Q&A: How do you minimize human risk through change management, metrics, and monitoring when the solution is provided to you by another department?

The Question:

Hey Diane. Solutions have already been purchased for my human resources department. My company is exploring AI and predictive analytics and solutions are already rolling in with a fast expected implementation date. How can we best manage the change and make sure our employee experience is impacted as little as possible by the risk?

The Answer:

Your first step is to identify the unknowns, potential risks and problems you could be facing with the systems that have been purchased.

  1. Unknown alignment of these systems with current employee journey for human resources
  2. Unknown predictive analytic or AI capabilities
  3. Unknown risks associated with the systems

Your second step is to create a system of inquiry to understand the current situation in relation to those risks and unknowns to uncover the opportunities.

  1. Conduct what we call a backwards analysis of the systems. Rather than a traditional systems requirements collection, what you are doing here is collecting the capabilities of the systems that are already purchased. What are these systems capable of doing?
  2. Conduct a departmental needs analysis. These are needs in relation to your employee journey. Create or pull your employee journey map. Align the systems analysis with its place along the existing employee journey. How do these systems support the existing people operations of the company?
  3. Align systems capabilities with organizational goals for the human resources function. What capabilties do these systems have in alignment with organizational objectives for maturity in AI and predictive analytics?
  4. Determine system shortfalls, if any. Where are the gaps between systems capabilities and the employee journey throughout the human resources/people operations function?
  5. Determine opportunity areas offered by the systems. Where are the opportunity areas, aspects perhaps not thought of, that are possible due to the systems capabilities?

Third, you are going to begin to develop a change management strategy based on the data you have collected.

  1. Visualize how the current situation would be adjusted. How can the employee journey adjust to capitalize on opportunities while mitigating risk in any systems shortfalls?
  2. Understand if additional system modules or plug-in solutions are needed to meet organizational needs. How, if at all, can the gaps be filled in a way that will improve employee experience and minimize talent risk?
  3. Develop a change management plan with change phases. Create a phased rollout plan for the change just rolling the new systems into a status quo environment. The phased replacement will minimize change fatigue, cognitive overload of personnel, and mitigate the risk of low adoption. It will also create a level of comfort, achieving success with one stage before moving on to the next – building momentum. This also mitigates risks to employee experience and employer reputation created by poor hiring and onboarding experiences.

Now that change is underway, you will want to develop success metrics for the project and become an active observer of the results. Particularly in the case of AI integration, there are a number of risks.

  1. Unintended consequences: Theory and practice are two different animals. Once you begin to pilot, you will need to keep your eyes open for unintended consequences of change not covered by the list below.
  2. Garbage in-garbage out: Generative AI needs to pull top down and learn from established documentation such as existing policy documents or communication with employees.
  3. Unlawful discrimination: Lack of consideration of environment or personality for performance planning for example
  4. Loss of talent trust: Be mindful of automating too much and reducing empathy, transparency, sincerity, rapport, and humanity in your organization
  5. Regulations: Data collection and use and new regulations on AI will be important to understand as you roll out new features
  6. Communication: Don’t AI drop your employees. Internal communication plans should fully explain what the AI is doing and when a human can be contacted.
  7. Privacy and security: Your IS teams should be on top of this. Data sensitivity, cyberattack, hacking, and breaches are now a new way of life. Your employees should also know what behavior they need to exhibit with their data to enhance their privacy.

During this period of monitoring, watch and report. This is a multi-disciplinary effort. Depending on your company size, you may be working with HR, risk management, and information systems as well as reporting to your executive team. Here’s what to report that will help you continuously improve.

  1. What’s not working.
  2. What is working and wins.
  3. Employee sentiment.
  4. Power user sentiment.
  5. Remaining gaps.
  6. Discovered innovation.
  7. Suggestions for systems modules, plug-ins, or development.

All of these things enhance your toolbox to step into a new and exciting time in our history, as well as arm yourself to proactively mitigate the risks that go along with new frontiers. This pathway is all about leaning into the future, which is a common interest among departments. Build on your shared vision and goals to unify as a cross-functional team. And, as always, if you need help PRC is always here for you.

PRC’s role is to help guide you through all of this, to drive you and navigate you through the change and risk, however the situation flows.

You are not alone. Contact us if you need someone to walk beside you.

People Risk Consulting (PRC) is a human capital risk management and change management consulting firm located in San Antonio, Texas. PRC helps leaders in service-focused industries mitigate people risk by conducting third-party people-centric risk analysis and employee needs assessments. PRC analyzes and uses this data alongside best practice to make strategic recommendations to address organizational problems related to change and employee risk. The firm walks alongside leaders to develop risk plans, change plans, and strategic plans to drive the human element of continuous improvement. PRC provides technical assistance, education, training, and trusted partner resources to aid with execution. PRC is a strategic partner of TriNet, Marsh McClennan Agency, Cloud Tech Gurus, Predictive Index, and Motivosity.

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