Publicação em blog

Mastering Digital: 7 Steps for SMBs

Yvonne Conway

Senior Field Marketing Manager at Cornerstone

Undertaking a transformation project can seem daunting, especially when it involves every organization member. However, this is an exciting opportunity to make positive changes that can benefit everyone. It may require buy-in from multiple departments and leadership support, but with careful planning and execution, it can be a transformative experience. Even in smaller organizations where resources are limited and daily operations continue, making meaningful progress is possible.

This brief article explores seven key areas for SMBs to focus on as they embark on this exciting journey. We're confident that with the right mindset, enthusiasm and dedication, your transformation project will be a resounding success!

1) Start with clear objectives

Define your talent transformation goals. Clearly articulate what success looks like for your organization. Your 'why' is the driving force behind the project and the thing you will come back to time and again as you manage project drift and competing priorities. Ensure your project stakeholders are clear on the goal — bringing them along on your journey will be easier.

2) Secure leadership buy-in

Gain support from key stakeholders and leaders from the start. Their endorsement is crucial for driving adoption and sustaining momentum throughout the transformation process. We suggest including at least one leadership team member on your project team because it gives you a voice at the 'board level' and can help you manage expectations and dissenters as the project progresses.

3) Take a snapshot of where you are at the outset

Understand your current state, include data points, technologies and vendors and compare these against where you want to be. Look at your organization and assess its people's strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This starting point evaluation sets the foundation for targeted transformation efforts and will help you showcase how far you have come throughout the project and after implementation.

4) Develop a comprehensive strategy

Craft a detailed plan outlining how to achieve your talent transformation goals. Consider factors such as timescales, key data points, action owners, budget management, communication plans, and a strategy to manage project drift, such as implementing a phased approach when priorities get tangled.

It would help if you asked for support from your technology partners when creating this plan, as they will have a lot of experience in this area and should be able to support you with realistic timelines and areas you may have yet to consider.

5) Select a technology partner that's right for you

You need a partner who understands your business, has experience working with your size and type of organization, and has the right HR technology solution for your needs. Choosing the right partner here will be critical to the project's success. Think back to your end goal — why are you doing this? Don't get distracted by shiny graphics and redundant but 'cool' features — they often hide technology limitations. When interviewing vendors, ensure you get what you need from the technology.

6) Implement a pilot program

Test your talent transformation strategies on a smaller scale before rolling them out organization-wide. Pilot programs allow you to identify and address any challenges or gaps in your approach. You will also get valuable feedback from the 'field' on what is working and what is not, allowing you to correct the course at different points in the project.

We caution that not all opinions are valid, and often, the loudest voices are the least experienced or the furthest removed from the project's end goal. Choose your testers carefully and ensure they understand what you are aiming to achieve.

7) Continuously monitor and adapt

We spoke earlier in this article about the importance of taking a snapshot of your starting point to show how far you have come. Talent transformation projects can be expensive for an organization in terms of time, effort and cash investment — being able to present your return on investment means you can continue to get more investment for future phases or projects.

Navigating talent transformation with ROI in mind

The way you calculate ROI is as individual as the people and organizations going through the transformation. Similarities will cross over between industries, but your organization's culture and identity should translate into your project. Some areas you may want to consider monitoring are listed below:

  • Start with time – will this new technology save time across the organization? Will it help you streamline people processes and reduce administration burden?
  • Look at who it will help – HR, line managers, people on the ground. Where will time be saved, and how can you translate that into a data point?
  • By consolidating your vendors, do you make savings? This is an excellent example of a real, understandable data point — consolidating vendors reduces vendor management time and increases your economies of scale, getting better pricing with one vendor across more services.
  • If you introduce a new, self-directed learning program, will it increase employee retention? Will this improve engagement across the organization?
  • Can you look at skill development over time? Is the new technology helping to keep employees skilled in their current areas of expertise or supporting people to upskill in other areas, keeping your organization's skills pool up-to-date and future-proof?
  • By working with an experienced vendor, will you have access to more examples of best practices from which you can learn?
  • Will you save on external vendors by allowing internal subject matter experts to create their content? Will this help to keep vital knowledge in the organization?

You can go hard into the numbers or look at it with a softer 'change for the better' focus. Work with your technology vendor to design a business case for your talent transformation project to ensure you can show a return on investment from a business and finance perspective and your people values.

By following these seven steps, SMB organizations can navigate the complexities of talent transformation and position themselves for sustainable growth and success.

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