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How to Get Employee Buy-In for HR Tech

This three-step framework will help you with employee buy-in...

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Finance and Software Nerd
February 19, 2019
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Let’s suppose you’re a Human Resources manager tasked with revving up your company’s culture game. You stumble upon a tool that seeks to foster employee engagement. This tool has a great user interface, is quick to implement, and perfectly lines up with the company vision. You’re sold that you’ve found the holy grail that would radically solve retention, absenteeism, and work-life balance problems in your company. Now you have to tell your co-workers and employees about your new initiative. 

How do you go about it? Picking software is not a one-person job, and the perspectives from others can help avoid picking the wrong tool. But what if, like with many changes, there’s just too much resistance? 

Stacie Justice, Director of People Operations at Brightcove was stuck in a similar position when she was tasked with buying a new Performance Management System for her company. Not only was she kind enough to share her experience of implementing this new HR software with SelectSoftware Reviews, she also surfaced an interesting framework for getting employee buy-in: setting up cross-functional buying committees. 

This three-step guide is an amalgamation of in-house ideas and Stacie’s experiences at Brightcove. It will help you get your employees to buy-in when you want to bring in new tools and technologies to your organization. 

Step 1: Pitch your idea

A survey conducted by PwC in 2018 revealed that only 47% of employees believe that new technology is implemented keeping their needs in mind. This mindset can not only hinder employees’ sense of belonging at the workplace but can also affect work performance. Good business leaders understand that it’s the employees who are on the front-line when a company is going through a change process and that it’s vital to involve them in the decision-making process. 

But, resisting change is a common facet of human nature. While some employees see the benefit of a new software outrightly, others need help in adapting to an organizational change. There can be many reasons why your employees resist new tech, and as a leader, you must formulate change management strategies to help your team members overcome this resistance. 

Schedule a meeting with your employees and all the other stakeholders you need to pitch your proposed changes to and then present your ideas in a detailed format. At SelectSoftware Reviews, we call this The HR Tech Roadshow. The process involves listing the pain points that come from not using the tool, your proposed solution for overcoming the pain points, and how your new initiative will lead to a process improvement in your organization. 

A manager going over new software with his employees

A roadshow of this kind helps you gauge your team members’ initial views on the new initiative and can sometimes also help you get a verbal buy-in from your employees and other stakeholders.

Step 2: Set up a cross-functional buying committee

Once you’ve given your co-workers a heads-up about the proposed changes, you can kick-start the change process by putting a group of people together from different teams who will help get the new tool on board.

While forming this buying committee, you don’t necessarily have to take a top down managerial approach. While bringing in a new HR tech tool at Brightcove, Stacie and her co-workers from the PeopleOps team selected the core members of the group from across the company and then invited other interested employees who wanted to volunteer for implementing the new initiative. 

This kind of a committee made up of people from many different departments not only helps instill a sense of belonging in employees but also provides business leaders with perspectives that they might otherwise overlook. Stacie talked about how the buying committee formed at Brightcove brought to light the different onboarding procedures each team had for new employees which led to borrowing useful ideas and plans for consolidating processes across the company.

It’s important to make this buying committee cross functional for reasons apart from exchanging ideas. Let’s say you’re looking for the best HRMS software for your team and you end up shortlisting the one that happens to be the most expensive. By involving business leaders and co-workers from different teams, you can make multiple use cases to justify the expenses. 

In addition, teamwork of this kind enhances the decision-making process by highlighting every team’s unique requirements. In the case of Brightcove, the cross functional buying committee helped Stacie to secure a budget and ensure that the solution was implemented correctly.

Step 3: Implementation and follow up

After getting employee buy-in, start action planning on how you’re going to implement the new solution, the knowledge transfer process, and the timeline for achieving your goals. 

Remember that even after an employee buy-in, your employees might face roadblocks with using the new software and require continuous improvement. Make sure that the Human Resources department is equipped for helping employees make a smooth transition. 

A manager supporting her employee

Bottom line

Getting employee buy-in might look daunting, but with this three-step framework that’s based on a company that managed to successfully get internal buy-in, you can help your team adopt new tools and technologies with ease. 

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Phil Strazzulla

Phil is the founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, a website dedicated to helping HR and Recruiting teams to find and buy the right software through in-depth, expert advice. Phil started his career working in venture capital before getting his MBA from Harvard Business School.

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