Driving Adoption of HR Tech: For Users, by Users

July 18, 2017

HR Tech

Sam Crumley is Vice President of Employee Experience at Panopto, the fastest-growing provider of video software for training, teaching, and presenting. He shares his experience on getting reluctant employees to embrace new technology that could help scale their business. 

We’ve all been there. You make the investment and are excited to bring value-add technology – like HR software – to your employees and managers. You’ve been through the nuts and bolts, conducted a thorough evaluation and procurement process, and know the positive impact it will have on your teams. Why then, are adoption rates dragging and there’s a struggle to get your employees excited? Why can’t everyone see how great your new tool is?

Unfortunately, this is an all too familiar scenario for many of us.

The good news? Over the years, I have seen the methods for user preparation and enablement evolve and adapt to meet the needs of today’s users. In this post, I share tips for driving more successful adoption – particularly of HR technology – in your organization. Read on.

Start with the Basics

Begin with the basics by asking yourself the following questions about your employee-base. Don’t worry about every possible scenario. This will help create the right “package” of enablement materials for the various audiences. 

  • Who are the power users? How soon do they need to be involved?
  • Who are the influencers? Who will people pay attention to?
  • Who will be the eager, early adopters? Will they have a multiplier effect in supporting others?
  • What will the most used features be in your implementation?
  • What is the first thing a user will experience with the tool?
  • Where will you need basic awareness and where will you need deep skill?
  • Who will be the infrequent users needing just-in-time support?
  • Where will users likely go for questions?

[Looking for a great HR software your employees can easily adapt to? Try Zenefits.]

Once you know where to focus your energy, use as many communication tools as possible, including user-generated video (for employees, by employees), to generate some excitement about your new HR software. Email works when it’s not already over-used and messages stand out from the rest. In many cases, it’s not the best option. Instead, try other internal communication tools like SharePoint, Chatter, Google pages, as well as internal portals. Other means of communication to get employees excited include built-in support resources and libraries for self-help.

But what about visual communication? If we take a change-management framework and apply it today, one of the most relevant ways to share information and build capability is video. Video is great for: 

  • Providing awareness about a change coming through a short, direct video from your CEO.
  • Preparing people for what’s coming and building understanding of how it will impact them in a tailored video from a division leader or functional manager.
  • Enabling users to take action – an employee showing how to make time-off requests; an intern recording themselves submitting weekly timesheets; your benefits rep describing the open enrollment steps – all with video and screen views guiding through the process.
  • For the small number of super users, deep dives into functionality by admins.  
  • See the following image of one of our videos:
HR Tech
2 minute video on mid-cycle pay raise requests. 

No matter what you choose, I cannot stress enough the importance of gathering feedback and then taking action on it.  It’s not a failure to change course, use a new tactic, or record a new video. It’s a failure to keep pushing the same method and expecting adoption to improve.

[Looking for a great HR software your employees can easily adapt to? Try Zenefits.]


Sam Crumley is Vice President of Employee Experience at Panopto, the fastest-growing provider of video software for training, teaching and presenting. In this role, Sam has broad responsibility for employer branding, talent planning, recruiting, learning, total rewards, HR administration and the physical work environment. Learn more about Panopto at www.panopto.com.

Category: HR Tips & Trends, Zenefits

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