Organizational Change Management
Key Success Factors 4-6:
Human Resources and Analysis
Critical Factor for Success 4 – Manage Human Resource Issues
All change, even change that we willingly choose, involves losing something.
It is not sufficient to accept the change intellectually - people must work through their emotional responses if they are to make good beginnings.
People are unlikely to perceive a change as positive when they fear danger, doubt the opportunity presented to them, or face too much uncertainty.
If staff does not support the change that is being implemented, chances of success are severely diminished!
Manage Human Resource Issues - Why?
When any organizational change occurs people generally move through a number of stages in adjusting to their changed world.
There are many models which discuss the emotional responses to change just as there are models which refer to the grieving process.
An understanding of this process will help everyone to identify the various stages and develop strategies to address staff concerns.
This will best occur by working collaboratively with staff and ensuring that their role in the process is understood and valued.
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One model suggests that people go through the stages of shock, retreat, reaction, acceptance, exploration and commitment and each one is marked by different set of feelings, attitudes and team dynamics.
Manage Human Resource Issues - How?
Familiarize yourself with the emotional responses to change, this will help you understand your own and others reactions to change.
A summary of these responses is provided below:
Initially people have difficulty believing what is happening. Typically they respond by shutting out the change, acting as if nothing is happening.
This stage is characterized by irrational fears, often fueled by rumor and inaccurate information.
Fear about the future leads to a desire to seek refuge in the old.
There is a tendency for people to idealize and romanticize the old ways.
Change will usually be resisted or opposed before it is accepted.
In this stage people grumble and complain.
At this stage there is no longer a desire to fight or resist the change. However, there is not the enthusiasm or commitment required to fully embrace the new.
When people get stuck in this stage they become victims.
The stage is characterized by rapid expansion sometimes resulting in confusion and chaos.
Considerable energy goes into ideas and proposals that are seldom actualized.
In this stage, the potential for the new is fully realized.
The team relationships are reality based and provide a solid basis for personal creativity and excellence.
Manage Human Resource Issues - How? (Continued)
When trying to assist your staff through periods of organizational change, it is necessary to ask yourself the following questions:
Have I studied the change carefully and identified who is likely to lose what - including what am I likely to lose?
Do I understand the reality of these losses to the people who experience them, even though they may seem like over-reacting or resistance or non compliance to me?
Do I accept the fact that people may not be keen on what is being suggested?
Have I checked to see that policies, procedures and priorities are consistent with the changes that are being proposed so that mixed messages are not being sent by inconsistencies?
Manage Human Resource Issues - How? (Continued)
Identify the staff groups affected by the change and determine the impact of the change.
Use the following eight aspects of change to make your assessment:
Scope & Time
The range or span of the organization affected by the change.
The amount of time staff have to implement the change.
The degree to which staff feel they have or can attain the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the change.
How motivated staff are to implement the change?
Will staff perceive the change as a threat to job security?
What will be the impact on climate and morale?
The degree to which staff must change their strongly held beliefs about the way they are operating.
The extent to which the change requires staff to feel differently about people or operating procedures.
What effect will the change process have on the staff morale?
The degree to which the change requires staff to learn new information or view existing information differently than they have in the past.
The extent to which the change requires staff to modify their daily routine of job related activity.
Will targets be required to operate in new ways and learn new skills?
The degree to which the change requires significant alteration in staff job procedures, such as scheduling, rostering, time off, equipment utilization and professional autonomy.
Factor for Success 5 – Establish Consultation and Communication Processes
One of the most important rules in change management is that those affected by change need an opportunity to participate in the decisions which affect them.
Even if the change process is non-negotiable, you will not get the people to work collaboratively with you if they are not involved, informed and supported in every step of the process.
There is also the added benefit of maximizing the ideas and skills of people if they are informed and involved at the operational level.
Communication is said to be the most important factor in successful change management!
Establish Consultation and Communication Processes - How?
The following steps will help you establish a consultation and communication process that will greatly assist your organization throughout the change process:
Establish a formal consultative process which involve representatives of all stakeholder groups. Determine what is negotiable and what is not and why this is the case.
Use your work on the purpose and human resource and industrial issues as a guide.
Keep people informed of ongoing changes as often and using as many channels as possible - when, why, how.
Work collaboratively with opinion leaders, sponsors, stakeholders and staff when developing the communication process - i.e.. allow them to determine their communication needs.
Emphasize verbal communication (ie up front) and supporting written material. Enhance credibility by using spokespersons who are liked and trusted and credible and use positive messages that appeal to logic and consistency.
Staff supervisors can play an important role in conveying the purpose and process of change and in keeping staff informed.
Put yourself into the shoes of the other person. Consider what you would want to know. Ask the staff so that your communication strategy will cater for the receiver's point of view.
This generally involves using relevant information, that is, how it will affect their role and to what purpose. What is in it for them and how they can contribute.
Build in a means by which those affected can raise concerns and have questions answered. Provide opportunities for staff to express feelings, receive validation and reassurance.
Contact other change agents and discuss what has worked for them.
Build a feedback process to check whether your consultation/communication process is working. Are people informed and involved. Do they feel that the communication process is two-way.
If you don't act on people' s suggestions, explain the reasons why, deal with the past, acknowledge mistakes, apologize, make amends, publicize successful changes.
Establish Consultation and Communication Processes - Key Principles
To establish a consultation and communication process, follow the key principle:
Effective consultation and communication processes are essential to the success of any change processes.
"Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it's the only thing"
- Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher.
Factor for Success 6 – Conduct a Stakeholder Analysis
Individuals or groups sometimes have vested interests in certain projects. Understanding who they are and the level of their interest and impact are important elements of risk management and strategy development.
Many change processes have failed because of the lobbying of alienated stakeholder groups.
Conduct a Stakeholder Analysis - How?
Identify stakeholders and gain an appreciation of the context in which the project will operate by working through the following questions:
What is their/ stake/ impact/ needs in the project?
To what extent are these needs in conflict or in common (similar or different)?
Do the stakeholders need to be influenced, educated, linked or informed in any particular way?
Conduct a Stakeholder Analysis - How? (Continued)
Rate the stakeholders in terms of their influence on the change process and assess the following:
What will it take to get their support for the project?
What level of cooperation can you expect?
What level of resistance can you expect?
How might the sponsor support be used to influence stakeholders to support the intent and goals of the project?
What activities need to be conducted to align stakeholders?
How will the stakeholders define success?
Factor this information into your management of the change process and assessment of risks and threats.
Conduct a Stakeholder Analysis – Key Principles
Overall, to conduct a stakeholder analysis, follow the key principle:
Stakeholders interests must be taken into account and managed if the potential benefits of any change initiative are to be realized.
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