3 Steps for Managing an HCM System Upgrade

3 Steps for Managing an HCM System Upgrade

This article was updated on Aug. 30, 2018.

An HCM system upgrade ensures that your organization's HR technology meets your organization's current needs. From recruiting top talent to providing the data needed to make challenging business decisions, a start-of-the-art human capital management (HCM) system provides managers with an integrated view of the organization's most important data. Yet getting an organization to embrace a new HCM system at all levels can be a challenge.

Here's a closer look at how CHROs can tackle some of the most important issues related to an HCM system upgrade.

Getting Executive Buy-In

One area that is all too common for CHROs struggling to upgrade an HCM system is getting executive approval. Often, organizations are limping along using a string of formerly best-in-class legacy systems that can get the basic jobs done. Their function is generally limited, however, and cannot help you make the transition to data-driven decision-making. There are challenges in system communication, which create unnecessary work and increased risk for data error as information has to be inputted into multiple systems.

So if you want your CEOs and CFOs on board with your upgrade, you should build a business case that focuses on the following factors:

  • How much time an HCM system upgrade will save across the organization, from routine requests and repeat data entry to capturing lost time and attendance reporting
  • The bottom-line impact of time saved and the dollar value of how that time can be spent on more productive, higher-value efforts
  • Case studies from similar companies (either similar industry, size or business problems) and how an HCM system upgrade helped them
  • The advanced data capabilities of up-to-date HCM systems and how better reporting and data access will enable HR to be an effective strategic partner for the entire organization

Developing an Education Plan

Selecting the right HCM system for your organization and securing executive buy-in is just the first step. Once the technology acquisition steps are completed, it's important to develop an employee education program. While the program will invariably have elements specific to your organization, overall it should seek to meet three objectives:

  • Teach HR staff to maximize the value of the HCM system so they're the most effective they can be.
  • Empower executives to utilize the data and reporting capabilities to make better decisions with faster, real-time information.
  • Train workers on how to use features such as self-service to allow them to fix routine HR issues quickly and efficiently.

Change Management

For most employees, an HCM system upgrade represents a significant step forward in the end-user experience. Introducing self-service features allows users to more quickly access their personal information when they have questions or need to make a simple change such as updating their address. Many integrated HCM platforms have better functionality, such as letting an employee report time and attendance on their mobile devices. Yet reluctant employees will almost always still need further convincing.

Consider creating a series of communications and training sessions that showcase the system from the perspective of the worker to bring them into the fold. What are the benefits to them? How does it make their lives easier, solve common problems and eliminate inconveniences?

You can also double-down on the education angle and offer one-on-one technology sessions for employees who may not be as comfortable navigating the latest technologies. Often, just a few minutes spent on a personal demonstration of the key features can get nervous employees to understand why adoption will be to their ultimate benefit.

An HCM system upgrade typically helps an organization take all of its HR operations to the next level. Communicating with and educating your executives and team can ensure that the new system is embraced throughout the organization and that it starts to deliver value as soon as possible.