It’s a new day for HR Tech leaders, as Technology, Information and HR departments are no longer relegated to “back office” standing. Why? The rapidly advancing digital workplace has forced companies to prioritize their business processes and tech adoption at breakneck pace. For many traditional and successful businesses, this newfound reality is all-together exciting, challenging, and yes—even a little daunting—as tradition can, at times, clash with innovation.
In order to drive this digital evolution forward, adoption—and how it’s achieved—must be at the epicenter of digital transformation efforts. And it often raises the question of how HR Tech leaders not only effectively implement change, but also take it to the next level. How to motivate and inspire a “champion adoption mentality” across all levels of the organization requires a thoughtful change management approach that drive enthusiasm and support across all competency levels – from digitallysavvy associates through seasoned leaders at the onset.
With this in mind, here are five considerations for your next adoption campaign:
1.) Executive understanding and buy-in is critical—it starts here. Having strong sponsorship at the executive level reinforces the commitment to the vision and strategy of the program you’re seeking to implement.
2.) Creation of cross-functional teams is a must. HR and IT must work together to create the ideal team to champion, execute and support change. Change management cannot start soon enough; having the right associate voice is imperative. Consider what additional departments are key to success – peers in communications, legal and others on your cross functional team may enhance end results.
3.) Be clear with expectations and have trust. Establish clear direction and guardrails and be open to hearing about what is or is not working from associates. The biggest part of any change is being clear about “what’s in it for them” and trusting associates to do what’s right.
4.) Operate simply, consistently and on a company-wide level—this is more or less our company’s mantra. Keep process as simple and standard as possible, as early as possible. This will make implementing any technology that much easier. Ensure there is adequate representation at the table for consistency on both metrics and KPIs. Recognize the impact appropriate cross-functional and geographical representation makes. For example, Rich’s is a global company. Decisions can’t be made solely by our U.S.-based team’s needs.
5.) Rely on partner inputs, tools, resources and advice to guide advancement. Require more from them! Partners implement for a living. They have seen it all. Learn from their experience about what has worked in similar organizations, ask for referrals from their clients and recognize that doing things the way you always have can be counterproductive. And of course, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Always negotiate for the best contracts you can get.
Fluid, Flexible, Adaptable, Agile. Not everything goes flawlessly when it comes to digital transformation. Our team has learned plenty from valuable temporary failures where we had to figure out how to quickly pivot and adapt. This is part of the process within the process. But I cannot stress enough how important change management is. Our team has implemented plenty of programs where change management was a mere afterthought. As you might expect, the adoption and usage of the tools in these scenarios was low at best. Having buy-in at the very top of an organization to help set the tone, listening to associates to understand their viewpoints and findings ways to incorporate the “voice of the associate” into every roll-out will result in higher adoption, greater ownership and a feeling of being vested, valued and heard.
As our team looks forward to the next 12-24 months, we’re excited for many emerging trends in the HR/IT space. How we create more value and opportunities for associates is key – and digital workplace transformation is a significant part of it.