Human capital management (HCM) is a set of practices used by organizations to transform traditional HR functions into opportunities to drive engagement, increase productivity and add business value.
These practices are used to revolutionize functions such as recruiting, training, payroll and more. The key aim of HCM is to view employees as assets, which, if invested in and managed effectively, can maximize their business value.
But it doesn’t stop there; human capital management can cover a variety of practices and processes from administrative to strategic. This is why HCM is often broken down into four areas, including:
- Core HR
- Talent management
- Workforce Management
- Service delivery
When implemented correctly, HCM can completely transform your HR department and, subsequently, your organization. But get it wrong, and you could be making a very costly and time-consuming mistake.
To ensure this does not happen in your business, we've put together this guide on HCM implementation. Below, we’ll tackle the key challenges organizations are facing, look at how change management can help and share some tips for implementing HCM as effectively as possible.
Read on to find out more.
The challenges of implementing HCM
Despite the fact that half (49%) of businesses have invested in human capital management programs and HCM systems over the last couple of years, many fail to actually achieve their goals.
There are a number of reasons for this. One of the biggest challenges is a lack of organizational change management. This is typically because too much time is dedicated to finding the right HCM system and implementing new ideas that the people side of change is ignored.
Unfortunately, many employees are resistant to large organizational change, such as having to learn new processes and technologies. Businesses need to overcome this challenge if they hope to effectively implement HCM any time soon.
Then, of course, there is choosing the right tools and systems in the first place. HCM systems and tools help HR teams manage employees from hiring to retiring in one place. This includes collecting data and making everything accessible and organized. Hence, choosing the right system is vital. As a result, executives often need to invest a lot of time and resources into finding the right HCM solution.
How change management can help
The good news is, change management can help to overcome these challenges.
Any time a new company-wide change is being rolled out, it’s vital that a change management plan is created. This detailed plan helps leaders to better manage the change process and gives employees direction.
It also gives all teams involved a chance to assess the company culture, identify if there are going to be any major barriers or issues and get an effective roll-out strategy in place.
For example, if the HR team recognizes that employees need to be sufficiently trained before inputting data into new HCM systems, this barrier can be overcome by organizing and carrying out proper training initiatives as soon as possible.
6 change management tips for implementing HCM
Company-wide change doesn’t just affect employees in the short term; it will change the overall culture and how employees go about their daily working lives. So it’s easy to see why you need to manage this change carefully - and there are several ways you can do this.
Below, we’ve pulled together six change management tips that will help you effectively and efficiently implement human capital management processes across your organization.
1. Create a change management team
The first thing you need to do is create a change management team. This should be comprised of people who understand the need for these changes and who have the skills and capacity to support this effort.
Members of the team are responsible for promoting and supporting changes within your company. As such, their job involves communicating key messages to the workforce and keeping change management processes on track.
2. Ensure alignment across the business
Organizational alignment is vital for implementing HCM. Executives and managers need to be on board if you hope to achieve top-level support and the best possible results.
Part of your change management plan should be engaging leaders at every level, giving them time to prepare themselves and their teams. Some of these leaders might even become part of your change management team.
3. Set realistic goals
HR and the relevant change management teams need to determine what the realistic implementation and overall HCM project might look like. It’s important to set realistic goals for rolling out any big changes or new technologies.
After all, consuming too many changes or new tools in a short space of time can cause stress and burnout. As such, the team needs to take a realistic approach to deploying new HCM systems and processes, setting out realistic timelines and goals that won’t overwhelm the workforce.
4. Develop a strong communication plan
When implementing human capital management systems across the business, strong communication is critical.
Often, resistance comes from a lack of understanding, and one way to tackle this is to deliver important facts in plenty of time before implementing any changes or new systems.
It’s also important to start conversations and make communication a two-way street, allowing employees to ask questions and give honest feedback whenever they need to.
5. Don’t neglect training
Effective training is another crucial part of implementing new HCM systems, and therefore, vague training DVDs or circulating a manual via email won’t be enough. You must ensure your training solutions are effective, tailoring the materials to better suit your business and your teams.
Employees won’t be able to do their jobs properly and will become frustrated with new processes and technologies without thorough training, so don’t neglect this part of your change management plan.
6. Identify areas of resistance and address the cause
Finally, if you think you’ve done everything right but you’re still not reaching your human capital management goals, this could be due to resistance or problems amongst the workforce. Some key signs to look out for include:
- Employees avoiding new assignments or not using new tools
- Dips in productivity
- Increased rates of absenteeism
- Low morale
- Lots of gossiping, complaints or negative feedback
If you start to notice any of these signs, it’s vital to address the problem straight away. Get to the root cause of the issue and ask employees what can be done to support them during this period of transition.
It might be that they need better communication, additional training or just more support from their manager.
Change management will play a key role in implementing HCM processes and getting everyone on board across the business. So, if you’re hoping to embrace human capital management this year, our tips above can help to get you started.
But remember, don’t rush this process. Choosing the right tools and determining which areas to focus on will take time. Rolling out these changes too quickly can become overwhelming and alienating to your workforce, ultimately leading to failure.
So take your time to ensure organizational alliance and to get a strong communication and change management plan in place first.
Access the latest business knowledge in HR
Join the conversation...