HR transformation: It’s not just a new HRIS



With the proliferation of change in businesses today, transforming your HR organization doesn’t just mean investing in a new system. Rather, it’s an opportunity to drive a better experience for all employees – from recruiting and onboarding (first impression time for HR!) through performance management and offboarding. It’s an opportunity to optimize ways of working and change the hearts and minds of your organization as it relates to HR.

With labor shortages and more “discerning” candidates dominating today’s environment, it’s critical to establish your organization as a “workplace of choice.” Why not make that a key component of your HR Transformation?

If you’re ready to make it happen, the secret is: Align, Activate, Integrate


As you develop and refine your new Operating Model for HR, it’s a mistake to align solely within HR, as many HR organizations do. The HR function supports the entire organization, so it’s critical to engage the broader enterprise to identify and understand pain points and areas for improvement. For example, how can you empower the leaders and employees within your organization via self-service activities to improve HR efficiency, while also providing the optimal level HR support when needed? A few best practices:

  • Create a support system for your future-state vision. A successful HR transformation cannot succeed if it is defined in a silo without engaging the broader organization. It is critical to gain alignment both within HR and across the functional organizations you support.
  • Define personas from across the organization that can help you understand the employee experience. This will better prepare you to design the new organization, technology, and processes with an employee-centered mindset. Design with empathy by taking each persona’s HR interaction in mind and understanding the associated benefit and improvement of each interaction.
  • Create a roadmap for how you will operationalize your HR operating model. Align your HR leadership team to your HR operating model, your future-state vision, and how you will align and operationalize the model. Identify your key stakeholders and the areas that will experience the most important impact.
  • Create a roadmap for how you will engage the organization. Limit resistance to the new model by looking at the key levers of change: leadership, talent, ways of working, and engagement.
  • Establish key metrics and the benchmarks to track your progress. How are you reporting your progress back to the organization? Your KPIs should be visible to sponsors and stakeholders to demonstrate that your efforts are on track and achieving your objectives.


A true HR transformation impacts every employee across the organization, and in many cases, your contract / contingent workers. It is imperative that they are engaged and understand how the transformation will impact them and their ways of working.

This is an excellent opportunity to empower employees to manage their HR-related activities through self-service, when and where it is convenient for them to do so. And it reduces the workload on your HR organization.

  • Empower your leaders and people managers and hold them accountable to manage their direct reports more effectively – including talent acquisition, onboarding, performance management, and offboarding.
  • Make sure your people managers are committed to the transformation and understand their role in its success. If they do not embrace the desired behavior changes, you will not achieve your goal of improving the employee experience and becoming a workplace of choice.
  • Put robust data and analytics in the hands of HR, people managers, and leaders. Ensure these stakeholders are data literate, able to access and utilize data, and are ready to make data-driven decisions. A thoughtful data literacy plan will teach the organization not only how to access the data, but what the data means and how it should be interpreted.


In many transformations, organizations miss the final stage: integrating the transformational objectives into business-as-usual for the future. It’s critical to ensure that the goals of the transformation are integrated in the talent management lifecycle, including the need for new skills, behaviors, and expectations. For example, embed the desired skill sets into role/position descriptions to attract the right candidates. It is also important to integrate transformational metrics into annual performance goals / objectives. Overall, the integration would benefit by establishing a governance structure that oversees the future-state operating model and how it will come to life.

Regardless of the trigger for your HR transformation, following this practical approach to “align, activate, and integrate” will ensure your transformation achieves its objectives and provides an opportunity to truly empower your organization, improve the employee experience, and ultimately further establish your organization as a workplace of choice.