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Recently on the HR Happy Hour podcast, host Trish McFarlane recorded an interview with Alex Smith, CHRO for the City of Memphis. Smith shared some of the challenges, approaches and early results of moving to the cloud to serve employees using technology. Smith said that when she first joined her organization in 2016, she had to sign hundreds of papers the first thing every morning and walk them over to the appropriate office in order for data management to enter things into the system – even for something as simple as changing an address. She decided to implement a new technology strategy in order to help HR focus on the tasks that matter most, such as attracting and retaining talent. “We knew going from paper to an automated process is a huge change, so we started working on our change management plan,” she said. “People get deeply rooted, even if something is dysfunctional. So you really have to prove to them that this will make their lives better over time.” For HR leaders who are looking to implement a technology strategy, Smith says to remember the No. 1 goal is attracting and retaining talent, for which you need effective HR systems. One challenge with implementation is the inability to dedicate resources full time, Smith said. In that case, HR leaders should consider a phased approach. Another challenge is capability. Some people on the team may never have done implementation before, so there needs to be investment upfront, educating and properly training people. Smith says a third challenge is planning and being realistic about what your team can dedicate to the project. Smith recommends letting teams know what they are getting themselves into, but also reminding them that they are creating history at their organization.

Listen to the full episode on BlogTalkRadio, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or