How to get buy-in for a new approach
Introducing a new system is always exciting for the people introducing it. You’ve spent months, maybe years, selecting the best solution, considering how it will meet everyone’s needs and how it’s going to revolutionize your business. Unfortunately, that’s only the first step in the process. Now you must get everyone else on board.
Shouldn’t we just tell everyone?
Bringing your teams together to talk about a new way of working is very important, but it shouldn’t be the first time that people hear about a new approach, nor should it be the last they hear before implementation. You will be most successful at implementing something new if you co-create a vision of ‘what good looks like’ with your employees. These are our top tips for success:
Pre all-staff meeting:
Before you introduce something new to your employees, you need to make sure you have the senior leadership team on board. Take your case to the CEO and c-suite and provide them with evidence of why things need to change, why you think this is the way to do it, and how Work-Dojo will help. For the best chance of successful buy-in from the top, before approaching senior leaders, consider their overarching strategy and how your new approach can help to meet that strategy.
You may need to adjust your method to meet everyone’s needs, but make sure to communicate the reasons for any parameters to employees. You’re much more likely to get employee buy-in if they understand the reasons behind restrictions. Once you have leadership team support for your approach, introduce it to the rest of the team, but recognize this is when the hard work begins!
Employees know their roles better than you do
All too often, senior teams plan programs and strategies without asking the people who will be using and applying these approaches what they need from them. Simple questions to employees on the ground can save you much time and financial investment in the future on programs that won’t solve your issues and may even cause more problems.
To get employee buy-in, you first need to present a case for why change is necessary. Is it something you’ve heard from employees that is propelling the change? Is there a new external factor pushing you to adjust how you work? Is the company in a financial struggle and so you need to improve the customer experience? Whatever the reason for change, communicate this to employees. They need to understand why they will spend their time learning something new, and how the proposed solution will fix this issue.
Then, you need to have employees co-create the solution. A simple introduction and a series of questions can help you to understand their needs. If possible, start with a simple face to face communication from the CEO / c-suite:
“We know ‘x’ (the issue) is happening right now, and this is the impact it’s having on us. We would like to bring in a new approach to help us to tackle this issue. But, before we bring something new on board, we’d love to hear from you:
- What do you think currently isn’t working and why?
- What currently is working and why?
- If we change what we do now, what impact will it have on you?
- What would you like to see most?
- What wouldn’t you like to see?
- How can we help you to get the most from this?
- What are your concerns?
Collate their feedback and prepare a report or presentation to feed back to them.
During the all staff meeting
Why do we need to change?
The best way to get buy-in for something new is for it to come from the top. Have the CEO share the feedback with the teams; if the CEO can’t be present, a video showing their commitment is key.
“We recently asked your opinion about what’s working and what isn’t at our company. We collected your feedback, and this is a summary of what we heard.”
Share the feedback you have with employees and ask them if you’ve collated it right.
“We gathered your feedback, is this what you wanted us to know? In response to your feedback and the needs of the business, we’re proposing trying Work-Dojo. We would like to start an 11-day trial of this approach to see if it meets our needs.”
Show employees how the tech connects to the overall purpose / goals of the company. Next, do a basic run through of Work-Dojo!
Why this way?
People will want to understand why this is the best solution to the issues you’re experiencing. If other programs haven’t worked in the past – why haven’t they? What were the issues? Is there a fatigue of new products? If so, what makes this one different? Show employees how these approaches will add value to their day and their role overall.
“We start the trial on x date. If it doesn’t meet our needs, we can see what else is out there, but we think it will!”
Post all staff meeting
Do the 11-day Work-Dojo trial and gather feedback from the people who’ve tested the tool. Use that feedback to make any adjustments you need to make to ensure you get the best solution for your employees and the business’ needs. Implement the feedback before full rollout of Work-Dojo.
Don’t stop communicating
Communicate communicate communicate! Regular communication throughout the process is key to buy-in. Keep co-sharing new ideas with your teams and work together to create a solution that helps everyone to achieve their goals!