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Change of any sort – even though they may be justified in economic or technological terms – finally succeeds or fails on the basis of whether the people affected do things differently. 

  •   Do HR Professionals, managers and the employees let go of the old ways of doing things, be resolute enough to go through the difficult times between the old way and the new, and be strong enough to come out doing things in the new way?
  •   Motivated people are the key to success – uninvolved people are your barriers

The most important change initiatives seem to have these qualities:

  •   They are connected with real work goals and processes
  •   They are connected with improving performance
  •   They involve people who have the power to take action regarding these goals
  •   They seek to balance action with reflection
  •   They allow people space to think and reflect without pressure to make decisions
  •   They are intended to increase people’s capacity
  •   They focus on learning about learning, in settings that matter

To help you successfully plan for any changes in the pipeline or review the change you are presently involved with, work through this quick reference guide to successful HR change.

3 factors for successful HR change

To create a clear and tangible blueprint for change and be patient enough to implement it over a sustained period of time have you …?

  •   Have you clearly defined for the business what HR’s added value proposition must be (this will be your guide for the overall HR change process)?
  •   Have you got the four Design ‘change tracks’ which need to be planned and executed?
    •   Constructing a new HR vision / mission
    •   Redesigning work processes
    •   Redesigning jobs and organisation structure
    •   Building new competencies
  •   Have you created and agreed with the business and across HR the road map for change needed to turn the strategy into a set of action plan?

Avoiding common barriers to change

Ineffectual leadership

  •   Are there disagreements between the top leaders (particularly between the HR Leadership and Business Leadership teams) which could result in misunderstanding, inconsistency and lack of clarity?
  •   Is the leadership in your business insular in their outlook and are part of a traditional corporate culture which could prevent the recognition of risks and opportunities?
  •   Is there minimal involvement by top management in the changes as this can reduce companywide enthusiasm for change resulting in slow implementation / blocking?

Poor timing

  •   Are there attempts to complete broad changes simultaneously (either across the business or within HR) can prompt a total rejection of the change programme?
  •   Is there the risk of a premature satisfaction with initial successes which could halt the change momentum (complacency)?

Inadequate behaviour management

  •   Are there the beginnings of disengaged groups who could become islands of resistance, preventing the broad promotion of change?
  •   Are there silent resisters who could undermine the change vision by promoting personal agendas?
  •   Is there a poor alignment between rewards and expectations can present an ambiguous change message and discourage changed behaviour?

Sometimes it is obvious what needs to be changed – a blown light bulb, a flat tyre, clothes which no longer fit.  However, as we have explored in this series of blogs on HR Transformation deciding what needs to change within HR is less easy: is it the people, structure, technology, relationships, processes .....?  The list is seemingly endless which is why more often than not HR focuses on the easy stuff to change at the cost of making the right changes. 

In our experience at CourageousHR (backed up global research) it seems HR puts too much effort and money into ‘big ticket changes’ but very rarely do they deliver the rewards hoped for.  We hope that this of blogs on HR Transformation has helped you to step back and relook with at what HR should be changing, why and how you are going to go about it.

To find out how CourageousHR can support the development of your HR Function please email [email protected] to arrange a call to discuss your specific development needs.