We all know that we’re living in uncertain and challenging economic times. Supply chain pressures, input cost rises, staff shortages and rising pay demands, are putting pressure on every business. A slash and burn approach is totally counter-productive, to drive future growth you need a strategy that will see you through not just the short term challenges, but allow for future growth.
So what does this mean for HR managers and business leaders?
According to a 2023 Gartner survey*, the top three priorities needed to tackle the current challenges are:
- Leader and Manager Effectiveness
- Organisational Design and Change Management
- Employee Experience
In a series of three articles HR Now’s Becky Hill will look at all three priorities and suggest how Jersey HR Managers and business leaders can tackle them.
Organisational Design and Change Management
Bringing in change to your workplace is essential if you are to overcome the new challenges facing our businesses and economy, but change can be disruptive if not managed well. In an environment where staff retention is already an issue it could result in more damage to your team and your business.
What you need to Know
When bringing in changes, leaders should be adopting an open change strategy, instead of a top-down approach where the managers could be seen to be ‘imposing change’ on their team. According to Gartner* if employees are active participants of a change management programme, then they are 1.5 times more likely to be willing to change and overall success is 14 times more likely.
What does that mean exactly?
- You need to involve your staff when you are setting the strategy, goals, and vision for change. If people feel they are co-creating something, they are far more likely to get behind it. In addition, it is your staff who are at the coal-face of the business and so they might have insights and suggestions that as leaders, you don’t see.
- It’s not just WHAT the change is, it’s also HOW it is implemented. Your strategic plan might be just what’s needed, but if its implementation isn’t managed well, ie the budget, timeframe, and people involved, are not working together, then it will take longer to implement and is less likely to be successful. Involve the whole business in deciding how best to take the shared vision forward.
- Communicate and sustain the momentum by talking openly, encouraging discussion and not ‘imposing’ a set rhetoric and language for the change programme on the business. If things aren’t going as well as you would like, then surely you would want to know why and what is going on? By encouraging open dialogue you are far more likely to be able to curb any dissatisfaction or problems early on, and create a more dynamic process of change that can adjust if required.
What you need to Do
- Challenge your assumptions. Before you start, are the changes you think you need to make both essential and the right ones? Involve the whole business in answering these questions and ensure you are clear that employee’s voices will be listened to.
- Upskill. Ensure the managers who are your links and conduit to the rest of your staff, have the right communication and management skills to be able to effectively relay employee feedback and translate that into an actionable plan.
- Collaborate and Communicate. Ensure you encourage open discussion, and at the same time communicate effectively what the changes will mean to individuals and teams. Remember you are encouraging a two-way discussion, not ‘talking at’ your staff. Think about their different needs, who is most experienced and who might be the most likely to object to the change. It’s not a one-size fits all. You might require different approaches to encourage their participation.
HR Now can assist you with your change management needs. We can act as independent third-party expert advisors to ensure change is effective and fluid, and embraces your culture and your staff needs. Get in touch with us today: Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01534 747559