It’s a fact; change can be scary. In any organization, there are people comfortable with the processes in place who do not want to learn – or are afraid they cannot learn – yet another software system. They are comfortable in the tried and true way of doing things, even though there may be several disparate procedures – one for IT problems, one for work orders, still another for transportation requests – that involve written forms and long approval cycles. But it’s their system. They know it, it works (although somewhat inefficiently), and there are just too many other responsibilities to worry about. Is it any wonder that an online facilities management approach is viewed with a skeptical eye?
FMx is a workflow management tool. It allows users to do their jobs more easily and with greater control over their time. But you first have to get the staff to use it. Here are a few tips to pave the way.
1. Get buy-in from key stakeholders.
Hold a kick-off meeting with supervisors and department heads, and GET THEM EXCITED about FMx. Walk them through all the components of the system, and demonstrate how it will make everyone’s jobs easier. Provide real-life examples of how other organizations are using FMx, and how it can be customized to fit their unique needs. Once they see how easy this web-based system is, how comprehensive and organized, they will get on board. Once these key stakeholders are convinced, they can convince the rest of the staff.
2. Show staff that FMx will make their jobs easier.
Supervisors and department heads should work directly with their teams to show them that even the least tech-savvy person can use this system successfully. They should provide a one-page ‘how-to’ document to illustrate how easy it is to navigate the system, and the steps to follow in using it. Have them stress how FMx opens the lines of communication so that requesters never have to worry about the status of their requests and there is always accountability; they can see who is assigned to the task, current status, and expected completion date.
3. Demonstrate that FMx will save time.
Everyone in the organization can log into the FMx work order management system and create a request in minutes. The staff will readily see that FMx consolidates all the different systems they were using, eliminating the time-consuming process of filling out separate forms for separate requests and getting them to the appropriate approvers; the system does that automatically. And, since FMx can be accessed via any computer, smart phone, or tablet, status updates on requests can be obtained and additional requests can be made anytime, anywhere. In fact, a school administrator recently shared his enthusiasm for being able to respond to requests while he is on the treadmill.
Change is inevitable. But employees who are reluctant to let go of old paper or software systems, who believe that it is difficult to learn a new way of doing things, will soon embrace change, once they see the simplicity of FMx, its ease of use, and the efficiency it brings to the organization. Once your staff understands that their jobs will be easier as they streamline work orders, eliminate stress in maintenance requests, and schedule conflict-free events, acceptance of change – and of FMx – will quickly follow.
Morgan Murray, Manager of Implementation & Customer Support
Facilities Management eXpress