Transforming HR : 3 Steps To Successful Change Management

HR functions continue to face multiple challenges in a disruptive environment. Not least of these is the pressure to create a culture which engages employees, boosts productivity and improves employee retention in the context of a global talent shortage. Korn Ferry predicts a talent deficit of over 85 million workers by 2030. (Source)

How is that achieved in a way which utilises talent more effectively? Organisations must be agile and responsive to disruption – but that requires a shift in the way we view change.

In my experience, two fundamental issues prevent success:

  • The implementation of new processesand systems is viewed as ‘automation’, rather than a tool to define the voice of and transform talent management strategies.
  • We regard change simply as an independent – or sometimes preceding – activityand discard change management until the final stages of implementation. Often this is when the entire project falls down.

Building these three steps early into your process helps to address those issues:

First: Define ‘what’s in it for me’?

Employee buy-in is integral to success. The core line of business for many people is not always HR. Clearly defining the ‘what’s in it for me’ angle and understanding the end user experience encourages a more positive engagement with change.

A younger workforce brings with it higher expectations, a more pro-active approach to careers and demands a better workplace experience.  The implementation of systems which support emerging working practices such as continuous performance management will encourage your talent to get involved in goal setting and regularly review their achievements against agreed objectives.

Answering the questions that matter such as ‘Why was I refused a pay rise?’ and ‘What training can I access to gain vital skills?’ is part of this process.

McKinsey estimates that around 70% of change management programmes fail due to employee resistance.

Secondly: Recognise the importance of user adoption

Typically, when a new system fails it’s the result of poor user adoption. Change management doesn’t abruptly end in the roll-out phase. Expect some initial disruption and first focus on how to mitigate this. The next step will be to drive up the adoption curve. The systems that you have worked so hard to integrate into your business require just as much attention and effort through regular monitoring to ensure ongoing engagement.

Ease of use is a deciding factor in the successful user adoption of any new system. Review your metrics on a regular basis to evaluate how many employees are using the system and how often. What will you do if the numbers fall? How will you encourage more of your employees to use the new system?

As a guide:

  • End users must be able to start to use the system quickly and effectively. Any set-up process must be seamless or completed in advance.
  • Regular HR surveys on the user experience will drive future improvements.

Thirdly: Training must be relevant and engaging

Some form of training should take place, ideally as soon as the system is set up. The extent of training depends on the complexity of the technology but the simpler the experience the more engaged your users will be.

Employees are unlikely to access the new system on a daily basis so ‘refreshers’ should be available on-demand.  My take on this is that training should always be concise, process driven and easy to understand. Use interactive and engaging videos which avoid the use of screenshots. An intuitive system enables better user adoption.

Success is a less visible HR function

Your new system should provide a seamless interface and act as a catalyst for a more streamlined talent management strategy. For me, success is achieved when HR is less visible in day-to-day activities and user adoption levels remain consistent and satisfactory.

Transform your organisation’s talent management processes with expertise from Gavdi.With over 20 years of business transformation experience, Gavdi works with organisations on their transformational journey.

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