Your New HR System: Transaction Tool or Transformative Technology?

Nov 17, 2015


 The cost efficiency you gain by installing a new talent management system is an important feature. It is often the first consideration in the decision to upgrade. CFOs need love, too.

The strategic value will only emerge when your people use it to develop into a dynamic force driving business results. Anything less is just a better, faster, and cheaper transaction tool.

We have seen companies spend a lot of time and energy implementing a system, yet give short shrift to change management, communication, and user adoption. The reason they fail, in my opinion, is that they focus on the technology rather than organizational change.

If your project is about building your culture, with technology as an enabler, you can seize the opportunity to make lasting changes that will drive profitability for years to come.


Here are five ways you can get better results:

Align your purpose, your strategy, and your culture

People don’t want to be viewed as cogs in a profit machine. They wish to be part of a higher purpose, whether they are employees, customers, or partners. When you align your goals and activities with your values and wrap them in your purpose, you gain long-term commitment that will drive the success of your business.

Your purpose, strategy and culture should drive every decision in your technology implementation.

Begin at the Beginning

Start your communication effort at the moment you know you will change your technology. Starting your change management early enables you to build momentum that will drive user adoption and value to your business. It gives you the opportunity to create a desire for change long before there is any change to resist.

The North Wind Theory

....It is creating a desire for the proposed change through a series of well-conceived communicatons that create awareness, understanding, concern, dissatisfaction and ultimately adoption of the change.

- Baker, Jim. “ The North Wind Theory- Creating a Desire for Change.”, December 16, 2014

Build a Multi-Channel Marketing Plan

A technology change is a service, and you will need to persuade its users it will be useful to them. Here are three suggestions to help build a holistic marketing effort.

  • Consider using a cross-functional change management team and be sure to invite Marketing to the table. The way your marketing manager thinks about gentle persuasion can identify communication channels you might not have considered.
  • Use every communication channel in your application. Each user home page, notification, help file, and competency description is an opportunity to reinforce your culture.
  • In your communications, explain in plain language the benefit and expected result of every feature, every time. Show people how it will ease their pain and help them to be more productive.
Create an Engaging User Experience

During the configuration phase of your project, create an experience for and about end users and their contribution to your organization’s purpose. Personalize the experience:

  • Use your content delivery tools to customize news feeds to make them relevant to the individual users.
  • Use graphics to show progress and accomplishments.
  • Give users growth opportunities that will make them more productive.

If the user experience answers three questions that follow, you will have developed a tool that will engage employees and make them a vital part of the team.

  • What do I need to accomplish?
  • Am I doing OK? How can I improve? (Provide an immediate opportunity to learn and grow.)
  • Does it matter? Communicate how the individual’s efforts contribute to your purpose and results.
Embed it in Your Culture

Change management doesn’t end at go-live. It continues indefinitely, and will adapt over time to new challenges and new ways of thinking. Embed it in your onboarding program to help people assimilate into your culture. Reinforce it at every opportunity.

Invest in analytics to measure and analyze the impact of your change effort on business results.

In today’s competitive environment, any HR system worth its salt will change and grow with you. Continue to leverage your long-term communication plan to keep your efforts headed in the right direction.

Take your system implementation beyond technology to operational excellence. Reap the rewards of an engaged, purpose-driven workforce.

Further Reading:

Rick, Torben. “Build a purpose driven business.” 

Pixentia is an enthusiastic family of individuals, fervent to make lives simpler through effective use of technology. Our mission is to implement solutions that drives business results. Know more insights from our thoughts and experience.

Contact us today or call 1-855-978-6816 to talk with us about your business needs.


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