15 Change Management Must-Haves | HighGround

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Change Management Must-Haves: 15 Ways to Start Your New HR Program on the Right Foot

In today’s highly competitive business environment, a company’s employees are its most powerful asset. But plagued by a talent shortage that stretches across nearly all industries, HR leaders have been tasked with revamping retention strategies for the modern workforce.

To do this, many companies have placed a high priority on improving the employee experience. Traditional practices around performance management, employee development and recognition and rewards have proven to be ineffective at driving retention, but it’s not as simple as replacing them with something new. One misstep can create uncertainty and instability and have a damaging effect on the organizational culture – the very thing that they are meant to improve.

Change Management

For this reason, the implementation process of new HR technology is just as important as the new system or tool itself. While there’s no magic handbook that can guarantee a successful implementation, McKinsey reports that when people are truly invested in change, an implementation is 30% more likely to succeed. So, how can HR leaders create buy-in and adoption? By zeroing in on their change management process.

For our own new client implementations, we have found that there are three critical pieces to change management: communication, marketing and training.

1. Communication

What’s more frightening than the unknown? Having a strong communication plan in place – and adhering to it every step of the way – helps make change less scary. Employees tend to multi-task the day away, so even if you catch them in the office, you still can’t guarantee you’ll be heard. Here’s a handful of ways that HighGround clients have communicated the HR process change to employees.

      1. Company-wide email from CEO or other top leadership

      2. Announcement on company Intranet

      3. In-person or virtual town hall meeting

      4. Company-sponsored happy hour

      5. Letter to managers from the CEO

2. Marketing

Once a change is communicated, it’s time to get employees excited. Involving employees in the implementation helps them feel like important stakeholders and minimizes any negative chatter that can be unproductive and detrimental to the process. Some examples of ways that clients have used marketing to create buy-in include:

      1. Giving the program a name/logo that’s in line with the culture

      2. Putting the program branding to an employee vote

      3. Allowing employees create/vote on other decisions (badge images, names, etc.)

      4. Distributing tchotchkes and other giveaways to establish brand recognition

      5. Hanging posters and other signage to reinforce program excitement

3. Training

No matter how much buzz there is around a new process or system, the best way to fast-track adoption is to ensure employees feel comfortable and confident using it. Training should take into consideration all of the different ways that we learn. Here’s a few ways that clients have helped get employees up to speed on HighGround.

      1. Company-wide webinar, available live and on-demand (for new hires down the road)

      2. In-person training conducted by department or location

      3. HR-led training that feels custom to the company, not generic, vendor-led sessions

      4. Beta-testing to train employees and gain early adopters/enthusiasts

      5. Ongoing sessions to ensure continued adoption

While these tactics have worked for many HighGround clients, each change management strategy is like each of our clients – unique. A company’s culture, leadership style and engagement level should dictate how a new tool should be implemented. Staying true to your own organizational culture is the only universal advice.

Change Management

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