Clear communication strategy key to tech implementations

A clear communication strategy can ease the introduction of new technology, according to David Goren, general manager of AstraZeneca Israel.

The company introduced Workday, a cloud-based human capital management software, in April this year. Staff were informed using a ‘just in time’ system of communication, which aims to prevent employees feeling overwhelmed with details.

Goren told HR magazine that the workforce was given information as it became relevant to them. “We did not communicate for the bulk of the year with all employees, instead we focused on the people who were working on the programme and its implementation, and the HR community,” he said. “Everybody else only started getting details several weeks before it went live.

“We used different communication approaches for different audiences. We made sure the message was at a very high level for the senior stakeholders, and we did daily, weekly or monthly calls depending on the audience.”

Niamh Murphy, change, communications and training lead for AstraZeneca, explained that the new system was introduced in all 67 of the company’s countries of operation at the same time. “It was key to have close involvement from all of those countries,” she said. “It was all about the co-ordination.

“There are always cultural issues with large global programmes, so we provided a toolkit to allow the training to be tailored to local processes and needs.”

“It was up to local entities to decide how to implement these, with regards to their local calendar,” added Goren.

So far the feedback to the introduction has been positive. “We’ve all been braced to hear about what went wrong,” he said. “We were ready for much higher levels of problems than we got.

“One of the key factors in the success of the communication is that we linked it all back to our corporate mission and vision. We were doing this to enable and empower our employees to push the boundaries of science and to offer better medicines to patients. Everybody was being consistently reminded that it all comes back to science,” he concluded.

David Goren will be speaking at the HR Tech World Congress (@HRTECHWORLD) in Paris on 27 to 28 October. Get your 2FOR1 ticket now using the code 2FOR1MP