Now that you’ve got intelliHR up and running, it’s time to spread the word! It's important that your people are aware of our new system, particularly why it’s in place and how it will benefit them. Every organisation is different, so the message has to come from you, your way. Below are some tips to help you communicate this change effectively.
Know How People React to Change
Change is a constant and necessary part of business, but people don’t always like it. For most of us, we have an instinctively negative reaction to change, fearing that the skill, status or expertise we worked so hard to acquire is going to disappear. It can be quite the emotional rollercoaster!
Many start in denial, looking for evidence that it’s not true or won’t be permanent. When reality sets in that the change is definitely happening, this sends people into frustration, believing all is lost and that everything will be terrible from here on in. Most people (often with a little help) can progress on to a more hopeful mindset, exploring ways to make the new situation work. Once the change has become accepted as the new normal, morale returns to normal and this person may even become an advocate of the change to others.
If this experience sounds familiar, it might be because you as the System Administrator have just taken a spin on a similar ride (or you might still be on it!) There might have been low times when implementing a system seemed too hard and that it was never going to happen, but eventually there started to be a light at the end of the tunnel and solutions started to come together.
Supporting your People Through Change
There are ways to support your people through the stages of change.
- For those in denial, it’s helpful to keep them informed and involved with what’s going on. Face to face communication is particularly effective when you can do it.
- Frustrated people just want to be heard. There might be valid reasons why they feel that way, and with the high level of configurability in intelliHR, you might be able to make a small change that has a big impact.
- People exploring the change need information and some direction. They could be your biggest asset when it comes to solving problems arising from the change.
- Recognise and reward the people who have accepted the change. Without reinforcement, people can slip back into frustration very easily.
Manage the Change Process
When it comes to implementing intelliHR, your Customer Success Team is there from the start, with principles of change management built into the project. We help you to identify the key objectives of the project, include important stakeholders and keep momentum. Here's the theory behind the process:
A (brief) Overview of Managing Change
There are countless change management models, most with similar themes or stages, though with different names. The key themes are:
1. Getting buy in - make sure everyone understands why change is needed and how it will benefit them. Involve people as much as possible in developing the plan for the change.
2. Begin the process - start making the change, being as clear as possible on timelines and expectations
3. Make sure you’re on course - stay in communication with the people experiencing the change. Get their feedback on how it's going and ask how it could be improved (make sure to use that feedback).
4. Review and Reinforce the change - don’t let all that effort go to waste by not sticking to it. Habits are hard to change but you can get there!
5. Start again - change is never ‘done’, particularly when it comes to making people management work. That’s why we say the implementation is just the beginning.
Factors to consider
Consider if there are existing HR cadences that intelliHR can fit into, for example an upcoming performance review cycle, or goal setting period. This leverages existing expectations of work, while demonstrating early value by improving the quality and efficiency of the process.
Email or meeting?
Depending on your business, you might be able to let people know about intelliHR through an email from the project sponsor. For other organisations a meeting might be more appropriate, with something written down as a follow-up to refer back to.
Roll it out top-down or all at once?
Sometimes it might be more effective to engage your line managers in the purpose of the project as well as some training, then they can roll it out to their team individually. For other businesses, it might make more sense to get everyone using it at the same time. Remember to lean on your change champions, those people who have been involved in the project from the start and can talk about the ‘why’ behind it.
Think your people might want some extra help?
There are in-platform walkthrough guides available to all employees, to help show them around the relevant features whenever they log in. Your CSM can set up a specific welcome message for your system to help your people get started.
What to cover?
However you start the communication process, there are some key things to include in your messaging. The good news is most of these were discussed in your kick off meeting! These topics don't all have to be delivered at the same time (that could be a long email!), but can be touched on at different times.
Many customers find it useful to do a light 'heads up' communication soon after the kick-off, addressing high-level goals of the project and letting people know a change is coming, then following up with more detailed information in-person as the project rolls out.
Let your people know why intelliHR is becoming a part of the way the business operates. It might be as simple as acknowledging some of those blockers we identified, focusing on ones that will resonate with your employees. You can also include some of the ways they can expect to benefit from intelliHR, identified when we covered what things you're excited about having intelliHR do!
Give some clear direction on what it’s going to be used for. Focus on a couple of the outcomes the project is working towards rather than everything at once. Show that this project is important.
People feel more in control when they have specific details and times of what is going to happen. Eg “you will receive an email from the system with your logins on X date”.
Similarly, be clear on how they should respond. Eg “fill out the forms you receive” or “log in and check out your emergency contact details” etc.
The 'What Ifs'
Particularly if this is a big change for your people, a nice way to wrap up and leave them feeling excited rather than scared is to touch on what is NOT going to change (even just one of those keepers helps people feel more secure eg: our business values aren't changing, just the way we communicate them)
Depending on your business culture, you can also touch on any speed bumps you’re going to keep an eye out for (this is about acknowledging your concerns in a diplomatic way since everyone’s probably thinking it anyway)
Let people know what to do if they need more help - eg: “HR is here to answer questions and support you when it comes to our processes. For technical questions about intelliHR, there's a knowledge base to help you out (just click on your profile picture/initials at the top right). If you get really stuck, you can always request support directly in the system as well.”
Putting it all together
Here's an example of a great first communication about intelliHR:
We've just started work on a new People Management system, whilst this might not sound exciting to you, we can't wait! intelliHR has a lot of features that will make work life better for everyone. Some of the things we're really looking forward to are:
- Giving people ownership of their own information when it comes to training, qualifications and goals
- Continuous feedback and training requests, helping managers to support and develop their team
- Having a central place to keep all our policies and procedures
- More streamlined HR procedures, with less paperwork for you!
- It's all online, so you can access it by computer or on your phone
Right now, we're working behind the scenes to get everything ready. Watch out in the next month for your chance to take a first look and get involved.