3 Ways to Smooth Tech Transitions

Introducing new technologies at work can create anxiety. Letting go of the familiar and learning something new is never easy. Despite that fact, according to a Mercer 2016 HRIS survey, 45% of organizations implemented a new HRIS in the past five years and another 45% planned to do so in the next one to three years. Despite the need for upgrades, those who participated in the survey indicated that 70% of software implementations were considered failures! You don’t want to be part of that 70%. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when adopting new technology.

1. Keep Your Focus on the People

In her article “How to Ease Anxiety When Deploying New HR Software,” Aliah D. Wright offers a number of suggestions that smooth the process and address common problems with transitions. She quotes Katherine Jones, a partner and director of talent research for Mercer, who suggests the following:

  • Proper training and support along with employee engagement go a long way toward making the transition successful.
  • Anticipating employee concerns and being proactive in addressing them is the best way to proceed.
  • Acceptance of the change by everyone impacted by its adoption is critical to successful implementation of new software.
    • In the article, Jones is quoted saying, “If you can’t get people to change, nothing is going to happen.” She suggests providing information and assurance, making sure employees understand the change, and prepare them well to implement it.
  •  Change takes time, and implementation isn’t a one-shot deal. Throughout the project, keep employees engaged.
    • Jones recommends finding out which employees support the change, those who will play an important role in implementation, by collecting feedback with surveys and focus groups.

2. Share the “Why”

Employees want to know why you are replacing the software they have come to know and use with ease. Change for change’s sake isn’t good enough, and while successful organizations don’t adopt new software just to make a change, they need let employee know why the change is being made:

  • Provide information about how the new software or technology will support organizational goals as well as improve workflow and efficiency for those who use it.
  • Help employees see the big picture and let them know they’re a part of the team! After all, it’s easier to change when you know that the time and trouble needed to make the switch will eventually make your job easier and move the company forward.
  • There is the possibility that adopting new technology means some jobs will be eliminated. Honesty is the best policy. Employers should be upfront about problems as well as advantages and when possible, help affected employees move to different positions.

3. Plan ahead

Make sure you have good training ready to go. Andy Wolber of TechRepublic shares some good ideas in his article 5 steps to help your employees adopt new software,including these:

  • Don’t overlook vendor deployment guides available online.
  • Allow interested employees to try out the software early and give feedback before the roll-out date. During training they can share their stories of successes and tips on how to use it.
  • Give employees access to the vendor’s manuals and guides as well as providing on-going support.
  • Work with small groups and have managers or employees who are comfortable with the new software work one-on-one with those who are having difficulty.

Tips from Forbes

In Nine Ways to Help Employees Adapt to New Company Technology, nine members of the Forbes Human Resources Council each offer a tip on how to navigate the implementation of new technology in the workplace. They include everything from incentives to mentoring to employee engagement. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Incentivize the Technology Use
  • Break It Up into Small Steps
  • Host ‘Lunch and Learn’ Sessions
  • Provide Training and Mentoring
  • Help Employees See the Value for Themselves and the Company
  • Engage Employees Every Step of the Way
  • Follow Up on Initial Tech Training
  • Make it Interactive
  • Give Employees Room for Failure

Read more about each of these suggestions. You may decide to use a few or all of them. Learning from the experience of others who have successfully navigated situations similar to the ones you are facing makes the journey easier.

Moving ahead

While introducing new technology presents challenges, they are not insurmountable. Planning, communication, sufficient time, and training all contribute to successful implementations. Whether you’re adding a new Human Resource Management System like Sage HRMS or extending functionality with other products, solid planning and communication are a must.

Remember, new software isn’t always difficult to use. (For example, Sage HRMS HR Actions®, developed by Delphia Consulting, requires no programming skills to create and use an unlimited number of online forms, moving your HR into a paperless environment.)

Do your research. Find the technologies that are a good fit and that will increase your HR efficiency. Read Wright’s article, view her Checklist in HR Magazine, and consider the tips from the Forbes Human Resources Council. Take a look at Wolber’s article, and when you’re ready, move ahead to a successful transition.

Feel free to contact us at 1.888.421.2004 or visit our website. We’re happy to help you explore the possibilities.

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Mary van Balen
Mary van Balen
Technical Writer at Delphia Consulting
Mary van Balen is based out of Columbus, Ohio and is a writer for Delphia Consulting. Mary contributes to the Delphia blog on Human Resources issues and Delphia Consulting and Sage product related updates.