Ilse Heurkens

Good preparation pays off!

digital-hr
3 min leestijd

Digital technologies change our lives and our way of working. They enable innovations and provide large digital transformations within organizations. HR has an important role in this and is partly responsible for helping the organization to adopt digital transformations.

Digital HR Transformation

At the same time, HR undergoes a digital transformation as well. There are many (new) tools like talent management and recruitment tools, applications for time & attendance and HR cloud solutions like Workday and Successfactors. Al these new technologies result in a whole different experience of HR, for HR and for employees. They also could ensure efficiency succession and savings.

Good preparation is half the work

To realize this, it is essential to make informed choices. And this is only possible with good preparation. Unfortunately, the reality is often different, with the consequence that the new technologies result in more hassle, time and expenses. And that at the earliest after a few years, much later than preconceived, benefits arise from the investment.

Because of the rapidly changing world, the impact it has on organizations and the beautiful promises HR systems have for HR it can be tempting to speed up the selectionprocess. Suppliers are eager to help HR and respond to a Request For Proposal? But how good can this proposal be if internally the needs, wishes and requirements have not been adequately considered? Where should the system meet up to and what should it offer? Are there certain HR processes to focus on? How should the employee experience of HR change because of the new systems?

The wishes and needs for a new system is hidden in the current system

It is also important to look at what you already have. The positive aspects and possible shortcomings of the current systems say a lot about what the new systems should or shouldn’t comply to. This information is extremely valuable. During the preparation, it can also turn out that the existing HR systems are not used optimally. If so, is it necessary to buy something new or should there be made better use of the already available systems?

Aspects to consider

For complex organizations with different business units and/or international components, the preparation phase often requires more time, but is even more important. It includes an inventory of the various HR systems used but it also concerns the differences with respect to laws and regulations. And what is for example the vision regarding local vs. global?
Often the availability and quality of HR data is not included. Where does the HR data come from? From just one or several systems and what’s the quality of the data? An important objective of the Digital HR transformation is often an improvement in reporting. Is this possible if the inputs needed for this, the data, is not proper and complete? It is important to take notice of this in the preliminary stages, so it can be taken into account during decision making and any additional steps.

Timely involvement of the right people

A nice and important side effect of good preparation is that the right people can be involved in a timely manner. A digital HR transformation usually is a major change and with every change, stakeholder management, communication and change management are very important. This involves stakeholders with decision-making powers, but for example also (HR) employees. The change can have an impact on the entire organization and so stakeholders throughout the entire organization need to be involved to make sure there is enough support to be successful. 

Haste makes waste…

A good preparation offers opportunities and if the preparation phase is rushed, important steps could be skipped. With unpleasant consequences; implementation schedules delayed, additional investments are needed, changes are not supported, the project costs are skyrocketing, and the new HR technologies are more burdensome than that they contribute to a positive experience and efficiency.

This applies in particular to digital HR transformations. Determining the requirements for the new system, involving the right people, collect all the information available and develop and install the appropriate decision-making moments are important steps in the preparation and essential for the success of a digital HR transformation. This requires more time and effort at the start, but in this way the rest of the digital HR transformation process will go more smoothly and will deliver the desired results. 

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