Demystifying the Secrets of Global Human Resources: Part Five

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Nine Steps to Truly Achieving Global HR

From Constellation's research, HR leaders now understand how globalization fuels worldwide economic growth and what capabilities should be included in a next- generation Global HR system. The questions for enterprise leaders are:

  • How can the enterprise get there?
  • How can the enterprise benefit from a next-generation Global HR system getting introduced?
  • How can the enterprise go live on such a system?

Many paths can lead to the successful implementation of a Global HR software system. Watch the video a Successful Rollout of a New User Experience to hear the steps that organizations should consider when evaluating the benefits of moving to a next generation global HR system. Based on conversations with practitioners in both HR and IT that have taken their enterprises live, here is a nine-step process that we recommend:

  1. Assess the status quo. The first step is to understand where the starting point is. What sounds trivial often is a substantial challenge for an enterprise. Often, enterprise leaders don't know what HR systems are being used and are relevant in each country where the company operates. Practitioners should not underestimate the time and effort needed to collect information on the status quo, which is essential to understanding both scope and timing of the rollout of a Global HR system.
  2. Understand global ambition and timelines. The next step is to understand the global ambition of the enterprise as well as the related timelines. Sometimes, an enterprise's ambition for a Global HR system is quite diminished after the company assesses the status quo. In that case, proponents of a Global HR system should look at the benefits that such a system can produce and use those to re-open the conversation and hopefully turn the decision around. The status quo assessment opens the eyes of CxOs to the need for a Global HR software system. The combination of status quo and ambition for a global system should define the timeline of the implementation.
  3. Establish the employee population. Successful rolling out a Global HR system requires accurate information about the employee populations in each country as well as projections of how many employees may be in each country in the near future. Overestimating or underestimating the employee population in a country can lead to selection of the wrong system to meet the company's needs.
  4. Define core "to be" processes. Executives must define the core "to be" processes before looking for vendors. All too often, enterprises jump hastily into vendor selection without defining the future state capabilities they want in their system. This should not be a process that leads to "analysis paralysis", but should energize and empower decision makers to select solutions that deliver the organization's "must have" capabilities. It is critical to include employees at all levels in the definition phase.
  5. Look for Global HR software vendors. Vendors must deliver core processes defined in Step Four and support the growth ambitions of the enterprise by facilitating agility. An ideal vendor can implement its software solution according to the timeline established in Step Two.
  6. Select a solution with employees in mind. Many organizations make the mistake of prioritizing utility to HR practitioners and managers while not considering how the system will help employees answer pay- related questions and do their regular work. Employees will not use a cumbersome HR system. Executives in charge of HR software selection should pay attention to the needs of employees.
  7. Focus on employee/manager ownership. Implement software capabilities for employees and managers first and build this "system DNA" to improve employee empowerment. Successful implementations ensure that these capabilities are prominently implemented, leading to an improved relationship between the employees and the new system.
  8. Measure the ROI. Enterprises exhausted from the rollout of an enterprise automation system do not go back to compare the rollout and implementation with original expectations. Even worse, leaders fail to measure the ROI of the implementation and the operational system. Constellation strongly encourages executives in charge of a global rollout to push for ROI numbers once the system is live and operational.
  9. Craft the path that makes the most sense for your organizational DNA. CxOs need to keep in mind that there is no "one size fits all" approach to the implementation of a Global HR system. However, executives should understand the approaches and paths that are more likely to succeed in their enterprise. Keep in mind, each organization must craft its own unique path by learning from the critical success factors and the failures of those before them.

Other articles in this series:

Demystifying the Secrets of Global Human Resources: Part One

Demystifying the Secrets of Global Human Resources: Part Two

Demystifying the Secrets of Global Human Resources: Part Three

Demystifying the Secrets of Global Human Resources: Part Four

For additional insights on this topic, watch the webcast: THE POWER OF USER EXPERIENCE IN GLOBAL HCM- Why delivering a positive user experience is a priority for global HR professionals.