Want program adoption? For regional stakeholders, don’t just cut and paste the US one

It’s as simple as that. And we hear it all the time. A program is only as good as the number of people that use it. Imagine telling people how to go about their daily business if you don’t know the cultural mores or legal implications in a certain country. Just because a program is successful in the US does not mean it will be so in Beijing. Getting regional stakeholder feedback early on is key to acceptance.

In our 2016 Workforce Solutions Buyers Survey, buyers reported a wide range of top priorities for their contingent workforce programs in 2016, but one of the most frequently chosen was simply “providing excellent customer service to internal stakeholders.” Letting them in on the plan in the first place is part of that excellent customer service.

The Future of Work

Let’s take a minute to talk about the big picture. We all agree that the world of work is changing at a rapid pace and nowhere was this change more evident than at last month’s CWS Summit Asia Pacific. With record-breaking attendance at this Singapore event, the level of discussion about the future of work was inspiring. The rise of AI, robotics, machine learning as well as the rapid increases in workforce management technology were a big part of the conversations in the conference among the Asia-based HR, recruitment, procurement, talent acquisition and management, and workforce solutions ecosystem executives.

Futurist Ross Dawson touched on principles for the C-suite to create a path forward for their organizations to stay relevant and keep up. Redesigning work roles, investing in relevant automation were some of the key points included in his advice.

When Programs Fail

But all that means zilch for contingent workforce programs if there is no adoption.

And what does adoption mean? “Adoption means that you have a program that’s being used in the way it’s intended to being used,” says Bryan Peña, SVP, contingent workforce strategies and research, at Staffing Industry Analysts.

It’s a challenge that some CW managers forget about. However, programs will fail without adoption. They don’t produce worthwhile results, and it can get to the point where nobody uses them. Poor adoption can also result in “malicious compliance,” where hiring managers will do just enough to meet the letter of the law — but also just enough to make your program fail (for example, keeping résumés too long).

But there are steps CW managers can take to help gain adoption. One of them is to “recognize that adoption and program management is a sales role first and foremost,” Peña says. CW managers should listen to their customers and craft a solution that helps meet a need that hasn’t been met or provides a solution to a problem.

Here are some tips to ensure adoption:

  • Visit the region before designing the program. Get the local input.
  • Have process clarity and usability.
  • Don’t overcomplicate the message to stakeholders. Make sure you build a relationship with them and get their buy-in, especially the key stakeholders
  • The CW program design should be able to accommodate other regions — make sure it allows for customization for variety of regions as you cross borders. Be aware of legal rules.
  • Take the long view instead of the short view. Don’t plan on getting all your savings in the first year of the program.
  • Craft a compelling vision for the future but make sure it is attainable and acceptable — e.g., don’t talk about robots replacing all the humans
  • Get an executive sponsor or two, but make sure they will be around at least for a year and will support the cause, including paying a visit to the region.

MORE:  Drivers for going global

Subadhra Sriram

Subadhra Sriram
Subadhra Sriram is Staffing Industry Analysts' editor and publisher, media products. She can be reached at SSriram (at) staffingindustry (dot) com.

Subadhra Sriram

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