How Education Can Make or Break Staff Buy-In

How Education Can Make or Break Staff Buy-In

This is a scenario that many decision-makers have found themselves in: you’ve pinpointed an operational issue within the company and set out to fix it. Perhaps you’ve noticed how busy your

managers are between training, scheduling their frontline staff, and managing client relations. So, you set out to find a way to optimize their workflow.

You analyze the issue, do your research, and find the perfect tool to address the problem. In this case, you decide that you want to introduce scheduling automation for frontline workers to ease the stress that comes with manual scheduling. You implement your solution, sure that everyone will be on board, but when the idea is presented, you’re immediately shut down by everyone on the team.

What went wrong in that scenario? What you were likely lacking was staff buy-in.

What is Staff Buy-In?

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Getting staff buy-in means getting your employees’ support behind a new policy or initiative. This means getting your employees to accept changes that will ultimately make the organization as a whole run better. Staff buy-in is not something that decision-makers can expect to gain from their employees automatically, but not having staff buy-in can severely impact morale. To avoid this, several steps need to be made to ensure staff buy-in.

Communicate Your Plan

Clear, open communication is key to getting staff buy-in. While you may have noticed an issue within

the organization that needs solving, it’s not a given that other staff members have noticed the same issues. While upper management may have a better understanding of the organization as a whole, this doesn’t necessarily apply to the frontline staff working under them.

For example, a frontline worker may not have noticed that manually tracking their hours is leading to increased payroll errors across the organization. Their job entails concentrating on just one part of the organization, so it’s not surprising that they may not see the bigger picture. So, when you suddenly spring the idea of using payroll software, the frontline worker may not understand why the change is necessary.

Before implementing change, it’s important to educate your staff on the issues that you see, and how the changes you plan to introduce will improve these issues. Emphasize the positive impacts that change can bring about, and take any issues they may raise into consideration.

Train and Follow-Up

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During the training stages, keep lines of communication open. There’s a high likelihood that your staff

will have many questions about the changes you’ve implemented. If you’re implementing new software, you’ll likely have to field technical questions as well. Ensure that either you know the answer to these questions or that you’ll be able to find another expert who can help you find an answer.

After formal training ends, it’s important to proactively follow up with your staff. Some staff members may not want to come forward with questions, and that can lead to them withdrawing their support. Set out measurable goals that you can follow up on.

For example, you can tell your HR department to use the new workforce management software you’ve introduced to complete payroll for your frontline staff by the end of the day. Then, see if they were able to meet this goal. If they weren’t able to meet this goal, find out why; this may reveal deficiencies in training or understanding.

Address Problems Before They Occur

If you sense resistance or resentment, make sure to address it immediately. Resistance from one staff member can quickly spread to other team members and balloon out of control. A common point of resistance when it comes to a scheduling software, for example, is the perception that it invades a

worker’s sense of privacy. One team member may dislike or fear the idea of having their hours and

activities precisely tracked every day, and this fear can quickly spread.

This is where you must address their concern before it becomes a bigger problem. Assure them that micromanaging their time is the opposite of what you aim to do. By tracking their hours and activities, managers will no longer have to interrupt a frontline worker’s shift by asking them if they’re completing their tasks on time. Whatever their fears may be, make sure to ease them early on.

Be Sure to Educate Your Team

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Many of the barriers to staff buy-in can be boiled down to fear of the unknown. To get your team to accept change, combat their fears with education. Be sure to communicate with your team, train them thoroughly, and address resistance early. This will allow you to introduce new policies and software that can make managing human resources for frontline workers a breeze. If you’re ready to make the jump, contact us at GoEasyCare for more information.