Managing change – and other challenges

Becky Hill 15 May 2024 4 min read


Supply chain pressures, input cost rises, staff shortages and rising pay demands put pressure on the best of us and bringing in change can feel like the straw that’s going to snap the camel’s back.

Change is good for business, however and it’s essential to manage it carefully and methodically. Get it wrong and from an HR perspective it can be disruptive or, in an environment where staff retention is already an issue, it could result in more damage to your team and business.

So, to help ease the pain, here are our thoughts on how to manage organisational design and change.

What you need to know

Avoid a top-down approach when bringing in change. Leaders should adopt an open change strategy, so it doesn’t look like change is being imposed upon the team. Research shows if employees are active participants in the change management programme, they’re 1.5 times more likely to be willing to change, with overall success 14 times more likely.

What does that mean exactly?

  • You’re more likely to get staff buy-in if you make them feel as if they’re co-creating something so involved them when you set the strategy, goals and vision for change.
  • How the change is implemented is crucial. Your strategic plan might be essential for the business but, if its implementation is badly managed, it will take longer to implement and is less likely to succeed. Involve the whole business in any decisions about how to take the shared vision forward.
  • Encourage discussion about the change to sustain the momentum. Communication is key to making the process run smoothly and much better than imposing a set rhetoric and language for the change programme. By encouraging open dialogue, you are far more likely to curb dissatisfaction or problems early on, creating a more dynamic process of change that can be adjusted, if required.

What you need to do

  • Challenge your assumptions and make sure the changes you’re about make are essential. Involve everyone in the debate and make sure your employees voices will be listened to.
  • Make sure the managers who’ll be driving the change are adequately trained and upskill if necessary. They are the link to the rest of your staff and giving them the right communication and management skills is essential. Make sure they can effectively relay employee feedback and translate that into an actionable plan.
  • Encourage open discussion and communication about what the changes will mean to individuals and teams. Don’t ‘talk at’ your staff. Think about their needs and try to pre-empt where the problem areas may be. Your most experienced team member might be the most likely to object to the change and a different approach may be needed to ensure they engage. One size rarely fits all!

Here are our top 5 tips for smooth change management:

  1. Clearly define the proposed change and make sure everyone within your organisation understands the objectives and benefits.
  2. Celebrate progress and milestones throughout the period of change. Rewarding individuals and teams for their efforts and achievement can boost morale and motivation.
  3. Lead by example by showing resilience, flexibility, and positivity throughout the process to encourage staff to follow suit.
  4. Offer ongoing support both during and after change has been implemented. Make sure you keep the communication channels open for any feedback or help which may be required.
  5. Remember for contractual changes you need actual sign-off by ALL key parties to ensure its agreed, signed, sealed, and delivered.

If you are considering a change to your business or internal processes, or perhaps you’ve started but aren’t sure how to finish, get in touch with us today: Email us: or call: 01534 747559 and we’ll be happy to step in to help.