Mineral Webinar: Challengers Hold the Key to Successful HR Change Management
In 2023, the state of HR is optimistic, but challenging.
Similar to the president’s annual State of the Union address, Mineral annually surveys HR decision-makers from US small and midsized businesses (SMBs) to take the pulse on their successes, struggles, and plans for our State of HR Report. This year’s data reveals that while 76% of SMB leaders are optimistic about their business outlook, nearly as many face external challenges like talent shortages (68%) and inflation (69%), as well as internal ones:
- 55% struggle to keep employee handbooks up to date.
- 52% are looking to upskill or reskill employees.
- 29% face challenges to meet benefits mandates.
In the face of these simultaneous struggles, there’s a wide opportunity for SMBs to leverage technology to meet business challenges. However, implementing new technology comes with its own set of challenges as well—which State of HR participants and Mineral’s recent webinar participants vocally shared.
During the session, “Back to the Future: Current HR Strategies to Future-proof Small Businesses,” the audience chat was alight with SMB leaders and HR professionals asking our two featured experts—and one another—how to navigate one specific tech implementation struggle: Change management.
Challenge precedes change
“I think figuring out who the different types of stakeholders you have is going to be really important—and making sure they’re all involved. You need the champions who are going to help pull other people along, but you also need the challengers. You need to find the people who in your organization are potentially going to be the hardest to convince and bring them in early as well,” Kerry Lear, JD and Mineral Senior Director advised our webinar audience.
“Every time you put a new piece of technology in place, there’s a change management aspect; acknowledge that change is hard [and] invest the time for people necessary to make it work and make sure that that change will stick,” she said. “If you can get a stakeholder group that includes both those champions and those challengers, that’s where I’ve seen change management be the most successful.”
Wait a second. Embracing challenging voices is part of successful change? Our webinar speakers say 100% yes.
“If you wait and then roll out [new technology], without that input, you’re going to have more resistance. Bring [challengers] in, have them kick the tires, and get the the yays and the nays,” emphasized Laurie McCabe, Cofounder and Partner at SMB Group, an analyst firm specializing in the SMB market and Mineral’s research partner on this year’s State of HR Report. Laurie echoed Kerry’s sentiments about the importance of inviting challengers to the table, purposely and proactively, when navigating change management—and added the secret to winning them over is how technology can help make their jobs easier.
“There are gonna be some people that are so set in their ways, maybe, that it might be like talking to a wall,” Laurie added. “And in those isolated, hopefully, situations, it gets back to showing them where the productivity gains are if you’re spending a lot of time doing this manually with spreadsheets.”
Tips to ease away from Excel and drive HR efficiency and effectiveness
Data from Mineral’s 2023 State of HR Report shows that 73% of small and midsized businesses (SMBs) rely on spreadsheets and email to manage HR operations. While we all love a good Excel doc, we at Mineral believe SMBs can have—and deserve—all of the modern and efficient HR support that enterprise organizations do.
So without needing a DeLorean, how can SMBs get back to the future with HR and compliance? Kerry and Laurie offered helpful strategies to do just that—including tips for conducting technology vendor searches, managing HR compliance when operating in multiple states, navigating the how and why to make the business case for employee training, maximizing limited budgets, and more.
Somehow, they did it all without making a single Marty McFly reference! It’s an impressive and insightful hour that’s not to be missed. Get all of their expert advice and State of HR analysis: Stream the webinar, “Back to the Future: Current Strategies to Future-proof Small Businesses,” now on-demand.