Encouraging Adoption of HR Tech

Alexandra Levit, People Results
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(Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Alexandra Levit of Inspiration at Work). 

Last week, I did a webinar with HR Daily Advisor to discuss SilkRoad’s newest HR Tech Trends survey. The study asked a variety of technology adoption questions to 500 HR professionals with diverse locations, company sizes, industries, and job titles.

One of our paths of inquiry involved how HR technology was transforming organizations. Only 17 percent of SilkRoad’s survey respondents said tech had “very much changed our organization for the better.” An additional 43 percent said it had “somewhat changed our organization for the better.” That’s pretty lukewarm, and everyone else was even more negative.

Considering how incredibly time-saving and efficient HR technology solutions can be when implemented to their best potential, these numbers made me think that there’s an adoption problem – and not just with users but with HR stakeholders as well.

If HR stakeholders don’t support a new solution, it will be dead in the water. The reasons for this vary. Maybe they had a bad experience with technology, or maybe they are at the end of their careers and don’t want to do anything too difficult or transformative, so they say it isn’t worth it. If this sounds like you, I encourage you to give it another shot. Look to industry analysts like Gartner, IDC, and Deloitte for objective information and best practices for how to implement a single solution that’s most critical for your organization. Then, start small with a pilot and minimal investment and make sure to collect data on how well the solution is working as intended.

Remember, your new solution should not just be about fixing an HR process problem, but should also address how to improve the overall employee experience. As you’re planning a rollout, talk to users about everyday issues the technology should solve, and then aim to address those first. Determine early how to introduce the technology in a way that will make users’ jobs immediately easier rather than harder.

When the solution is ready, training is obviously essential. As part of those gatherings, explain what you are trying to do in terms of the experience, and put forth your infrastructure for collecting user feedback (and you should have one). Maybe it’s an online suggestion box, or periodic in-person meetings with some of your critical stakeholders. Hopefully, you will have done sufficient upfront work that your rollout will be pretty seamless.

There will be times, however, when user adoption lags behind your personal enthusiasm. In this case, ask your users about the barriers. What don’t they like about the technology? Go to their offices or cubes and watch them interact with the software or apps. Work with them to figure out where the disconnect is, and talk with your vendors or in-house experts to consider how the technology is meeting the needs of the organization and delivering the experience you want people to have.

Remember too, that no matter how useful HR tech is, there will be human professionals who feel threatened by it. Emphasize that technology puts us in a position to spend more time (rather than less) on the person-to-person element of work and the employment experience, and that a combination of high-tech and high-touch approaches is more critical than ever!

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