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    Improving HR Tech Stickiness – A View On Change Management Measures For Successful Adoption

    February 14, 2022

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    HR Tech Stickiness
    Swati Singh
    Written By
    Swati Singh

    You invested a lot of time and effort in choosing a great HR tech partner and are all gung-ho about the release. Cut to 6 months later and adoption is low, there are a lot of queries coming in from employees who don’t understand the system, and the general sentiment about the new system is downbeat. If only change management had been approached properly...  

    Does this sound like a familiar scenario? 

    One of the most widely quoted stats in the business world is, “70% of change initiatives fail”. But what goes wrong? Where does change management fail? 

    When a tech implementation journey starts, a lot of effort is put in at the design phase. There is a big kick-off session, intensive process-mapping, and ideation sessions, innovative initiatives are flagged off, etc. However, once the system goes live, the enthusiasm and involvement around it fade away and the system is simply expected to start showing magical results right away! 

    However,  good implementation is only half the battle won. Unless a strong change management plan is in place to support the wholesale adoption of the new technology, it won’t stick as well. The product’s promise won’t be realized, and its value will not be appreciated. 

    But I've seen that many of our clients who have understood this gap address it head-on, and it’s wonderful to see Darwinbox being used so widely in their organizations on a daily basis. 

    Here are a few of the learnings on change management that I have observed. 

    1. Onboard strong internal owners of the product 

      All tech transformation efforts need a champion or a set of champions. These folks are the solution's advocates in the org. The champion/s not only has a detailed technical understanding of the system but also a clear vision of the expected value to be derived from the product and a plan to achieve it. Identification and early onboarding of product champions help in driving alignment at all levels. Formalize this relationship by making adoption a metric in their job description and a performance OKR. 
    2. Plan for a proactive communication strategy

      Change is never easy. Its even harder when a “how a new technology can help” message gets lost in the daily information/email overload. Therefore, it is important to devise a plan around frequent nudges and building recall value for the new technology in its first couple of months. All relevant information should be easily available to all users in a central, easy-to-find repository. Thinking in terms ofwhat’s in it for them” and “being present where the user is is a great place to start. For example, where our clients were using Business WhatsApp or Slack channels as communication channels, integrating Darwinbox notifications with these platforms helped drive adoption. 
    3. Take the opportunity to realign critical aspects of the business processes

      Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. A new HR tech implementation is a great time to look at the critical aspects of your processes where you want to create value. This is applicable not only during implementation but also post-implementation. “Simplification” is the key — discard processes that don’t align with that value. For example, if you want to create an open and collaborative culture, the way you do appraisals should speak the same language; just introducing a tech tool won’t change the culture. 
    4. Share numbers proactively and celebrate successes early! 

      The leading indications of how impactful technology can be for a company are pure adoption and issue numbers. The number of query tickets logged per month, active unique users, app downloads, new users onboarded, process level adoption rates, etc. are all great metrics to consider. These numbers should be tracked and discussed aggressively during the first couple of months of implementation. If areas of concern are not identified at the earliest, product fatigue catches up and it becomes difficult to change course and get employees to adopt the solution wholeheartedly. Similarly, a crucial and sometimes overlooked aspect of change management is the celebration of wins. Celebrating achievements and milestones keeps morale around the product high and encourages user acceptance. 
    5. Develop avenues for users to provide feedback  

      We live in a highly dynamic world, so any technology needs to be able to adapt quickly to the needs of today. Putting in place an automated helpdesk, running surveys, and working closely with your Customer Success team as a partner ensures that the product can cater to your current and future requirements. When clients have done this well and kept feedback channels open, we’ve seen them reap the rewards. Even through multiple org restructuring/policy changes we’ve seen various departments ideating and automating their people-related processes on Darwinbox from uniform allotment, canteen coupon distribution, business cards, to even COVID-related staffing arrangements being handled more efficiently. 

      While it is imperative that implementation design is aligned to an organizations’ expectations and vision, a key success measure is the system’s stickiness. This depends entirely on how well the journey post-implementation was designed and executed and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that the technology is adopted because you need to create a “new normal”, a new way of working.  

      Communication of benefits, succinct sessions for end-users, and putting a face to adoption efforts are a few of the best working tactics for change management that I’ve seen in orgs, no matter the size and industry. 


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