Change, is designed to improve the way things are done change can help improve things like procedures, products and even cash flow. Change can be both planned and unplanned and can affect a small number of employees or the whole organisation. Examples of major changes include a merger, redundancies, restructuring or new practices. Examples of minor change include introducing new training courses and changes in company policies.
Although every case is unique and every company is different there are common elements to implementing to make changes successful:
- Plan for the change – Although there are many changes that will come out of the blue try to have a plan as you can review a plan than to have no plan
- Provide leadership – Required during periods of uncertainty and employees would appreciate reassurance
- Keep up to date with changes in law – Examples include redundancies if the company is going for a transfer (TUPE)
Changes should be handled pro-actively for the following reasons:
- Survival – Always looking for ways to develop new products and keeping staff
- Accountability – Provides the opportunity to communicate with internal and external customers so they are aware of what is happening
- Employment Relations – A badly managed organisational change can bring resentment and a bad feeling amongst employees
- Be effective – A rushed changes can potentially damage the confidence of customers and employees
What is the cause of change?
Internal and external pressures and even government legislations can cause changes within a company. The internal pressure can have you reviewing all your products, procedures, and pay structures.
Should employees be consulted over changes?
Whenever there is a change employers have a legal obligation to consult their employees during a period of major change such as a merger or redundancies. Employees should be kept up to date as you could find your productivity and performance could drop if employees are feeling uneasy to not knowing what is happening, they are very much more willing to accept changes if they have been consulted.
Will employees want to know about change?
1. To find out why there needs to be a change and what plans are in place
2. To raise any concerns they may have with senior management
3. The personal affect this could have on them
4. To give clear direction and strong leadership
What feelings can be expected during a period of change?
Change can affect people in different ways it can affect them physically, mentally and emotionally, especially if they think their jobs are on the line. This is the opportunity for the employer to reassure employees highlighting the benefits to them that this can create. They will also go through a lot of anxiety and fear even through depression but gradually they will accept the change before the final stage.