Implementing new HR software? Do not forget about organizational change

SAP SuccessFactors change management

More and more organizations are working on standardizing the system landscape. This also includes a single global HR solution which serves as a “single source of records”. An HR system which supports all employee lifecycle processes (recruiting, development and offboarding), which offers self-service possibilities for employees, managers and HR, but above all a system which inspires, motivates and keeps employees engaged. A cloud solution is in most cases the best fit, which facilitates such a global rollout.

Change Management as part of the approach

Cloud solutions come with best practices which can be used to introduce new “standard unless” HR processes in the organization. This introduction ensures that almost everyone within the organization will work in a new way, but that does not mean that the change is the same for everyone. There are examples of implementations where the headquarters already uses an HR system in which the HR processes are digitized, but also uses local solutions where the HR administration is still done in a spreadsheet. Yet the desired end result of the implementation is the same for everyone; working together according to uniform HR processes in the new HR solution.

How do you get sufficient added value from the implementation of a new HR system and how do you introduce uniform HR processes? This will have to be part of the implementation approach and the change management activities will have to be aligned to this. You often see that employees receive training in how to use the new application, but that little attention is paid to the change in the process and working methods, while this change is different for everyone. If employees do not fully understand what their end-to-end HR process should look like, then you can support them with an integrated end-to-end application, but that does not yet establish a uniform process.

Start anywhere, go everywhere

You will have to focus the implementation, and in particular the adoption process, on the situation in a location or country. In many cases, it may not be wise to immediately roll out an end-to-end software suite, but you should start with those parts of the process where you can achieve the greatest benefits. That does not always have to be the core process. It may also be that the biggest bottleneck is in recruitment process, or in the support of secondary employment conditions. Such a modular approach is called “start anywhere, go everywhere”. The prerequisite for this is that the software you choose supports a modular approach.

Gain insight in the willingness of change

In order to determine a change approach per country or location, it’s important to gain insight into the willingness to change and the capacity to change in each country. Ideally, you ensure that you can measure the output of the change activities. By gaining insight into the current situation, you create a starting point for the specific change approach. You then continuously measure the progress in the change process, so that you can make additional interventions where necessary. This way you make the changes organization-specific and/or region-specific, so that they can be better implemented within the organization.

Measure adoption

Making changes measurable is done on two fronts. First, the “hard” side: do employees follow the new agreed processes or do they continue to do things their own way? Perhaps employees are making optimal use of the functionality because they don’t know what can be done with the new application. In addition, there is the more “soft” side which has to do with attitude and behavior. Are the future users positive, neutral or negative about the impending change? How does that attitude develop over time? By making all aspects of adoption measurable and displaying them in a dashboard, you can create timely interventions to get higher efficiency from the software and also know when which country or which location is ready for the next step: the implementation of the next module. As mentioned, a modular approach makes it easier to get the adoption quickly to the desired level.

Stakeholder participation

The organization itself must take the lead in the change. This is achieved by having the most important stakeholders within the organization participate actively within the project. By identifying and activating a so-called “guiding coalition” and “working coalition”, the chance that the changes will be achieved is significantly greater. The “guiding coalition” is the sponsor of the change and usually consists of the higher management of the organization. They ensure that sufficient support is created. The “working coalition” actively participates in the project in relation to the content such as process design and the new way of working, but also act as ambassadors.

Targeted interventions

By paying attention to the HR maturity level in all countries and working towards a higher level in every country or branch, you not only implement one global HR suite in all your work organizations, but also create a global process which is adopted and complied to by everyone.

About Conclusion

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If you would like to become acquainted with this method, please contact Ronald van den Heuvel or Erik Jan de Kruijf.

Ronald van den Heuvel

Ronald van den Heuvel
Project Manager en SuccessFactors Solution architect at Nextmoves


Erik Jan de Kruijf

Erik Jan de Kruijf
Change Manager at Conclusion Implementation