As we head into the summer months, many of our clients are beginning discussions on changing their tech – whether it’s a full HCM overhaul, or to replace their Benefits Administration system prior to the next Open Enrollment (sorry for the scary words…but OE is indeed around the corner). During the month of April, the BTR Twitter feed focused our efforts on informing articles on Implementation – how to get through one of the scariest parts of new technology initiatives. We also pulled on our internal resource – our Implementation guru of sorts – Jaime Ferguson, Benefits Administration Team Lead. Here are some hot topics Jaime suggested clients focus on when thinking about implementing new technology:
1. Clean Up the Dirty Data
When implementing new technology, a client generally has an older technology solution they are needing to transfer data from. This is a good time to clean up your data – meaning only convert good, clean data that is vital. It’s also great for clients to perform a sort of “audit” with their data – to only convert the necessary historical data.
2. Be Prepared
Clients will need to fully prepare themselves, their staff, their family, and probably their barista (or bartender!) on what is expected of them. Implementation can become a grind – weekly calls, sometimes 2-3 a week, all needing at least a half hour of your schedule and generally coming with action items to complete by the next call. And for clients that are not the tech-savvy kind, it can get confusing and overwhelming. Setting expectations and committing to staying informed and attentive, and following the steps provided by the Vendor Support Team will allow for a smoother implementation – and it may avoid bumps down the road post-implementation.
3. Documents on Documents
Clients should gather all of their documents for the new system ahead of time. This will assist with meeting those action item deadlines with the new vendors. Employee rosters, plan details, PTO policies, department structures – anything and everything that is needed to set up each module should be ready to go on Day 1.
It’s also vital for clients to prepare for introducing employees to the new system. Most of the employees will not be involved in the Implementation – generally a select few of HR leaders and/or IT members. Clients who educate themselves, pull on their resources and set aside adequate time for training or questions when the rest of the workforce begins using the system will see less of a freak out. Change can be scary, but it’s a lot easier to swallow when you have help.
Emily Fleming is an HR Technology Analyst & on the BTR Project Box Team. She has been working for BTR for just under a year and has experience in Employee Benefits, HR Tech and customer service.