There is a saying that there are two certainties in life – death and taxes. Mary Dovey, owner of HR consultancy Your People Matter(s), argues that there is a third – change.
“No matter how big or small your business is, you will encounter change as part of your business journey” says Mary. “How you deal with this change could really impact your business going forward.”
Change management is a hot topic in the HR industry. Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that most change initiatives fail to accomplish their intended outcomes and, in some cases, can even limit the potential of an organisation and its people. The consequences of not managing change effectively can be devastating and long lasting, so it’s important to understand the potential issues before embarking on a period of significant change. This could be anything from a staff re-structure, acquisition of a new business, or even a new shift system being implemented.
Part of the problem is that organisations struggle to keep change management programmes going. Many focus on information and training, rather than motivating teams. But, the more people are consulted when it comes to change, the simpler it is to adopt. It delivers a platform that encourages employee engagement and can lead to retention of staff with key skills and knowledge that will be required as part of the change process.
“Communicating why a change is needed and how it will be implemented is key,” explains Mary. “Simply telling employees that something is changing and they must comply won’t work and brings a risk of grievances or claims through the failure to follow a correct process.
“Consultation with employees is a legal requirement when introducing a change that may impact on the terms and conditions of their employment contract, so failure to do so could result in unnecessary grievances, the loss of key skills or even tribunals.”
Mary has been working in HR management and consultancy roles for more than 20 years and regularly steps in to help companies with their change management process, a challenge she relishes.
“Like any profession, there are some aspects of HR that I like more than others. Change management and how to do it correctly is something I feel hugely passionate about and genuinely love helping businesses with. You get to make a real impact and set them up for what can often be a busy and unsettling time for everyone involved in the business.
“I have helped many private and public sector organisations to tackle change, preparing them for it and guiding them through the required employment legal process whilst keeping the workforce as engaged as possible. When done properly, it can signal a new, exciting chapter for a business with a workforce behind it that feel included and an integral part of shaping their organisation for the future.”
Key points to consider when undergoing a change management programme to ensure success:
- Put support in place for employees
- Consider the impact on employees and the business
- Be clear about timescales and keep people informed of these changes
- Create an opportunity for employees to get involved and have a say
- Communicate clearly about the process you are undertaking, do it regularly and ensure nobody is missed out
- Be willing to listen and consider alternatives. Your team may have even better, cost-effective ideas
- Deliver on what you promise or explain if you can’t
- Be as open and transparent as possible
For more information go to www.yourpeoplematter.com or contact Mary on 07540 543655 or email@example.com.