Don't let "people risks" jeopardise your system's ROI
Failing to prepare staff for the introduction of new technology and systems can result in poor uptake, slow adoption and ineffective use, a new PageUp People white paper warns.
Assess and acknowledge "change readiness"Prior to a new system's implementation, it is important to assess the extent to which workers are "change ready", the paper says.
Ideally, a common belief that there is a need for change will be coupled with an understanding of cause and effect. "For example, there may be a common belief that performance management processes are highly inefficient, and that the automation of these processes will increase efficiency, thereby supporting change readiness."
Because the impact of system-related change will vary from group to group, the question "what's in it for me?" should be answered differently when addressing different stakeholders.
"For business leaders, messages may focus on business performance outcomes and reduced human capital risks. Moving down through the company, messages may emphasise career development implications and address concerns relating to job security."
Although it is important to engage all employees in the transition to a new system, engaging executives and line managers "is often the most crucial hurdle for the project team, paving the way for broader employee engagement," the paper says.
Executives/senior management - a critical cohortBecause senior leadership involvement is critical from the outset, showing them the "tangible value" of a talent management system is "critical in commencing the executive engagement process", the paper says.
Drawing on a 2009 study which found executives were generally willing to sponsor change projects, but often lacked "adequate understanding of the role of sponsor", the paper says clarifying executive expectations is especially important.
Specifically, Pageup People says the role and responsibilities of executives and senior management through the change process include:
Line managers - the most resistant cohortAccording to the whitepaper, line managers are likely to be "the most resistant cohort of employees to change".
Participants in one of PageUp People's 2009 roundtable series unanimously agreed that this was the most challenging stakeholder group to engage, but also "the group with the most potential to influence success or failure of talent management initiatives".
Work overload was the most commonly cited reason for change resistance among line managers. Addressing this concern, and selling the benefits of the system early on, is particularly important when communicating with this stakeholder group, the paper says.
Pageup People suggests the following applied learning methods can aid in communication with line managers:
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