How to get your Employees to Use your Workflow System

So you’ve invested in workflow management software. You’re ready for your employees to start using it – but, they don’t (we often don’t like change, right?) There has to be a good strategy in place to rollout a system and have users adopt it. But users are often comfortable using emails and spreadsheets to manage the flow of data.

Let’s look at some tips so you can ensure that your workflow efforts and goals actually get accomplished.

Getting employees involved before a launch

Getting employees involved in the development and implementation cycle could encourage users to come onboard. By being part of it, and understanding what’s going on, there is a high chance that it will be adopted. Sure they may be issues like in any implementation, but they will be addressed with more ease if users don’t feel like the system was forced on them.

Ensuring the system is user-friendly

Robust systems are often hidden behind layers of poor usability. However, if the system is easy to use, the chances of adoption are higher.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure the system is optimized for usability.

  • Ensure you select the right vendor whose system is built on usability.
  • Ensure commonly used terminology on labels, buttons, field names.
  • Ensure you familiarize everyone with acronyms and jargon.
  • Ensure there is Help text for further explanation if and when the user needs. Even for things that seem obvious, ensure that you have help text.
  • Ensure employees can operate workflow from their mobile device.
  • Consistency is key. When creating forms, ensure you use consistent labels. Ensure that everything is uniform – place buttons in the same places.
  • Start by creating processes with a minimum amount of emails, to prevent “notification fatigue.”
  • Make notifications relevant with details regarding the task, especially if users will need to track several emails at once.

Avoiding the launch trap

The reality behind launching a new workflow system is that it is just the start. The latter steps are integrating the system into the daily employee routine. You may have seminars and training sessions, but more work must be done. Ultimately, until a system starts to show the benefits, you’ve got more work on your hands.

By interviewing stakeholders that should benefit from the workflow improvement, you can ensure that users have the end goal in mind.

Ask questions like:

  • Are things better or worse with the new system?
  • Are transactions taking longer?
  • Is work more accurate?
  • Are you spending less or more time on manual tasks?

Going to the people that are involved in the process of implementation accomplishes two things:

  1. It provides insight into subjective data compared to objective results.
  2. It shows your people that you are invested on making the process work.

Sharing successes with employees that are involved with the system increases morale. Setting metrics and highlighting the successes pushes the users to use the system.

When we recognize the strides that are being made with the new workflow system, we generate results and evolve and mature our internal processes.


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