Dispelling the Delusion of Disruption
There is no better way to cause an argument than to ask – “which is better, Android or Apple?” We all fall into these two camps, normally remaining there for years and very rarely straying from the system we’re used to. The thought of moving between these operating systems terrifies us and throws up a number of concerns – what if the apps are different? What if I lose my data? What if I can’t do exactly what I do in the way I do it on a different device? No one ever seems to ask the question – what if I can do it better?
HR and Payroll technology is no different. Your employees have their habits and routines and can be resistant to anything that instigates change to this. But it doesn’t have to be this way; it can be an opportunity.
Most people know that implementing new technology is a huge opportunity to improve efficiency and performance. Most people also don’t consider it until they are forced to, either because a legacy system is being retired, or because of very poor performance (believe it or not, most will accept poor performance!).
The first thing to say about moving technology partner is that it is disruptive; after all nothing in life worth having comes easy. However, you can minimise this disruption and make the transition valuable, even enjoyable! Here is a five-step plan to make this process as simple as possible:
1. Be clear on the end goal
A major factor in not accepting change is that people don’t have the full picture of what the end state will be and the benefits it will bring, meaning the disruption doesn’t feel worth the hassle. When there isn’t enough faith or knowledge in what the end result will be, we focus on the disruption of change, rather than the benefits it will bring.
2. Communicate the ‘Why’ before the ‘How’
Too often organisations get their largest stakeholders (their employees) involved too late in the process. A vendor is selected, a contract is signed, a project is kicked off and somewhere in this timeline employees will be trained on ‘how’ to use the system. But often overlooked is communicating why the decision has been made in the first place. By adding this important step, you can make this a much smoother and more pleasant experience for everyone. Be as transparent as possible that you’re thinking of moving system and that you’re researching new technologies. Hiding the possible implementation will only serve to frustrate your employees further. Explain ‘why’ you have made the decision to move to new technology to your employees. Give them the reasons for the move from your organisation’s point of view and present a business case for how you will solve their pain points. This will give you the buy-in you desire and remove the fear of the unknown.
3. Identify and secure your project team
One of the biggest risks to a successful project is not identifying the correct team and not having dedicated resource. It’s key to include employees who understand the functionality provided by the legacy system. It is also important to have ambassadors and advocates for the project who can drive this through your organisation. Form a collaborative team who will agree on how you transition to a new way of working. Most importantly, give them dedicated time to complete the project and don’t expect that they can do this on top of their day-to-day duties. We see many organisations fall into this trap, and there are multiple consequences to this:
- Their daily work can be affected in a negative way – in the HR and Payroll function this is never good.
- They can start to feel demotivated – they see the project as a blocker to their role rather than a positive for the business, leading to disruption and dissatisfaction before the new technology has even been implemented.
- Work overload and lack of employee motivation could lead to delays on your original timeline meaning you may also incur additional costs to your business.
4. Decision Verification
We live in world where every decision we make needs to be verified by multiple sources. No one wants to get this wrong, no one wants to be the first to do it. Think about buying a product from Amazon, booking a restaurant or holiday, or downloading a film from the Sky Store. The first action most people take before deciding is to check star ratings or reviews. Buying new HR and/or Payroll technology shouldn’t be any different. You want confidence that an organisation has gone through this (and been successful) before. Speak to your potential vendors and ask for case studies, so you can understand more about the so you can better understand the impact of any project on your business, and how this impact will be planned for and mitigated.
5. Be Flexible
It’s important that you are open to change during implementation – it may bring up different challenges or processes that can be done in a more productive way than originally scoped. Being flexible ensures that you can be reactive to these changes, some of which may be outside of your control, which will only maximise the benefit you receive from your new system.
6. Be Patient
When implementing new HR and/or Payroll technology, try to be as patient as possible. This includes patience with the tech, as well as with the people involved in the project. Nothing, including innovation, happens overnight.
Like in any new relationship, a payroll partner should be there to support you in those early days. Take a look at our guide to seeking an open and honest relationship with your payroll provider; from that initial spark on your first date, through to a committed long term relationship we’ll give you tips on what you should be expecting.