One question I hear time and time again from organizations is, “I wish I knew what to expect going into an implementation of an HR portal. How can I better prepare?”
In many ways implementing any new technology is like moving homes. Let’s compare…
Time to clean out your basement
When you are moving homes, you likely still have some boxes from your prior move down in your basement. Yes, you know the ones back in the corner that you have never opened. Maybe for months, years or decades! And yet somehow you feel you need them, and you pay movers each time to move those now dented, and crumbling cardboard boxes.
How many times have you paid the movers to bring unused belongings from one place to the next? Think about what you could have saved in moving costs! Especially for those of you who move every few years.
When implementing an HR portal, you may be coming from an intranet system, a prior internal system, or something portal-like that your organization has outgrown. Your moving boxes are your current content – whether the form of that is text, html, videos, documents, etc. Have you looked at how often each of your content pieces have been used? When was the last time they were refreshed? Are they still relevant?
As a best practice, you don’t want to move outdated or non-engaging content from your current system to your new HR portal. It’s the old boxes haunting you! Take the time to clean out your basement before going live on a new HR portal.
Don’t be a hoarder
Maybe your move involves merging two existing households, due to a relationship taking a next step like marriage. As you prepare to combine belongings, take a moment to assess your stuff. How many ice cream scoopers do you really need? Is the couch from one person’s belongings newer and better suited to the new home? How many pairs of shoes will your closet fit?
For many organizations implementing an HR portal, one of the key benefits is having a centralized hub for communication. This means that in current state, there may need to be a consolidation of content, sites and information from other sites. Don’t let it become a turf war and don’t move everything just because it existed in the prior site. It’s worth the effort to do a conscious review of what currently exists – what should be moved in current state, what needs to be updated for future and what to discard. Yes, discarding old or no longer useful content can seem daunting at first but the rewards will come later.
No one wants to move into their beautiful new home only to be surrounded by unneeded clutter.
Choose your moving team
When you are getting ready to move, the first instinct may be to go to your friends and family for help. And let’s be honest, the reason for that is because their help is free. Well, it doesn’t cost you any money with the exception of perhaps some pizzas and beverages. But you know how it goes even before the day of the move – someone calls you to cancel with a mystery illness, another person seems to have forgotten about an urgent appointment and now here you are all by yourself.
When planning for your HR portal, you need to have a strategy that includes the appropriate resources, governance and updates to content after the initial go live date. This takes some thought and planning for successful execution.
And the reality is this is one area where most organizations fail when it comes to implementing an HR portal. This is not a one-time project. You are in it for the long term. You need to establish a governance plan including who does what, who is responsible for which pieces for both content and geographical considerations. Bottom line: you need a team that will help you pack, carry some boxes, and stick around to help you decorate for the foreseeable future.
You’ve heard the saying “fill a house with love and it becomes a home.” How about, “Fill an HR portal with the right meaningful, personalized content for your employees and it becomes the home for HR.”
Guest blogger Michelle Northey is the Global Product Leader for Willis Towers Watson HR Portal Software. With over 20 years of Human Capital Management experience, she has lead the creation of market-leading, award-winning software solutions spanning the wide domain of HCM including human resources, payroll, talent acquisition, talent management, health care reform and analytics.