Bespoke L&D Rollout
Norland Managed Services achieves high employee buy-in for new project management system through bespoke L&D rollout
In high-growth or complex organisations – particularly those operating across multiple sites – achieving consistent output across the business can be extremely challenging. Without a standardised operating procedure or system, there is a risk that consistency of approach to customers will be lost. With new systems, however, or any significant change, comes the potential of employee resistance or lack of buy-in. Understanding and overcoming that resistance is key to successful implementation.
In Norland’s case, they wanted to create a centralised project management system in order to streamline their existing processes and achieve consistent output across all users. The issue they had was that many of the project managers in question were used to working in a particular way, and there were concerns surrounding a potential lack of buy-in.
“Whenever you bring in a new system, there is a certain amount of pushback,” said Gary Perry, Director of Sustainability, Energy and Projects at Norland. “We wanted to centralise all our data, but we didn’t want individuals feeling like their freedom was being limited, as people have a tendency to resist change.
“The ultimate goal was to have every project manager across the country operating the new system in the way it was intended.”
“We started off with an in-house, ‘train the trainer’ solution,” said Gary Perry. “The problem was that when you train someone they only take in so much, then the person they train may take in slightly less, and if people leave the business they take that intelligence with them. We decided, therefore, to recruit a professional L&D organisation to keep the training centralised and achieve consistent output across all users of the system.”
When Norland brought us in to run this project, the first thing we did was go in-house, working closely with Gary Perry and other people involved in all areas of project delivery. The idea was to get feedback from key stakeholders in terms of what they already knew about the system, what they felt they needed out of it, and how it would link in with their roles. From there, we were able to build the initial course material with the genuine needs of the users in mind. Through training needs analysis, we were also able to make suggestions, making us a pro-active L&D partner rather than simply a training provider.
We travelled around the UK, rolling out training to users with varying levels of expertise. We created a sample scenario so that we could show people the most efficient way to use the system, first hand, exploring its full functionality and making sure everyone was using it in the same, intended way, and allowing them to give feedback. That feedback allowed us to mould the system, and the training, around the specific needs of the users.
As expected, there was initial resistance to the new system. We overcame this by simply asking the users how they thought it could be improved. We asked them: how can we make it do what you want it to do? The users had a direct input into the system’s functionality, so they inevitably bought into it more. Because we were in-house talking to people, we could really feel their pain, which meant we could see what was important to people and where changes needed to be made. This came across in the training we delivered, making the learners more enthusiastic and ultimately increasing not just buy-in, but also overall usability and efficiency of the system.
“TLD worked hard to understand exactly what the problem was,” said Gary Perry. “They picked the right person to match our business and culture, and that person took complete ownership of the project, doing a great deal of work off their own back. Importantly, they recognised we were busy and took the pressure off us. They spoke to the necessary people and came back with a solution, without disrupting the business. That is exactly what we wanted.”
“TLD immersed themselves completely in understanding how the product works. They came across as experts on the product, had the ability to enthuse others, and the system therefore became a powerful tool,” said Gary Perry.
After putting a great deal of effort into ensuring both the system and the training surrounding it were built in line with the genuine needs and concerns of the users, we are pleased to say that there was 100% employee buy-in for the new system, and that the ultimate goal of having every project manager across the country using the system in the way it was intended – thus ensuring consistency of output – was achieved.
The results were so positive, in fact, that Norland has asked us to be involved in the future of the project, too. “We will continue using TLD for the next phases of the new system,” Gary Perry said.
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