Launching any sort of HR system can be daunting, especially if it’s a brand new platform that your business has never used before. Our new clients often come to us with similar concerns and we empathise — HR tech can be a big investment for any business, and its success rides on the project team and the impact the tech has on the business.
Since we've done this over 1,800 times, we thought we’d share some insight about the types of things to look out during an employee engagement software deployment.
Given all the hard work that’s going into getting this new HR technology up and running, the last thing you want is low adoption from your employees! Because you want to launch with a bang, look for ways to be present for your people, proactively provide information, generate excitement, answer questions, and wherever possible, showcase the programme and increase employee engagement.
Reward Gateway’s Client Success Managers provide clients with strategies for how to best communicate and launch new employee engagement hubs, which include developing materials aligned to the platform’s brand and design (posters, flyers, mail to home etc), as well as teaser campaigns to get people excited in the lead up. They enlist the help of leadership and employee champions to get on board early and support with driving adoption and work on video content, learner videos, animated “how to” videos and webinars to help your people get to know their new programme.
And while it’s good to spend a lot of time on this upfront, pre-launch, make sure it doesn’t stop once your platform is live. Continued employee communications is the key to success and we'll be using insights to drive this ongoing.
2. Who needs training?
Sure, you need to know how to access and use the tech, but what about the rest of your people? Have you factored in manager training, and maybe even training (or at least a sneak peak!) for your employee ambassadors? On the flip side of this, if your team is managing the platform in-house, it’s important to make sure that the right people have admin access and training on things like employee data management and benefit approvals.
Ensure everyone is equipped with the know-how to use and manage the programme and where to (and when they can) access support.
In the background your people will have received teaser communications and know something big is coming. There will be a lot of positive chat and hype!
3. How do employees get access?
When you’ve confirmed the date of your big launch, and agree on your go-live time, how will your people know they now have access to this brand new, shiny platform? Is it by email? Text? Both? Do they have to download an app or can they access everything on their web browser? If your employees already sign onto internal systems, having single-sign on can make it a lot easier (and therefore compelling!) for them to visit your new platform.
Confirm these things with your vendor.
4. How can you drive excitement on launch day?
We love launching with fun competitions to drive adoption in the first few weeks — something like "Send two eCards and submit a nomination by a certain date for a chance to win a £200 voucher" can generate a lot of excitement and talk. Look for creative ways to get your people sharing the excitement. Ask your vendor if you can run this on their platform or if there’s anything they can provide to support you.
5. Who will be your go-to person after the platform is set up and launched?
While some HR programmes are designed for self-service and a set-and-forget approach, employee engagement platforms are a bit different. Normally, these require someone in the business keeping an eye on usage and adoption, and an expert on the vendor side that you can turn to when you have questions and need guidance when it comes to making sure the programme is a raving success and actually moving the needle on employee engagement in your organisation, long after the platform is launched.
This is what our Client Success Managers are for — we work closely with our clients to help them make the most of the platform’s reporting capability and articulate real-time and long-term progress during their organisation’s engagement journey. It’s worth identifying what the equivalent is for your chosen vendor.
It's after the big launch of your HR tech that the fun really begins. One of the things you need to look out for when it comes to choosing a vendor is whether they’re with you and your employees every step of the way. Your business goals — and the HR tech that supports them — will undoubtedly evolve over time and a vendor that helps you manage, maintain and adapt along the way is your best chance at creating a programme that is relevant, meaningful and represents the very best of your employer brand.