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July 15, 2021 | HRIS | Posted by Jeff Cronin, Chief Product Officer at Ascentis

How to Transition Your Workforce to New HR Software

Shifting gears from something familiar into something new and challenging is a tricky part of life no matter who you are. Expanding those transitions out across an entire workforce of people with different goals, skills, and experiences without losing productivity is an even bigger challenge.

For evidence, just think back to any time your business has adopted a new software solution. Even if there’s a good reason for replacing the previous solution, there is also usually some level of resistance to moving on to something unfamiliar. That’s only natural, and it falls to your HR team to help your employees get comfortable with the new tools.

Lay out a clear timeline and responsibilities

Once you’ve gotten your new HR software lined up, start an internal educational campaign that lays out a clear, easy-to-follow timeline including important dates for changing passwords, taking training courses, updating employee profiles, and any key processes that will be impacted by the new software. Letting your employees have ample time to prepare themselves for the transition is key to easing legitimate concerns and making the change as smooth as possible.

Try approaching your new software implementation like any other work project. Besides planning out a timeline, assign both managers and employees roles and well-defined tasks related to completing training, testing various functions, and providing feedback. By making the adoption of a new HR system feel like the kind of work project everyone is already accustomed to, you can remove a good deal of the uncertainty that may be slowing down the implementation process.

Provide training and education

It’s a natural reaction for people to be resistant of processes they don’t understand, so it pays to make sure that your employees understand their new HR software system as thoroughly as possible. This is something to keep in mind even before you make your decision on a new solution — does this software include an accessible, easy to understand training process?

Ideally, your new HR solution will include a reliable learning management system, or integrate easily with your current learning management tools. Set up mandatory training and education sessions for all employees and managers who will be impacted by the change. Letting people feel their way around and learn the system by trial and error is a recipe for time-consuming errors that will only make the transition more difficult.

Set a good example

Sometimes the best way to set your employees minds at ease about a new technology is simply to show them that it works for you. Seeing managers and other employees embrace a new system can go a long way toward making the rest of your workforce more comfortable with the transition.

Set up some early demonstrations where managers and key employees can get a preview of some of your new HR software’s important functions. Encourage those people to spread the word, but make sure they’re expressing honest opinions — your workers can recognize a scripted or insincere response and may be even less inclined to trust your new software if they suspect they’re being misled.

Be open to feedback

You’ve made a considerable investment in your new HR software solution. It’s natural to feel protective or even defensive of your new tool, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still room for improvement. While there will always be some complaints about a new system that boil down to “I was used to the old system,” there will also likely be some constructive criticisms and suggestions for improvements.

Be proactive about seeking out feedback rather than waiting for complaints to arise, and be prepared to implement changes wherever feasible. A quality HR software provider should have a dedicated customer service team to listen to those ideas and guide you through customizing your system to meet your organization’s specific needs. After all, a workforce management tool is only useful if it fits your particular workforce, and it’s your provider’s responsibility to make sure that it does.

Your human resources system is likely one of the few aspects of your business that impacts every employee every day. It’s totally reasonable for workers to have concerns about overhauling those processes. By listening to their concerns, approaching the changeover like a work project, and being upfront about the expectations and adjustments that come with this change, you can keep morale high as you move into a more efficient era of workforce management.

Learn more about Ascentis HR management solutions and how our customer service team can help your organization make a seamless transition.

Jeff joined Ascentis as chief product officer with more than 25 years’ experience in delivering innovative product solutions to solve unique business challenges. Prior to joining Ascentis, Jeff was the general manager of U.S. products at Sovos, as well as vice president of product marketing at Gelco, which was acquired by Concur. Under Jeff’s leadership, his teams have led the launch of new and innovative solutions ranging from financial technology software for large organizations to cloud services targeting small and mid-sized businesses. Jeff holds a B.A. in physics from the University of Colorado.