Embedding HR Tech: It’s About Managing Change
Here's a look at the steps that HR leaders can take in order to make sure that technology adoption takes place in their respective organizations.
In a bid to make talent management processes more engaging and productive, organizations are jumping onto the HR technology bandwagon. Companies desire to place employees at the heart of the talent process and so adopt HR technologies to strive to create compelling employee experiences. More power to the people helps create a sustainable, self-servicing model which equips employees and supervisors to make the right career decisions. However, the true potential of HR technology can only be realized when people embrace it and use it daily.
The people impact of HR technology
Humans by nature are averse to change. A HR technological transformation is a huge change for employees –it marks a significant shift in the ways of working and employee expectations, and thus often creates homeostasis i.e. negative employee-impacts such as anxiety, reduced productivity, demotivation etc. This is especially true for certain employee groups.
71 percent of millennials agree that technology is a must-have in organizations where they work, versus 66 percent of Gen-X-ers and 53 percent of Baby Boomers, according to a CompTIA survey.
It is, therefore, critical that employees are “eased” into the new normal, and hand-held to use the new technologies, whether it is a cloud HRIS or a new social engagement platform. This is in the interest of the HR team as well, because encouraging self-service models can free up valuable time for HR professionals to focus on more value-adding work. All in all, organizations must build in adoption strategies as a key component of the HR technology transformation strategy.
How to encourage adoption: Key steps
A well-conceptualized strategy to encourage adoption starts with defining clear goals and clear metrics.
- Design for ease of adoption:
A host of HRIS are available in the market, so make sure to apply design thinking to put together an HR technology makeup which aligns with business objectives as well as the employee needs and expectations. It is best to listen to employee voices through focus group discussions and consider their inputs even before the transformation exercise.
- Train and hand-hold the employee:
A new HRIS can hamper productivity during the time employees get accustomed to using the new systems and workflows. L&D must design and deploy engaging post-implementation training interventions, with intermittent refresher sessions. New joiners should be trained from the start through the onboarding modules. Companies can drive the adoption through human connections like employee focus groups and leadership touchpoints, and tech-led engagements such as Chatbot assistants and gamified learning. Continuous learning is the key to sustained HR technology adoption and breaking it down into micro-learning nuggets can help build confidence in employees.
- Communicate the change:
HR must work towards helping employees see that the new technology is good for them. An extensive marketing and communication campaign is a part and parcel of any change management exercise. Share the what, the why and the how of the change. Continuously share information and insights through various media such as intranet, social platforms, walk-ins, etc. to encourage employees to try out the new systems.
- Deploy change management techniques:
Technology enablement is more about mindset change than anything. While technologies can be learned, overcoming mindset and perception barriers take continued commitment and effort. A successful transition does not stem from mere information sharing; employees must be enthused and inspired so that they can overcome their fear. Thus, companies can inspire participation in various ways. Get inspiring leaders to showcase how technology is being used and how it is helping them. Institute an innovative rewards and recognition program to push adoption. Use a blend of technology and human-connect to help employees understand “What’s In It for them” and build trust in the new ways of working.
- Celebrate the change:
Perhaps, what will help build employee confidence is to celebrate the wins, no matter how small they are. Showcase live examples of how the HR technology transformation has changed lives for the better. Reward those who are using the technology, and appoint them as brand ambassadors for the change. This will help reinforce the “WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)" in a more relatable way and reassure employees that the change is good for them.
- Monitor the change impact:
It is critical to monitor the impact of the change periodically. Assess the goal-attainment and employee-response from time to time, and look for early warning signs of the change going downhill. This will help take pre-emptive action early-on.
In the end, companies must also accept that it may not be possible to get every single person to change, but, as long as the majority is convinced, positive change will happen. This requires ongoing leadership investment – investment in terms of time, effort, finances and readiness to rock the boat. As long as the majority of the top talent believes in the inherent goodness of the change, the change will sustain.
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