How To Reduce Employee Resistance To ERP Implementation

how to reduce employee resistance to erp implementation enterprise resource planning integration

Sometimes, implementation of ERP meets discontent and resistance from the customer’s company employees. What consequences can this situation have? How to manage the employees’ dissatisfaction so that they do not obstruct the project deployment? 

This article is addressed to executive managers who are planning to implement the ERP system or have already been doing this. 

Resistance may occur at any level of the organization with ERP (enterprise resource planning) integration. For example, the upper managers don’t want to introduce the changes because they believe that the new software doesn’t align with the strategy and financial goals of the organization. The middle-level managers receive little feedback from the upper managers and struggle to understand their role in the upcoming transformations. Other employees don’t understand the purpose of the implementation and their personal benefit of ERP integration. As a result, the distrust of innovations arises during enterprise resource planning implementation. 

What Are The Consequences Of Employee Resistance To ERP Implementation? 

#1 Loss Of Time 

Implementation of ERP is both a serious investment and a strategic decision. Resistance from employees can slow down the integrators’ work on the project. Time is money!

#2 Difficulties In Training 

Motivated and implementation-loyal employees can be trained more easily on the new ERP program. They will accept changes in business processes and job responsibilities more quickly. Human resources and training staff are crucial for implementing training time.

#3 Loss Of Valuable Workers 

Some valuable employees may resign, especially if the resistance goes too far. How can senior managers reduce employee resistance to ERP implementation? 

There are several ways to manage the resistance, so choose and combine them according to your current company situation. Again, this is where human resources and managers are essential to keep things together and avoid attrition.

#4 Listen To And Accept Objections 

Leaders of organizations often underestimate the effectiveness of the ERP method. One can force employees to accept the changes, leaving them no choice. As a result, innovations will be mastered slowly and with difficulty. But employees want to be heard and understood. The reasons for their resistance may include personal opinions, financial difficulties or even health problems. The team readiness assessment, surveys and focus groups can help determine the personnel attitude and minimize the resistance. 

#5 Reach Out To Employees Personally 

Employees will listen to a manager with a high level of trust and respect. You may speak to them by saying: “I believe in this change and I ask for your support”. You should make a plan for addressing each department or group of staff about the enterprise resource planning transition. 

#6 Encourage Workers Financially 

This tactic works well for top and mid-level managers. Emphasize the benefits of ERP implementation, motivate managers by offering premiums, bonuses and career advancement in line with reorganization milestones. 

#7 Invite Employees To Decision Making 

Managers are solely responsible for the result of ERP implementation. If you include your employees in the discussion of important decisions, they will accept the organizational changes more quickly. A change impact assessment will help the personnel understand how the forthcoming rearrangement will affect them personally. By educating every department about the future processes structure, you will stop the possible resistance before it arises. 

#8 Clearly Outline Options And Consequences 

Any opposition to the changes eventually leads to discussion of options. It is important to give employees clarity on the possible alternatives and the consequences of the choice. This strategy can help the staff members accept their new responsibilities as a given. 

#9 Attract Resistance Leaders To Your Side 

The main opponents of ERP implementation may likewise become its proponents. To achieve this, do the following steps: 

• Listen to the leaders; 
• Give feedback; 
• Build up communication (communicate one-on-one or in the group); 
• Define separate and clear areas of responsibility. 


The methods mentioned in this article require time, diplomacy, tact and a comprehensive approach. Develop necessary ERP plans, organize focus groups and involve HR specialists in the work with the personnel. With our advice you will be able to prevent the possible enterprise resource planning resistance and its unpleasant consequences.

Official Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer Partners And News Outlets