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At a recent HR Leadership roundtable, amongst some really great company, wine tasting, and in the cold pouring rain, the topic was certainly hot. “What does it take to go on an HR Technology journey?” Is it just great technology, AI, Data, Mobile-first, <<insert new buzzword>>, Human Centred Design (HCD), EX, CX, physical workplaces, digital mindset, leadership, or a bit of everything?

No prizes for guessing a bit of everything in 2019 and years to come. Caryn Katsikogianis, Chief People Officer at Woolworths Group, and her team shared their journey so far in implementing people technologies and where they are headed.

Commencing with the basics of payroll transformation in 2013 and implementing MVP in SuccessFactors (starting with Recruitment modules focusing on candidate experience) in the past few years, they are now looking at very different challenges.

Their people, managers, and leaders want more from the technologies. They want to continue the challenge of moving from “systems of record” to systems that bring teams together, accessible by their people wherever they are, and ultimately enable rich and meaningful conversations powered by great user experience.

Here are the key takeaways on the how, using Woolworths Group as a case study:

Experience Design is Key

Woolworths Group held listening sessions using Human Centered Design approaches to really understand the moments that mattered. They identified 14 big concepts that were important to their people in order to put their customers first. They applied these concepts with their recruitment implementation by really focusing on candidate experience and considering what it really feels like to work there.

They also did this by using “mobile-first” principles. But of course, it isn’t enough to just have great technology—having great employee handbooks for onboarding to make team rooms come alive and injecting fun into them was all part of re-imagining the EX!

For ages, companies have known that involving users in testing was, and is important. However, Woolworths focused on involving users through design thinking, all the way to implementing and embedding!

Be Persistent

The ERP days are well and truly over (or they should be anyway)! It doesn’t all have to be a big bang and then a slow painful death due to lack of care. Business needs are continuously evolving, so being persistent in evolving and creating systems that are flexible to change with business change is crucial.

This principle was applied in sticking to cloud templates and not over-complicating their configuration. They also “locked-in” their updates and upgrades for a short few years to ensure the system was embedded and users were “comfortable” with using them. Of course, this had its pros and cons!

But, they are now all up to speed with the latest and greatest and have a strong list of opportunities they are continuously pursuing to tighten processes, compliance, and to keep up with evolving business needs!

Finally, Have Great Partnerships

Woolworths, had and continues to have, great partnerships with organizations that are leaders in digital technology to power their digital mindset and agenda.

Do You Agree?

Are there important things to the process that you think we should have included? If you think your organization is ready for HR technology, check out our shortlist of the best HR software on the market today.

Confused about the difference between HRIS and HRMS? Here's an article to help you out with that: Whats Is An HRMS System? Or take a step further and get HRIS certified. Here's our Comprehensive Guide To HRIS Certifications to help you get started!

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By Tim Reitsma

Tim has deep experience in HR, people & culture, leadership, business strategy and operations with a focus on building great teams who are excited about their craft and their organization. With over 15 years of leadership experience, Tim has always been guided by his core values: faith, family, curiosity, and fun. He is a coach, mentor, speaker, advisor, and an active volunteer in his community. Tim loves spending time outdoors with his wife and two kids as well as mountain biking in the north shore mountains.