Change management is a relatively new term, but the practice has been around as long as there have been teams experiencing change. If you have worked in an environment of rapid change and felt supported throughout despite turbulent times, then your employers have likely deployed change management theory and strategies to that scenario. If you have had some disastrous experiences in a job where transparency, respect and support were absent, then change management was probably not in practice. The work done by Viona Young HR Consultant, and other highly reputable change management consultants can truly transform what it means to be part of a team and value that experience.
Let’s understand what the specific role of change management is in an organization.
More than Human Resources
You would be forgiven for thinking that change management and Human Resources are the same things, but it is more accurate to think of them as partners. Human Resources are tasked with managing the people in an origination, from the overall engagement to the administrative matters. Change management, on the other hand, will be used for a specific purpose or time – typically when an organization will be significantly changing. Change management professionals or agencies would work very closely with the internal Human Resource function, as they will be championing the direction when the change is “complete”.
Examples of change management in action
When Toyota announced that it would no longer manufacture cars in Australia past a certain point, change management work ensured that these employees were educated on the next steps and empowered in a way that would ensure they still bring 100% to their role despite the end date. Organisations going through a merger may also benefit from change management so that the transition is seamless and both organisations are aware of what is being lost and what is being gained. If an industry was under scrutiny following a Royal Commission or other investigation, change management may work to reframe long-held ideas and practices in the business that is not serving the success required.
The benefit of change management in an organisation
Change management is not used simply to boost morale, although that is often a positive side effect. Change management is typically decided by a Board, higher management and even external stakeholders who have vested interest in the performance of employees in a business. This management and specialised direction can also be effective if there are vulnerable parties, including children and young people, as they will be able to foster an environment and change that is befitting that mixed demographic. It can also be hugely beneficial to an internal executive team who can also “go through the system” rather than being the one pushing the change, and thus in the same position as the employees and more sympathetic to the process.
The last line of defence
It would be a true statement to say that not every organisation would require change management, but even workplaces that have improvements to be made might find change management to be too intense of a step. Change management is most effective when there are multi-faceted issues either present now or in the future that need careful guidance to improve or eradicate. Some organisations treat change management as a last line of defence before completely replacing an executive team, staff or event partners and process’.
Change management is a fantastic area that is growing in recognition as more businesses are aided and transformed in the process. If your workplace has undergone issues and the culture feels irreparable, then it might be time to consider change management or at least to understand the processes and see if they would fit your own work circumstances.