The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology


HR Service Delivery: Question 5

systematicHR Avatar

Are people spending money to alter our tools?

Good ‘ol performance management is a nice scenario here. In the old days when we had a staff of people creating spreadsheets, sending them to managers, getting them back for data scrubbing, aggregation, approval, and then upload to the HRMS, we’d often find that the spreadsheet we got back wasn’t the original one sent out. This was simply because the managers thought our tools were cumbersome and that they could do it better themselves.

Another example is when a business unit decides to secretly support their managers with a staff of recruiters when corporate HR thought they had centralized this function. What this question gets us is not to clamp down on policy, but to figure out where we went wrong. Did a one size fits all approach not work? Is a single business unit truly so different that they should be approached differently? Or did we do a poor job with change management and not get the initial adoption that was necessary?

One of my favorite examples is the manager who does not use self service, although HR would never know without some investigation. Sometimes there is an administrative assistant who has taken on more work so that the manager can keep doing things the old way. Even better is when the admin assistant has been hired specifically to do this specific work.

It really isn’t always someone else’s fault though. Sometimes the process we’ve implemented really does suck. Sometimes the manager using an older process is justified. When HR goes in and implements a new system, how often does the vendor’s sales staff or implementation team look at process engineering? That’s right – practically never. Perhaps it’s a change management issue, but perhaps HR has actually screwed it up and needs to try again.

As always, when evaluating those small areas where a few people use process and technology differently, figure out if these are real opportunities or simply outliers from the norm. If a global change is warranted, don’t forget the change management process to run concurrently with the implementation.

Tagged in :

systematicHR Avatar

2 responses to “HR Service Delivery: Question 5”

  1. or is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact so we can take legal action immediately. Plugin by Taragana Thank you for reading the Tribute Media Human Resources News Feed. Please check the original post here:systematicHR – Human Resources Strategy and Technology. The purpose of this feed it to provide information to the greatest audience possible. In addition, we can drive inbound links to your blog. If you would like to have your blog featured or removed from here or in any of our other newsfeeds, please

  2. Rick Maurer Avatar

    I enjoyed your post. I developed a way of looking at support and resistance to change that might help in the HR and technology dilemma you discussed. I thought it might interest your readers.

    In short, there are three levels of resistance (and support): I don’t get it. I don’t like it. I don’t like you. In my experience leaders of technology projects assume that confusion or resistance is caused by Level 1 issues – people don’t understand. So the leaders pile on more and more data. That’s fine if it really is a Level 1 issue. But, often the problem is Level 2 – people are afraid of the change, Level 3 – they don’t trust the people leading the new initiative.

    The good news is that when leaders are curious enough to find out what the Level 1, 2, and 3 issues, they may hear that people think the idea really is a bad one.

    Rick Maurer