It’s no secret that change is one of the toughest tasks in the HR profession. To implement effective change requires “buy in” both emotionally and mentally across all levels within the organisation.
One of the first elements to consider is cognitive, people need to understand why the change is needed. Begin with those who have the most influence and are not necessarily the highest ranking within the organisation. They are the ones who influence the majority through opinion which can be both positive and negative. It’s important that these influencers support and endorse the plan for change.
With change comes restructure, generally an organisation will be required to shift resources between departments and this is where strategy comes into effect. A strategic plan will be required to support a successful change in the business that incorporates existing resources and limitations. From this point the strategy should identify what areas and resources to focus on to accommodate the changes successfully.
A change leader should align themselves with a colleague who is completely on-board with the vision for change and is respected across the organisation. They will have insights into who is supportive and who is against the change. They can act as a mediator and identify where further discussions need to take place to encourage support for the change strategy.
From a commercial perspective, what are the financial implications of the changes? For the most part, change should be geared towards reducing costs within the organisation, perhaps its energy costs, or mobile phone bills. To reduce these costs an alternative and sustainable solution needs to be considered such as implementing policies around power saving or in the case of reducing mobile phone bills, introduce free apps to communicate such as WhatsAPP or an internal facebook group.
Invest in identifying talent strengths and develop new groups with a tailored mix of capabilities. Consider creating task forces for upcoming projects and combine talent with varied levels of experience to encompass an inclusive and engaged outcome. Think energy and eagerness coupled with experience and expertise. Look at organisations that are change innovators for inspiration such as Google and LinkedIn.
Change leads to innovation, innovation comes to fruition in a healthy environment that begins with trust. Consider flexible working practices, e.g. is working from home an option? Create open plan working spaces to encourage better communication and a more inclusive working community.
Once the strategy, resources and influencers are in place, the change rollout can start to happen. As with any change, it will require some time to unfold and be fully accepted. There will be early adopters and advocates and it’s important to acknowledge their efforts and reward them for embracing the changes. Eventually the tipping point will be reached and the organisation will be engaged with the new direction it’s going in. Create milestones along the way to acknowledge the change journey and provide the opportunity to review and adjust as change is always evolving.