How HR Can Support Change Management in Your Organisation
Organisational change can be brought about for many different reasons, and it is important that HR is prepared for when this day comes.
Change is essential for growth, and this is no less true when it comes to a business. Organisational change can happen for many different reasons, from creating new policies because of changes in the law, new senior leadership, a merger or adopting a new HR software. This is where change management comes in. Change management is the process that HR leaders must devise and apply to help guide and manage an organisation through change. It is equally about people management as it is devising a plan for change.
We'll discuss the HR processes behind Change Management in an organisation and define the key points:
- Creating a Change Management process
- What is Performance Change Management?
- How to manage employees who are resistant to change
- How to communicate your Change Management strategy
- Using reporting and analytics to understand change management
- Communicating Change Management from the onboarding process
- Providing support for your employees throughout change management
It is the role of HR to create and implement a process when it comes to change management. This means that whenever change is upon your organisation, there is a HR process in place that can help you to effectively adapt to whatever this change may be.
Creating a change management plan will serve as the roadmap and outline for whatever change is coming. Planning for change will also help to manage employee's reaction, understanding and expectations of this change. The importance of creating a well defined change management plan and actioning it effectively cannot be understated.
Many organisations do not value having a clearly defined change management process highly enough, to the point that 70% of change processes fail. This can be due to human resources being unprepared in their strategy or the ineffective onboarding of the change.
There are multiple models out there to help HR managers create a strategy that will support the change process. Every change management process is different, so the nuances and intricacies of your organisation will influence what these structures look like. One model is the four-phase change management process which offers a foundational structure for change.
- Define - This step is all about identifying and defining the change, and the impact that it's going to cause. This can be in terms of loss of employees or money, the time in which it's going to take and the impact of this and what it might mean for learning and development
- Plan - The second phase is to put a plan together of how exactly this change is going to be carried out. Create a change impact management team who can look into the damage that may be done as a result of changes, and develop risk mitigation strategies
- Implement - There is the part where your change management strategies you've developed are executed. New training plans should be provided to employees at this point
- Sustain - Change management doesn't end after the new process is in place, or the new software has been implemented across the organisation
Performance management is an essential part of HR's responsibilities to ensure their employees are on track and performing to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a core HR process and principle in any business, but what should HR do if their performance management simply isn't performing?
Performance change management is the need to change the way in which performance management is conducted by HR. This may be because it is not as effective as it once was, and a more efficient, streamlined process is needed, or perhaps the business has grown and a new method of performance management is required. We've discussed at length how to make your performance management more effective in your organisation in a previous blog.
Resistant employees are a very common problem when it comes to organisational change. We get it! Employees get comfortable using particular software, systems and timetables, so changing this can be disruptive for many. Human resources and management can experience resistant employees for many different reasons, from fear of losing their job or status, fear of not having the right skills required for the change, or perhaps they struggle to adapt along with change.
When this does occur, it is the role of human resources to deal with these issues promptly and effectively. How HR manages employee resistance in the change management process can often define the experience for their workforce and the success of the whole process. Because of this, a part of the change management strategy needs to factor in a process for the management of resistant employees.
As CIPD put it, there are two types of resistance that often occur, resistance to the process or the change. HR leaders should implement a strategy into their change management for each of these forms of resistance in case they should arise. Resisting the process may include employees pushing back against role changes or employees being moved from one department to another. Employees can also resist the change itself. For example, the implementation of a new HR software that they are struggling to get to grips with.
HR must communicate from early enough why exactly this change needs to happen and the benefit that can come from it, employees are likely to be more accepting of this. Develop training programs as a part of the change management to help employees feel confident with the new system before its launch.
Management's role in change is to inspire employees and put them at ease when organisational change is occurring. Change management must ensure that management is committed and onboard with the changes. Ensure that there is a shared understanding amongst leadership through the organisation, so that they can help to facilitate the change.
Change is inevitable, but that doesn't stop it from being a stressful and ambiguous time. Poor change management happens when companies fail to communicate their strategies to their employees. Change management, after all, is about people management. Whether your company is undoing major changes or smaller shifts in its structure, it is about managing employees through it.
When employees feel that HR has failed in its communication of change management, employee engagement can drop and become fearful of future change as they question the competencies of their HR department and management. It is HR's responsibility to create lines of communication between management and each member of the workforce. Human resources need to be as transparent as possible during a tumultuous time of change, explaining exactly how these changes will impact people's roles. If employees feel that their human resources department is withholding key information, they can become anxious and more likely to resist change.
Effectively communicating information regarding the change projects your organisation is about to undertake is essential to ensuring its success. Not communicating will make your change management suffer, and can greatly impact the execution of the process. HR can ensure a smooth change management process by utilising internal communications with employees to keep their people up-to-date with the progress of the change.
Creating a timeline of events is an effective way that HR can create a successful change management strategy. Internal communications help to make employees feel involved in the change as they understand when it's happening and what to expect. HR should also stress the role of leadership teams and line managers in the workplace communicating this information to their staff.
In order for change processes to be put into practise, management is going to want to see data-driven evidence as to why these changes should be put into place. Not only this, employers and management will want to see the impacts of change on their workforce to assess its success.
XCD's cloud-based HR Software with reporting and analytics solutions can collect and provide employee data to show what changes need to be made and how changes are being received.
Reporting and analytics can be used to assess what changes need to be made in the workplace and whether they are the right changes for the organisation for workplace morale, employee engagement and the organisation as a whole. Using employee data to inform change management and create the correct changes is an effective method of change management to improve employee engagement through change and after the event.
HR software plays an important role when it comes to change management and the onboarding process. When an organisation is implementing and managing change processes, the focus tends to be communicating this change thoroughly to existing employees. However, it is equally essential to communicate the change(s) to any new employees.
Recruitment and onboarding software from XCD is designed to 'create a sense of belonging from the start', and this is especially crucial when change processes are in motion. The onboarding tool that's integrated into XCD's HR software allows your new hire to review all policies and documents before they've started at your company, allowing them to learn any new relevant information, including policies and organisational goals, before they start. XCD's HR system helps to ensure that your new employees are clued up on any new workplace changes before they've set foot through the door.
The self-service aspect of XCD's HR software helps to make the onboarding process seamless, as employees are involved in the change management the moment they've passed the interview. With its intuitive, self-service access employees are able to access all information relating to organisational change.
Managing employee experience throughout change initiatives is essential. Organisational change can be very disruptive for employees, and even emotional. Being aware that transitioning to a new system, or undergoing a structural change in leadership may be a stressful process for employees allows for appropriate support to be put in place.
It is important not to factor in the emotional reaction employees will have when HR are thinking about change management. If your employees feel that change management has considered their emotions and feeling, they are likely to be more accepting of the change.
HR professionals can provide support through offering one-on-one meetings to discuss any concerns they may have over the change. Designing specific training programs for employees of different roles across the company can help them to not only feel valued, allow for effective change management as they are being educated on the new ways their day-to-day work environment is going to change.
HR's role in change management is all about connecting employees to the change, and being a point of contact in case there are any questions or concerns about the change. XCD's HR software supports employees via a dashboard which acts as a hub of communication. HR can put important dates that changes will take place on the calendar. HR professionals can also put any important announcements or news regarding the changes on the message boards, allowing all employees to have instant access to the information. If you'd like to see how it works, book a demo today, or contact us.