You know it all too well, you need information from your faculty and then you have to go track it down. You make many requests for information (often the same types of information) to your faculty every year. But there’s a way to change that: a faculty activity reporting solution. With a central location for the latest and greatest faculty achievements, you know where you can find what you need. And faculty don’t need to take time from their primary responsibilities to respond to your inquiries.
A faculty activity reporting solution is a win-win for both faculty and administrators alike. Every university should invest in a solution that lets them showcase what matters most: their faculty’s unique accomplishments. To make this change, you may need to overcome faculty objections. The willingness of faculty to support and use this type of software is essential to success. Read on for three tips on how to achieve faculty buy-in. Want to learn more? Get our e-book: How to Get Buy-In for Faculty Activity Reporting Software.
1) Clear Communication is Key
Communication makes all the difference. While a poorly crafted message can create animosity and resistance, clear and constant communication can build trust and excitement. When implementing your faculty activity reporting solution, be sure that you do everything in your power to avoid blindsiding faculty. Instead engage faculty from the beginning of the process.
- Start by explaining the solution and why you chose it
- Present the current problem (i.e., multiple requests to faculty for information) and discuss the current process
- Talk about the issues with your current process (i.e., incomplete reporting and its effect on important activities)
- Explain the benefits that the new solution will provide
- Discuss implementation and your transition plan
- Communicate your expectations and the resources that will be available to faculty
2) Identify and Address Concerns
There’s no question: change isn’t easy. It’s in our nature to become used to the way we do things. And we know that new things take time to learn. It can be easy to resist change because of these reasons and so many more. Remember, these things are addressable if you take the time to listen to your faculty. But don’t just listen—also take the time to accommodate their needs and answer their questions. After all, your faculty are using the system and should be a part of the implementation process.
When implementing your faculty activity reporting solution, you may encounter some resistance as our faculty may wonder who can see their information. They might want to know how much time they will need to invest in learning the system or how long it will take to enter their data. And they’ll wonder about system security. It’s important to expect these concerns and create solutions from the get-go. If faculty have questions about others seeing their information, form a governance committee to resolve these issues. And for those who may wonder about security, share resources about the system’s setup and server protection to ease any trepidation.
3) Rally Faculty and Staff
To entice faculty and staff to take part in your new faculty activity reporting solution, you may want to consider a phased approach. Having a small subset of eager faculty participate in pilot testing is a practical strategy for a successful implementation. It’s common that faculty will not be willing to give feedback until they are knee-deep in the system. So, getting them using the software early on in the process will unearth their concerns sooner.
This in turn enables you to address any issues, configure the system and ensure faculty engagement before launching the solution elsewhere on your campus. Having a few faculty members who are already engaged and have been converted into champions will be beneficial when you roll-out the system. Not only will it prevent the masses from experiencing the same frustrating issues, it will also build trust in the system through peer-to-peer communication.
You may also want to consider incentives for your faculty. The main objective when implementing a faculty activity reporting solution is to get faculty intrigued and engaged. Consider brown bag sessions where you provide lunch or a social hour that combines mingling and learning. Or, give small rewards for those faculty who are early adopters.