Putting People First with Workday, One Organization at a Time

ISG helped Invitation Homes manage the change for its large-scale human capital management system migration, successfully enabling an 8-month project completion.



Does your organization still have multiple systems to support your human resources and performance management needs? Are your HR systems separated from your payroll and your company’s other financial processes? Or are you just generally looking for a solution or a workable approach where you can drive and manage change initiatives, while creating consistency and efficiencies in all your internal capabilities—all to better ensure success and help prepare your organization for the future?

If the answer is YES, to one or all of the above, you’re far from alone. 

That’s exactly how Elizabeth Galloway was feeling when she took over as Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President at Invitation Homes, a real estate investment trust company. Upon taking the role as CHRO, Elizabeth recognized the need—and then seized the opportunity—to implement a single, streamlined technology tool enabling employee and manager self-service with modernized HR support capabilities available anytime and anywhere. An approach that would enable her company and her team to speed through its comprehensive list of HR-related tasks quickly and easily.

The goal was first identified and agreed upon, and then research began to determine the best system for Invitation Homes—the nation’s premier single-family home leasing company. After much consideration and study, Elizabeth’s team ultimately decided upon Workday—a respected leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and HR.

With Workday, Invitation Homes would be able to merge three tools into one, resulting in more efficient HR management of their organization’s needs. Using this robust Human Capital Management System (HCMS), they were able to increase visibility, integrate processes, provide real-time updates and communications, reduce paper, and go digital!

Understanding the enterprise-wide scope and complex nature of this important undertaking, Invitation Homes wanted some assistance, so they enlisted the support of ISG to take the lead in guiding their team in this important change management initiative.

Imagining IT Differently

Imagining IT Differently

ISG joined the project team from the beginning, participating in all phases of the initiative—discovery, foundational alignment and customer confirmation sessions, end-to-end testing, training, and governance. The ISG team brought a seasoned change management approach with some unique twists with the goal to help people perform, while they transform. From the outset, ISG worked closely with the project manager and sponsors for the project to track progress, monitor execution, and maintain the adoption pulse of the organization. And with the added complication of working on this initiative during the pandemic, the team was able to successfully complete it all remotely with no face-to-face meetings.

The ISG team designed a workable plan to incorporate several deliverables in the following key areas:  

  • Organizational Change Management (OCM) strategy
  • Project Development and Planning
  • Stakeholder Identification & Assessment
  • Change Leadership Development and Engagement
  • Change Agent Support Network
  • Change Impact Assessment
  • Communication Strategy and Plan
  • Composing All Project Communications 
  • Associate Capability Assessment
  • Organizational Change Readiness Assessment and Analysis
  • Training Needs Assessment
  • Job Aid (Quick Reference Guides) Design and Creation
  • Change Adoption Program and Reward & Recognition Deliverables
  • Post-Implementation Governance Program

In addition to the traditional deliverables, ISG also designed customized items to support the team: 

  • Awareness Videos: ISG produced videos that were shared throughout the project at regularly scheduled associate Town Hall meetings. Following each Town Hall, surveys were conducted to monitor awareness, buy-in, and ultimately adoption of the initiative. These professional awareness videos served as an excellent source of information and also recognition for the project and change agent teams.
  • Desk Drops: ISG created printed materials that were provided to all associates’ workspaces to drive awareness, raise visibility, and generate excitement for the upcoming launch.
  • Change Network:  A for-purpose network of key associates was established to support communication, testing, and training. Each change agent was provided with a desk tent to drive visibility for associates who had questions. The team was trained on change Intelligence, with reinforcements being provided throughout the project. 
  • Giveaways: "Go Live!" cookies and other swag were provided to all corporate office associates, and posters/video monitors were set up prior to launch day. These items provided awareness of the change and a celebration of a job well done. 

Future Made Possible

In summary, Invitation Homes achieved overwhelming project success, even beyond expectations. Invitation Homes achieved its primary goal to modernize its HR function by using a strong platform and enabling a more progressive talent management system. This one, single streamlined system made it possible for the company to manage their people more efficiently—investing in development and culture—while simultaneously mitigating risks and improving communications. The one-stop-shop nature of the new system better connects all HR functions, allowing for quick and easy access to information by HR and the entire organization.

The team attributes the successful outcome to their planning and implementation process and offers the following suggestions:

  • Don’t rush implementation or take shortcuts. 
  • Build your budget carefully and include change management. Without the appropriate OCM support, you won’t have user adoption and engagement. Ensure you stress the importance of change management with the company’s leadership and obtain buy-in prior to the initiation of the project.
  • Have a clear understanding of the different stakeholder groups that need to be engaged at the right time.
  • Remember it’s not a one-size-fits-all message, so talk to small groups and bring them along as you work through the project.
  • Train at the right time with the right content; it is key to driving awareness and adoption.
  • Having built-in Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) in the system was extremely helpful so users could type in their questions to find answers themselves. 
  • It is important to have a well thought out communication plan. Start messaging to key audiences at the kickoff and throughout the project through post go live.
  • Delivery of a consistent message to the users generated excitement and anticipation for the launch. This helped make it a seamless, trouble-free transition.
  • Use change agents as advocates across the entire organization and involve them in communications, testing, and training.

The Invitation Homes and ISG team executed this HCMS project in just eight months. The new Workday tool went live successfully on schedule.