happy customers. This can truly only be achieved successfully when people management is a priority. So, when planning the aspects of your next project – ensure that change management is involved and rest assured that the company culture will increase productivity instead of detracting from it!

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