Oh No, Not That: Managing HR Software Transitions

August 23, 2018 By Julie Kramer - Leave a comment

shutterstock_145613917Want to spark fear into the collective heart of an entire workforce? Just say these five words: “we’re getting new HR software.” Then, stand back as panic ensues.

Change is uncomfortable. Change is hard. Many of us are predisposed to be change-resistant, both at home and at work. However, in this competitive business world, change is a prerequisite of survival—and that applies to HR management software, too. Darwin was right.

Given the many recent HR software innovations, it’s likely that transitioning to a more automated HR system—one that’s better suited to the needs of your business—will save your organization time and money, while helping your workforce to be more productive.

The big question is: how do you get your employees to buy in, which is something you’ll need if implementation is to go smoothly? When it comes to HR, effective change management starts by understanding why the human brain struggles with change—and factoring a solution into your software transition plan.   

Understanding Change-Resistance  

Learning something new requires work and effort, especially—for some—when it comes to technology. But it’s more involved than that.

According to neuroscientists, dealing with uncertainty is more stressful than dealing with bad news that we know is coming. Uncertainty represents loss of control. For employees who already feel that they are “always the last to know” about impending company changes, mysterious new HR software may feel like a very bad, no-good thing.

In addition, we humans have a natural tendency to assume that things that have been around longer are superior to newer versions, according to “Longer is Better,” an influential study in the Journal for Experimental Social Psychology. That’s another reason people balk at change.

For these reasons, you can expect that some of your employees will react in negative, knee-jerk fashion when faced with news of an HR software switch. The best way to handle it? Get out in front of it.

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Change Management Starts with Good Communication  

Before sharing the news of your impending HR software transition, consider how it will affect employees at every level—i.e., “what’s in it for me”—and frame your announcement accordingly.

Perhaps field managers will love your automated HR system’s additional oversight tools and reports, once they learn how to use them. Perhaps employees will like knowing that their paychecks will be more accurate, even though it means transitioning from paper timesheets to a biometric time clock. And perhaps everyone will appreciate having access to an online employee self-service portal.

Effective change management means letting your entire workforce how the new HR software will further the corporate vision and benefit your organization. Will it mean less paperwork? Improved labor compliance? Will it keep your company competitive in your market? These are all good things worth sharing.  

And because very few people like technology surprises, announce your HR software transition well in advance. Give employees a chance to wrap their heads around it.

5 Ways to Ease HR Software Transitions

In addition to keeping your employees in the loop, there are other steps to include in your HR software transition plan, including: 

  • Give your workforce an implementation timeline, so employees know exactly what will happen when. This helps people feel included and in control.
  • Arrange to provide all employees with thorough training, so they feel confident using the new HR software. That may include training managers how to leverage your new scheduling module and generate workforce management reports, while training employees to clock-in on your new facial recognition time clocks.
  • Ask management embrace the new HR management software first; true enthusiasm starts at the top. Once managers have learned the ins and outs of the system, they can talk it up with their team.
  • In that vein, consider enlisting change champions among your various employee groups to lead the way. That may mean making enthusiastic employees across your organization part of a beta team that tests the system first. Once your early adopters are sold on the new HR software, they may be able to win over their peers in ways managers can’t.
  • Give employees the opportunity to ask questions, express concerns and get familiar with the new system during the HR transition. Reinforce training in internal emails and newsletters. Be ready to offer more training if it appears to be needed.   

Choose a Software Provider Who Addresses HR Transitions

When selecting new HR management software, be sure to ask for detailed information regarding the implementation process. A quality HR software provider will guide your organization through the process, step by careful step.

At EPAY Systems, our software transition plan includes thorough software testing, parallel payrolls and employee training that includes live, virtual conferences, on-demand training courses and live webinar classes. We’ll make sure your employees get to know and love your new HR software. Sound good? Learn about our implementation process and why our automated HR management software is a change you’ll want to make.  

Filed Under: Human Capital Management