HR technology is a $400-billion marketplace today. As per statistics, an average company spends about $2,000 per employee per year on various HR tools and services and that’s a considerable figure!
Traditionally, HR software were limited to some standard operational processes like payroll management, leave & attendance management but since the last few years organizations have started leveraging HR technology for various other processes ranging from talent recruitment and on-boarding to performance management, reward and recognition, engagement, learning and development, people analytics etc. In fact, there are lots of emerging applications based on disruptive technologies like AI and Block-Chain that aim to solve real business problems.
However, we all know that not all implementations are successful. The challenge is to ensure that the HR tech implementations are successful in bringing in the desired outcomes/return on investments and not just end up automating the processes with very low adoption level.
A survey, by consultancy firm KPMG, found that 63% of respondents had expected greater value additions to their business from cloud HR software implementations than what their investments had achieved.
PeopleCart has done numerous implementations for Reward and Recognition, Engagement and Innovation programs, for customers from diverse industry sectors and varied employee base. We get to work closely with all levels within the organization – leadership, senior management and the operational level workforce and hence, we understand the challenges and the roadblocks involved in any typical HR Tech implementation.
Here are 6 best practices, that we recommend to ensure that organizations get the desired ROI out of their HR technology implementations:
Stephen Fortune, principal consultant at The Oxford Group, suggests that if employers want systems and processes to change within the workforce, they need to change the culture and behaviors of the staff, not just the technology that they wish to introduce.
If the organizations are aiming to make a paradigm shift, they must understand their culture and incumbent behaviours first. As a conscious effort, the execution strategy and all the corresponding processes and programs should be designed in line with the organizational culture, thereby developing a conducive environment for enabling maximum adoption.
Integration of top – down & bottom-up approach
The larger envisioned goal of the program should cascade down the organizational hierarchy and the employers ought to ensure that the employees appreciate the relevance of the objective and its positive impact on them. Similarly, management should understand the ground issues and challenges faced by the employees, by conducting focus-group discussions and opinion or poll surveys at all levels. A common practice that we witness across all organizations is following a top-down approach while initiating transformational change. That is also precisely why such changes are accepted out of compulsion than out of choice and henceforth do not yield desired results in the long run.
Devising a Change Management Plan
No matter the size or strength, “every successful organization has to make the transition from a world defined primarily by repetition to one primarily defined by change”.
However, research shows that change initiatives are nearly twice as likely to fail as a result of organizational resistance rather than technical or operational issues. Organizations should have a well drafted change management plan in place for the new programs. In fact, before rolling out to the entire organizations, it should be implemented for smaller groups or departments to understand the nuances involved, learn lessons and craft best practices.
Assign Change champions who should own multiple communication campaigns through different channels so that all the employees know well in advance what is coming their way and should be ideally excited it.
Adoption is the key
Focus on all elements that maximize the adoption of new technology or product after implementation. Some of the key elements are ease of navigation, simple and intuitive UI/UX, necessary training and documentation.
Gamification is one of the most powerful means to increase adoption. Launch relevant contests and have leader-boards populated with real-time scores. Some of the engagement platforms like PeopleCart have inbuilt Gamification modules which plays as a catalyst in increasing the usage and hence, adoption.
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.”– Carly Fiorina, Former CEO of HP
Periodic monitoring of the status and progress of the program’s KPIs is important. Set goals and benchmarks and make sure that the stakeholders have access to status reports for the set KPIs e.g. effectiveness, adoption rates, engagement level, through neat dashboards and strong analytics. Measures for continuous improvement should be in place in order to fill in the gaps.
Integration of the applications for the Big picture
In case your organization has a number of applications implemented, ensure that the relevant applications talk to each other for data sharing and are not just operating in silos. This will help in visualizing the big picture and enable management to get intelligent insights for effective decision making.
HR digital transformation is the way for the future and is the need of the hour for organizations who want to have competitive advantage, as it transpires and transforms the core. However, it is extremely critical to ensure that organizations do not undertake HR Tech implementations, just because everyone else is doing it. Understand the real outcome that you want to drive through the implementation and then select the right technology/solution. There should be a well thought strategy, road map and an execution plan in-line with the best practices, a lot of them have been shared above to maximize the ROI and create an impactful story !
What has been your biggest challenge with HR tech implementation in your organization? How did you overcome it, and what did you learn along the way? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Ajita is a Leader for Client Engagement at PeopleCart for Middle East and South East Asia Market. PeopleCart is an Engagement , Recognition and Innovation platform for modern workplaces. She works closely with the clients in understanding the strategic objectives and aligning the product and solution to their digital transformation initiatives, with a larger goals of bringing happiness and productivity at workplace.