How does Human Resource Technology Affect the Transformation of Culture in an Organization?

Posted by Amy Dingle on 8/4/16 11:08 AM

Addressing the Elephant in the Room: The Effects of HR Technology on Culture Transformation

During our webinar, Addressing the Elephant in the Room: The Effects of HR Technology on Culture Transformation, we had more questions than we could get to. Read below as Norman Barnett, Director of HR & Recruiting at Lewis Fowler, and Charles Williams, Senior Associate at Lewis Fowler, give a little more insight.


What is a situation where you were asked to improve employee engagement? And what was your approach? 

In my previous role, the company I worked for was going through an acquisition. Our incoming CEO knew we had a significant culture issue and wanted to change our culture and environment. To do this, he engaged an external consulting firm that measured employee engagement and how you shift to a desired state. I was one of nine employees that were invited to participate in several initiatives that created a new statement of direction and provided our Executive Leadership Team with raw data that helped formulate our story. 

We used a tactical approach to learning that was at the crux of our culture problem. The first step was to identify what was perceived by our employees. To do this, we conducted internal interviews with over a third of our workforce. In addition to the interviews we also conducted an employee engagement survey. Next, we shared the results with the executive leadership team. This provided our leadership a true picture of what our employees truly felt about our organization. 

The outcome of these exercises had a significant impact on the organization. Below are a few items to think about when trying to change culture and/or engage employees.

  • Initiatives to maintain the quality of work life and a balance between personal/professional lives.
  • Forums to provide regular feedback to all people.
  • Training and development, from technical to soft skills to leadership development programs
  • Start engaging employees during the recruitment process provide a realistic job and organizational view.

 A successful engagement strategy creates a community and not just a workforce. When employees are engaged with the organization, they form an emotional bond. In turn, a happy employee will affect their attitude towards both their co-workers and the company’s clients. Improvement in these areas will have a positive impact on your company’s net promoter score and improves customer satisfaction and service levels.

 -Norman Barnett

How has HR managed to keep up with the culture working remotely?

The remote workforce is a growing population of users at many companies. Working remotely is even discussed as a part of a benefits package at some companies. Let’s talk about Software as a Service (Saas) based HCM applications. Since the SaaS platform is designed to work from any internet enabled system through a web browser in any location, almost any Human Resource position can efficiently perform work remotely for at least some parts of their job.

Additionally, for mobile users, many SaaS HCM providers already have a mobile application that mirrors many of their desktop application modules’ available services. Not all modules of a system are meant to run in a mobile environment – like Payroll for example. We think that where applicable, access and extension of mobile access to additional modules of the HCM system will continue to improve.

-Charles Williams

What do you do about the people on your team that do not want to make the change to a new system?

A similar question was asked during the HR Transformation webinar, and it is a great question to follow up and talk about. It is important to understand that we live with all different types of people and everyone can add value – particularly those that do not want the change. At a recent engagement, one of the employees who did not want change was also the person who understood the current process and practice so well they did not understand the need for the system. We were able to engage that person and draw immense understanding about how to share their process knowledge. As we took the system from requirements to configuration, we were able to reveal various stages of time savings that could not ever happen without answering the WiiFM (What’s In It For Me?) for that team member.

As a team member or leader and for perspective on how technological, systems or process changes can have effect on different individuals, we recommend the Prosci model for organizational change with ADKAR for understanding the individual change model.

Communications during an upcoming transformational change is key for the transformation team to have a successful roll-out. Leadership plays a key role in communicating the excitement and backing that the change will be happening and encouraging the team and the population from the beginning of the initiative to program the change into the culture. Regular communication also aids in helping those that do not desire the change begin to adjust, accept and even look forward to it.

 -Charles Williams


Miss the webinar? Watch the recording here!


Topics: Webinar Follow Up