These are the HR professionals who hold the key to a successful technology implementation in a business.
HR to take the initiative
CIOs spend a lot of time selecting and retaining the right software or the right equipment, before presenting it to senior management. Once this passage made, usually after a long interval, it is for operational managers to sell the new solution for employees. The communication between the two entities is vital. In large companies, often encountered staff that was trained and worked for years by a particular method and with specific technology.
This human factor can not be changed simply by declaring employees: “This is your new solution – use it and forget everything you were doing before.” It is at this level that the operational management and HR staff involved to communicate the benefits, methodology and logic of technological change. HR departments must control a wider change in the culture of the company before, during and after deployment. Without the involvement of HR, companies risk wasting millions in technology that will never reach its full potential.
The International equation
This can be a difficult task. Multinational companies with 30,000 users in different regions of the world recognize that HR departments are crucial to support staff every day. In parallel, the adoption of new technology should not interrupt the activity while users are adapting. It is already an expensive investment in deployment – any further delay could increase unanticipated costs.
There are different ways of managing these complications. HR departments can seek to identify whether there is a strong need for cultural change to adopt the new technology. As part of a deployment, it can be estimated that the change effort comes to 70% of the human factor and 30% of the technological factor. To succeed of human change management, HR will need to exploit their technical expertise within their business.
Often HR departments inform senior managers in different regions on new software solutions, pending a cascading effect of knowledge and expertise. An alternative method to manage deployments is to identify where the reverse is the technical expertise on staff and exploit at best.
This can be either a junior employee who has very good expertise that passionate about new technologies wishing to act as an ambassador, a coach or trainer to others. This can come from their own knowledge or that previous solutions have proved so complicated for their work than any change could be good news.
Establish employees evangelists
HR departments can capitalize on that qualified and enthusiastic staff. Experienced managers may not have enough fluency and technological knowledge to easily oversee change management, or worse they might erroneously present the new software. However, we can trust the previously trained technical staff to drive the adoption of new technology. In this regard, the communication is once again the key.
Determine the correct relay in its staff is a first step, but train them properly to the new technology is the second. HR departments, in close partnership with IT service providers and managers should give staff time and resources to be comfortable with the new software. This can be achieved through testing phases on specific projects in a preliminary deployment across the enterprise. Show your employees the benefits and present their concrete results.
These enthusiastic employees and comfortable with the technology adopted can even become your “evangelists” with this method of testing phase. Employees believe, gains on the processes and daily activities provided by a new software solution will act as ambassadors to their colleagues. They could even potentially identify other sections of the company where the solution could be implemented. This human factor should not be underestimated.
Facing teething problems and look to the future
HR’s role extends beyond the implementation. In large companies, there are always employees who are not as comfortable with the new technologies than others. After heavy investment, it is not desirable to frustrate some of the staff or see an attempt to circumvent the new processes.
The sooner these points can be treated, the better, as it avoids leaving frustrations grow among staff. HR departments can escalate issues as quickly as possible with management and work hand in hand with the staff but requiring additional training plans if necessary. Attentive listening problems will allow employees to remain satisfied and productive.
Companies must rely on HR departments to build a corporate culture that is ready for change. This is a key point for large companies whose staff is spread around the world. Only when employees are actually willing to adopt new technology that its implementation will reach its maximum potential. Look to the future and give up obsolete business processes …