(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at SilkRoad, a leading global provider of cloud-based social talent management software. SilkRoad’s OpenHire and RedCarpet solutions provide organizations with the tools they need to attract, hire, and onboard top talent. Enjoy the post!)
Implementation of anything is the most important and visible step in any process. Yes, other steps like assessment, development and evaluation are important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Implementation is the most important. If the implementation gets botched up, all the other decisions made during the process get called into question.
That was the message from Ruby Swann, director of recruiting and onboarding services for Rollins, Inc., a global consumer and commercial services company. You might know them best as the parent company for Orkin pest control. At this year’s SilkRoad Connections Conference, Swann shared her company’s best practices after successfully implementing SilkRoad’s OpenHire and RedCarpet solutions.
A little background about Orkin: Each branch manager is responsible for the human resources function at their own location. While branch managers love having the flexibility and freedom to make the best decisions for their individual location, they were getting frustrated with the compliance and paperwork that comes along with decentralized HR. For example, the new hire packet had grown to over 60 pages! So senior leadership supported implementing a solution that would improve manager productivity and allow them to spend more time with employees – instead of paperwork.
Here are 10 best practices for your next tech implementation:
- It’s a company project. While this is an HR system, it’s not an HR project. Every department is impacted by the change – especially IT and payroll. If you don’t include all of the stakeholders, they will think it’s an HR project and an HR system. The support will not materialize.
- Separate the process from the technology. Orkin realized they not only needed a technology solution but they needed to streamline their hiring and onboarding processes to truly gain efficiencies and achieve cost savings.
- Select the right project team. Put the right people with the right skills on the project team. Make sure they’re dedicated to the project.
- Find passionate project sponsors. Not only is having a good project team important but every successful implementation needs project sponsors. These individuals aren’t necessarily working on the project every day but they have influence and can use their positional power when appropriate to keep the implementation on a smooth track.
- Plan for change. Swann admitted that even though everyone was excited about this change, it’s still change and needs to be managed. Her suggestion? Plan changes into the project timeline. That way you don’t have to choose between the process and the deadline.
- Develop a communication plan. The project team deals with the project every day – users don’t. It’s important to communicate often and effectively so users will remember information and updates. Repeat messages if necessary.
- Realize mistakes will happen. Implementations are not a “fake it until you make it” moment. Swann shared that they ran into a hiccup with their first user training sessions because they didn’t allocate enough time for questions. Instead of letting users figure it out on their own, the HR team revamped user training. The new program had greater participant interaction and retention.
- User adoption and feedback are the goal. Speaking of users, organizations need to realize the goal is for people to use the system. If they don’t, the project is a failure. Solicit constant feedback from users to personalize the system. Swann said there were times they couldn’t make a change because of compliance but they were able to talk through the situation.
- Celebrate your success. This type of project takes a lot of hard work and there will be challenges. Give the project team and users a chance to celebrate their successes. And, plan a structured debrief in case you do a similar project again. Two years after implementation, Swann says they still refer to project plans and notes.
- The work continues. Once implementation is over, the work doesn’t end. System maintenance will look different but it still exists. Remember to dedicate personnel and resources to support the system.
While system implementations are a lot of hard work, Swann shared that all the challenges were worth it. She said even the late adopters will tell her, “I never want to go back to the old way.”
My thanks to Ruby and the Rollins team for sharing their story. I think we can all benefit from the takeaways on our next implementation project. And if you would like to learn more about SilkRoad’s OpenHire and RedCarpet solutions, contact them for a quick demo.