Are you clear on what you need now and in the future?
Consider your requirements for now and to meet your organisation’s mid-term strategic needs. Are you planning for headcount growth or expansion overseas? The functionality you require will need to adapt with the organisation’s changing needs and will need to place you in a position whereby you’re fit for the future.
By considering the 5 year plan will help you narrow down the scope of the project and will help you focus on the right questions during the selection process. Avoid the temptation to replicate your current system like for like. After all, what do you stand to gain from this? Inefficient processes and lack of functionality are likely to have led you into to seeking a new solution, so consider this a fresh start and challenge the status-quo. Be ruthless in evaluating ‘how we do things’ and seek out the systems that best enhances and simplifies your needs.
Are you managing expectations?
You’re investing heavily in your department’s future, having typically fought hard to justify the spend and to appease the harshest critics. Expectations are high and it feels like your new system is expected to meet numerous fanciful needs, leaving you eager for the supplier to utter the words ‘yes, it can do that!’ By thinking broadly about who and what might be impacted by a new HRIS, will allow you to clearly communicate with and capture everyone’s needs in a structured way and will allow the supplier to confirm if the functionality is in place. This will help you manage others’ expectations early on and by encouraging questions, avoids any assumptions being made.
Do you have the right people in place?
There is no hiding from the level of resource required to implement a new HRIS. Heed caution when assuming this is something that can be successfully achieved whilst also doing the day job. Whilst an implementation will typically involve input from all team members at various points in the project, having a dedicated resource is paramount to ensuring your project remains on course and on budget.
Being involved in an implementation is a fantastic opportunity to effect change and learn new skills which are highly engaging. The right resource, will be organised, analytical, willing to challenge and open to change. They will also have a clear understanding of the business needs, so that they can make effective decisions. Most importantly, they will be an advocate for the process and help others adapt to the changes ahead.
How will you bring others along with you?
The wheel doesn’t stop turning during a HRIS implementation and whilst it would be nice to take some respite for everyone to wholly focus on the project, the reality is that normal, HR, operational processes continue to be carried out alongside the project, so take this opportunity to engage employees and managers for the changes ahead.
By mapping cyclical HR processes, such as appraisals and pay review against the HRIS implementation plan, you can communicate and engage managers and employees well in advance of go-live, ramping up to the changes ahead, rather than taking a big bang approach.
Taking the opportunity to communicate positively and to sell the benefits of the new HRIS at every opportunity, will help others adapt to the new ways of working and will help the change seem less intimidating.
Louise Bhatia is an HRIS Consultant at Silver Cloud HR, an independent HRIS consultancy providing support to some of the UKs most successful mid-sized businesses. Silver Cloud support customers with requirements gathering, process mapping and system selection, as well as project management during implementation. For more information email email@example.com.