Don’t Attempt an HCM Implementation Before Addressing These 5 Concerns
In an ideal world, your core HR system functions as the end-all platform for handling the full spectrum of HR processes. It serves as a single source of truth, capturing and automatically updating all employee information, supporting strategic HR initiatives, and increasing overall efficiency. In reality, an HCM implementation is often far more tumultuous. Poor planning, delayed decision making, employee resistance, and inadequate user training are just some of the challenges that can thwart your plans to revel in HR nirvana. Whether you’re transitioning from an on-premise system to the cloud, or from one cloud-based platform to another, it’s imperative to understand what a successful roll-out requires. If you can get it right, your new HCM will unleash better ways of working, hiring, promoting, and managing talent, among other key activities. But being unprepared will stand in your way of achieving any of these goals. Before you dive in, there are a few tactical (and less tactical) considerations to note. Here are our top five tips.
1. Align decisionmakersHCM implementation demands dedicated leadership and a qualified project team. So, who’s on the roster? The project team should include representatives from all relevant stakeholder groups, from recruiting to compliance to compensation, and everything in between. It’s also critical to have the active participation of a senior leader, who can help drive decision making forward. Keep the team small. While it’s important to represent each stakeholder’s interests, a large but unfocused team will not be equipped to bring the project to completion. Make the process as smooth as possible by ensuring all stakeholders are engaged and accessible. Finally, building a framework to facilitate expedient decision making is another key part of assembling your project team. Without one, too much back and forth and demand for multiple approvals can slow down your whole initiative.
Dive deeper: HR’s Essential Role in Digital Transformation
2. Break down silos and emphasize collaborationBuilding your project team is a great opportunity to start tearing down the silos that often inhibit collaboration and efficiency in HR, especially at the enterprise level. Your HCM system will bring key processes for human resource management, workforce planning, auditing and internal controls, recruiting, talent management, payroll, and compliance with HR regulations, and more into one control center. But to make this new machine run smoothly, you need high-level synchronization between all stakeholders. Once seated around the same table, representatives from each HR department should communicate their goals and needs, and identify which features and processes are most important for them.
3. Define which processes are most importantLeading HCM systems are so robust, you have virtually endless options for creating and customizing processes. But don’t let your eyes become bigger than your stomach. Just because you have countless options doesn’t mean you should bite off more than you can chew. Instead, take the time to identify the five-10 most important processes and define how you’d like them to work in advance. While you may need to adjust your processes when you get to the design stage, you’ll already have a pretty clear idea of how things should work instead of diving in without a clue and becoming overwhelmed by the possibilities.
4. Face cultural challenges head-onBeyond the tactical considerations, anticipating cultural obstacles and planning how to overcome them is integral. After all, implementation is only the beginning. Getting employees to actually use your new HCM effectively is an entirely different challenge. Implementing a new core system inevitably introduces a lot of changes and people naturally resist change. The key to ensuring employees embrace your new HCM instead of reject it is to two-fold. First, you must make transparency a core value. Clearly communicate the need for the change, what will be different, and what benefits it will bring. Second, make the transition as seamless as possible. The key to achieving that is removing usage barriers that contribute to user frustration and a negative onboarding experience. Digital solutions that provide on-screen, real-time guidance can literally walk your users through any process step-by-step so they don’t feel confused or frustrated. With access to support 24/7, they’ll never feel lost. When it’s easy, employees won’t be resistant.
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5. Make digital adoption a top priorityAdequate training is central to ensuring high adoption rates of your new HCM. But providing effective training for a platform of this scope is no easy feat. HR professionals who will work extensively on the platform need comprehensive training on a wide range of processes. The rest of your workforce also needs to gain proficiency. Non-HR employees won’t use the HCM with a lot of frequency, but this actually poses an even greater training problem. When employees don’t perform a process regularly, they often forget how to do it before the next time they need to. This “forgetting curve” hurts productivity, contributes to frustration, and leads to unnecessary support tickets. The solution for both groups is contextual learning. Digital solutions that enable contextual learning provide in-the-moment direction and support so all users can complete processes efficiently and with ease. These solutions have an algorithm that analyzes a large range of predefined contextual factors to provide tailored support in real-time. The need for time-consuming training courses, webinars, and constantly flipping through training manuals disappears.
Bring your HCM implementation plan to lifeYour dreams of ditching Excel spreadsheets and completing all key processes on a core HR platform are within reach. By creating a solid project team, driving decisions forward, creating a digital adoption strategy, and providing effective user onboarding, you can roll-out your HCM with minimal disruption.
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