So your organization is considering a new HCM system? You’re not alone. According to research, forty-eight percent of HR professionals would like to replace their current software with a new human capital management system.
But one of the biggest hurdles is fear of the HCM implementation process itself. If you’ve ever experienced a software implementation that went awry, you’ll understand why no one willingly opens the door to that particular brand of chaos.
However, you can’t live with outdated HR software forever. The solution is to choose your HCM software provider wisely—and work together to closely manage your human capital management implementation process.
To that end, here are seven best practices for achieving a smooth HCM implementation.
1. Factor HCM Implementation into Software Selection
Ensuring an efficient HCM implementation begins when you’re shopping for a new human capital management system. When reviewing HCM software proposals, pay attention not only to each system’s components and benefits, but the described HCM implementation process.
Proposals should include a step-by-step summary of the implementation, along with time frames for each project phase. Look for providers that will assign you a dedicated implementation team, offer a thorough training plan and ensure ongoing customer service.
If an HCM software provider is vague about details and dates, take that under advisement. It’s too important to take on faith.
2. Insist on a Written HCM Implementation Plan
A quality HCM software provider will prepare a written implementation plan just for you. It will include delivery dates for each step of the project and specify who is responsible for completing each task.
Your implementation team should also provide you with a punch list of the data it needs from you and a checklist of tasks you’ll need to complete. Ideally, your HCM implementation team will set up a schedule of weekly communications, so you can ensure the project stays on schedule.
3. Engage All Your Stakeholders from the Start
The top reason software implementation projects falter isn’t due to technical issues, but people’s resistance to change, according to Deloitte research.
That’s why all your HCM system owners and users—upper management, HR, field managers, payroll—should be clued in early on, sold on the system’s benefits, and kept apprised of the team’s progress. If you’re managing multiple worksites, make sure this includes your site managers. Aim for zero surprises!
4. Create an Employee Communication Plan
It’s also critical to create a communication plan that keeps every employee in the loop regarding your new human capital management system.
It’s not enough for workers to know new HCM software is coming. They need to know why you’re investing in it and how it will benefit them. For employees, those benefits might mean access to a self-service portal and the ability to request PTO at the time clock. Whatever the benefits, they won’t know unless you make a point to tell them.
5. Pre-test Your New HCM Software
Your provider’s human capital management implementation plan should include extensive pre-testing of each HCM software module.
Furthermore, the best HCM implementation processes includes one or more test runs of your time and attendance and payroll systems. During the test period, employees punch in and out on both your old and new time clocks or data collection devices. Then, you run parallel payrolls on both the old and new systems.
While this may sound rigorous, it’s the one way to ensure that when you flip the switch, the new HCM system will perform as promised.
6. Develop an Employee Training Plan
Your new HCM provider’s proposal should include a specific training plan for your employees, including a guaranteed number of training hours. Training is critical; it can make or break employee buy-in of your new HCM system.
Some HCM providers will train your managers on the new HCM software, so managers can then expertly train their people. Because HR staff will need to operate the system at a deeper level, be sure your HCM provider will hold live training or webinars for daily users.
7. Make Sure You Have Post-Launch HCM System Support
Once your HCM software is live, your implementation team should turn you over to your dedicated customer care team. But not all customer care support is equal, so this should be a key factor when choosing an HCM system.
Does your HCM provider offer live, 24/7 tech support? Is the support team easy to reach? Is there a fee for it?
All these things should be considered when weighing HCM software proposals—and they’ll be especially important in the first few weeks following your human capital management implementation.
During HCM implementation and beyond, you need to take steps to ensure that you’ll be in good hands.
EPAY’s integrated HCM system is designed to make HR easy for employers managing an hourly workforce. Our carefully-developed HCM implementation process is also designed to make the transition easy for employers. For more information on how we can bring your HR software up-to-speed stress-free, please request an informational demo.