Getting HR Software Right: Ensuring a smooth self-service roll out

The system is live: your data uploaded, processes configured, reminders in place and workflows all set to go.

Now all that’s needed is to give employees their logins and, as if by magic, company-wide self-service and streamlined HR will be achieved overnight! Unfortunately, it’s never quite that simple.

At heart, we are all creatures of habit, genetically programmed to distrust change, because with change comes uncertainty and risk. We’re also often hyper-critical when it comes to embracing new technology. We know what we like, and that’s often what feels familiar. Even an update to an existing system leads to what Google describes as change aversion. We resist just because it’s different, before acclimatising to the “new normal”.

Hopefully, many of your staff have a growth mindset and take to change and new technologies like ducks to water. They’ll be prepared to explore a new system and embrace a new way of doing HR. Others may need a little encouragement, and a few may dig their heels in, and need more of your time to get them started.

Here are a few simple steps that you can take to make your self-service roll out a success.

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

The more you can do to spread the word about your new HR system before you take it live, the less likely you are to meet with water-cooler-fueled resistance. It’s especially important to talk to line managers. With an online HR software system routeing requests and activities their way, they can feel you are offloading too much of the HR admin on to them.

Highlight the productivity savings and flexibility that a secure Cloud HR solution delivers. Show them how easy it is to configure their personal dashboards, customise their calendar view, or review information about the people in their team. Involve them in deciding when to roll out different aspects of the system. That way they won’t get swamped by a sudden influx of information or tasks to complete when they’ve got their own deadlines to hit.

2. Make it about them, not you

The good news is that, according to a survey we ran recently, most employees are happy to have their HR data stored in the Cloud, and also think that an online HR system will save them time.

However, if your employees aren’t used to reporting absences, recording performance reviews or completing timesheets in a systematic way, there’s a danger they may feel you are spying on them or asking them to jump through unnecessary hoops and loops. Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees, and think about what they’ll find useful about the system.

Take a look at the questions you get asked on a regular basis. Could you provide this information through the system? Would they enjoy the daily news digest, easy access to an up-to-date corporate directory, or being able to check their holiday entitlements from their phone? If you start by implementing those aspects of the system they’ll benefit from using the most, you’ll find it easier to follow up with the rest.

3. Start with something simple

With anything new, a little hand-holding is always useful. Try asking employees to complete one simple task at a time, such as updating their own contact information, or uploading a photo of themselves. Employees will find it much easier to familiarise themselves with the system if they have specific goals – and perhaps a few simple instructions to get them started.

It’s a good idea to make use of the document generation area of Cezanne HR to help streamline the flow of information. Just set up your communication templates, select your audience, and let Cezanne HR take care of the distribution. You can track that documents have been delivered, or ask for an acknowledgement so that you can be sure the message has got through.

For example, your post-live communication plan could look something like this:

* Day 1 – Send an email to welcome employees to their new HR system, and suggest they check (and update) their contact information. It’s also helpful to remind them of your company’s password policy, and what they need to do if they forget their login information.

* Day 2 – Ask them to upload a new profile photo, and remind them to bookmark the system’s login page, so they can get to the system faster.

* Day 4 – Let them know that the HR portal is up and running, and what they can find there. Perhaps set up a “hints and tips” workgroup, where employees can share ideas or ask questions about the system. It’s a helpful way to gather feedback and overcome any obstacles.

* Day 8 – Recommend employees to add, check and update, information about their next of kin.

* Day 10 – Send out links to the mobile apps, and let employees know that if they want to they can download the Android or iOS apps, so they can request their holidays more easily on the go. Include a link to the mobile demo, so they can see what the system lets them do.

4. Share the anywhere anytime message

The great thing about Cezanne HR’s HTML5 interface is that the HR software can be used from pretty much any modern device; PC, laptop, Apple Mac, tablet or smartphone. All that’s needed is a connection the internet and a modern web browser.

This sits especially well with the “always on” generation, who expect to be able to manage their working lives as easily as they do their personal time. Employees may not by thinking of working outside of office hours, but they may well want to complete a time sheet or performance review from a hotel room, or check their holiday entitlement and when their boss is back from holiday, so they can plan their next break over a weekend.

It’s useful to remind employees of this – and that this is their system too – and that they can either opt to use the HTML5 interface or download the specially written mobile app for iOS and Android smartphone. This provides a simpler interface, which employees will find easier for checking their holiday entitlements and requesting time off.

5. Engage new employees

As new employees join, you can give them a login, and help them get started with the HR system – and with your company too. You could make use of the templates you’ve already put together to help them get up to speed with the HR system, or create a set of onboarding steps, which could include sending out welcome emails prior to their start date, as well as asking them to check or enter specific information, or download information stored in your HR portal.

If it’s a new manager joining, perhaps buddy them up with an existing user, who can show them the kind of reports they’ve put together, and answer any of the questions they have.

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