Change management reigns as top HR skill

Singapore's leading HR leaders share their thoughts on the role of change management in HR tech implementation

Change management reigns as top HR skill

HR professionals need to master the art of change management when implementing HR technology.

At the HR Tech Summit in Singapore last week, two HR leaders from Singapore's leading tech organisations shared their views on how HR can lead cultural change in the workplace.

“If you look at certain regions like Southeast Asia, Latin America and pockets in Europe, there are cultural nuances where people are used to people,” said Sudakshina Ghosh, regional director HR, APAC, Japan and India at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

“They want to walk up to a HR person and have a conversation [about what they need from the organisation]. How then do you tell them that they can just log on to a system and get all the information they need?”

Sharing her experience about the implementation of a workday program at HPE, Ghosh said that employees’ first reaction to it will typically be this: HR is now cutting costs and will no longer serve their needs.

“You need them to move from that sentiment to this – that it’s not about that. They need to know that if they’re at home on a weekend and they need to look for something, they can just log on their device and do so. They don’t even have to go into work.

“It’s about giving them an end state of what the digital experience can be all about,” Ghosh added.

Pallavi Srivastava, AP & GCG GTS talent leader and country human resources director at IBM in Singapore shared similar sentiments.

“I think the change management part is very critical – to get the stakeholders to understand your vision,” she said.

Both HR leaders have to contend with a workforce that numbers in the thousands, spread across different countries. Managing change on such a large scale can thus get tricky when you have to navigate different teams following varying workflow systems.

“[When we implemented workday] in Singapore, we took the version that we had and held workshops so that our users understood our vision,” Srivastava said.

Besides emphasising the importance of communication in effective change management, Srivastava added that it is crucial for HR to always keep the user in mind and prep ahead for the impact of change.

“The user is our prime persona that we’re working towards, so everyone in HR who’s involved in the process change will have to go through the pain of transformation [for the different users] as HR needs to first articulate the impact analysis of the change,” she said.

In this aspect, Srivastava shared the importance of applying design thinking to your tech adoption process.

“Design thinking is about making sure that your users’ persona – whether it’s a recruiting manager or an employee – that their experience is the core behind the tech that you’re buying.”



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