Implementing new technology can be stressful for everyone involved – the users, the IT team, the project manager, Senior Leadership and even the vendor. At HR Acuity we work with HR organizations from every industry and size to implement our SaaS solution which provides documentation and management of employee relations issues, a structured investigation process, Post Hire and Exit Interviews and insightful analytics. Because we understand the importance of successful technology adoption, we’ve architected our implementation and adoption programs follow our proven methodology and validated change management principles. In the first two months of the implementation process, the HR Acuity team guides clients on incorporating consistent processes and best practices to support this change, but also provides periodic assessments to measure their success.
Here are 10 steps that you can take to drive change management and ensure a smooth transition when adopting new technology.
- Communication is key! Nothing is worse than springing a new solution on your team without any prior communication. For successful change management you need to have a clear roll-out process that starts with a top down communication explaining the need for the new technology, plans for the adoption process and most importantly, the impact the new solution will have on the organization. For HR Acuity clients, the goal is to streamline HR processes, encourage consistent documentation of all employee issues, implement a consistent approach for conducting all investigations and how to use analytics to proactively effect change.
- Training, training and more training. We’ve found that training new users on all available functionality at the outset just doesn’t work. Imagine if someone tried to teach you everything you now know about email or Excel in one training session. We have found that a tiered training approach works well towards the goal of full adoption by the team. HR Acuity implementation specialists typically conduct five to seven training sessions with new users over a six week period to ensure that users build on their knowledge of the new solution, have opportunities to ask questions and review functionality over the course of several weeks.
- Remember: everyone learns differently. Some people like to watch videos to learn while some prefer to read how to guides and others just want to get in and start playing around. To ensure that everyone adopts the new technology, you need to provide visual training, printable material and access to the technology so that everyone can dig in and learn in their own way.
- Make change last! Sometimes people get lax regarding the quality of their work. During the adoption and training process, we conduct case review sessions not only to review the features and functionality, but also to ensure that users are properly documenting all of their employee relations and investigations and taking full advantage of the functionality the solution offers. I remember one senior HR leader who asked if the cases that we were reviewing were made up cases. He was disappointed to learn that they were his team’s cases. It is no surprise that his team’s case documentation improved drastically - immediately!
- Review utilization. We also encourage our clients to conduct case review sessions with their whole team. Sharing well documented cases, such as a former employee claiming wrongful termination that includes a complete history of documented issues with the employee regarding attendance, performance and inappropriate behavior, is very impactful. Reviewing poorly documented cases is equally important to show the value of adding relevant emails, company policies and complete details about what took place and when it happened. These case reviews help teams improve their documentation which can help protect the whole organization. Team case review also provides a way for more experienced team members to teach newer members. Don’t always assume that newer team members are the only ones to benefit! Many less experienced users may catch on to new technology faster and learn to do things better.
- Think across the generations. For example, millennials may feel more comfortable taking interview notes on their laptop or mobile device where employees from other generations may be more comfortable using pen and paper. Make sure that your new technology solution provides options for your whole workforce and includes methods and processes so everyone can feel comfortable.
- Commit and Incent. Get a commitment from everyone on the team that they will use the new technology and then motivate them to adopt. Find creative ways to encourage your team to follow your new process and adopt the new technology.
- Ensure Lasting Change. Once the new technology has been embraced and usage becomes routine, HR Acuity works to help clients realize continued success by scheduling quarterly business reviews with the team to understand any pain points and identify and address any additional training needs or gaps in the new processes.
- Keep optimizing! Don’t assume that once you implement a new technology that you’re done. Keep reviewing new features and functionality as it becomes available to help improve your processes. HR Acuity users may start with case documentation and analytics, but most clients ultimately add on features such as Post Hire Interviews, Letter Templates, Manager Portal, Queue Functionality, DocuSign, Exit Interviews, Web Forms and more as they see the value of the solution.
- Share feedback with your vendor. HR Acuity loves to hear feedback – both good and bad! User feedback guides our product and engineering teams as they work continuously to improve our solution. Clients always love when a feature that they requested is released and they feel that they’ve been instrumental in bringing about that change.
When HR Acuity partners with a client on implementation, we are not satisfied that they’re fully on-boarded until they’re willing to be a reference! Our goal is to ensure that their new technology solution works for them – a clear difference that makes us unique.
Mimi Larkin is VP of Client Success for HR Acuity, a technology solution that combines documentation, process, and human expertise so organizations can meet the challenge of managing employee relations in the modern world. Be proactive. Manage risk. Create a safer workplace.