All Change!

All Change!

Change brings Opportunity


With a history of success, why would a business want or need to change?  The simple answer:

All organizations, no matter how large or small, need to change:

  • To keep ahead of the competition
  • To stay fresh and open to new ideas and opportunities and
  • To continue along the path of success for the benefit of the business, its customers and its employees.


Change affects organizations in many ways:


Change forces organizations to audit their internal competence and ensure that they are recruiting the right skills sets and re-training existing staff.  This is paramount in enabling the organization to move forward with the development of the company, ensuring that in so doing, they do not hinder the career path opportunities of employees.


Change is also necessary when considering the competition.  It is sure that the competition will be striving to “tip the balance” of success of your business and we must take all necessary steps to ensure that this does not happen.  We must not become complacent and rely upon a good reputation to support our continued growth and position within the industry.  Strategy and objectives have to adapt to accommodate any significant change.


Change Management usually refers to the “people” aspect of the change model.  The model will be determined by whether the change is planned or emergent (planned being something we have thought through and emergent being something that is thrust upon us and comes out of “left field”!


Many change models exist with different approaches and methods.  All have to have “bolted” on to them project management, training, leadership and organization.  However, all have a common intention and conclusion: that of “successful change”.  Organizations are different, so their attitude to change will differ, as will the approach they take, so having a variety of models is advantageous and businesses can then adapt models to suit their individual requirements.


Behavioural Responses when Change Occurs


There are a number of behavioural responses that will be seen when change occurs in an organization.


We very often go into a state of denial when we meet with a situation that is not welcome, when we cannot cope and need to shut down.  This can take the form of “we don’t need to change, we have always done it this way”.


The road to fear may well follow.  This fear might be fuelled by someone telling you “you are going to lose your job”  or “you will be expected to learn something new”.


If business is successful with its road map, acceptance and ultimately commitment should be the end result and, whilst it may be an uphill struggle during the process, will ultimately lead to a better environment and work/life balance for everyone who has survived the change process(*Ray, November 2004).


What is HR’s role in change management?


HR professionals usually know their staff better than other management representatives and they can see the bigger picture because they are not part of just “one” team or department within the industry.  HR has a huge responsibility in any large scale change process, for the staff and their wellbeing.  HR must concentrate their efforts in line with the change management process to support, train and encourage all involved.


Some of the main areas where HR can support individuals involved is to:


Communicate the change process early (initial steps) and discuss concerns/issues with all staff affected by the change.  Be positive about the change so that you demonstrate commitment and encourage the success of the change process.


Organize training and re-training for staff affected and prepare managers to understand why the change is necessary, what the business expects of him/her and explain the outputs that will be apparent when the change has been expedited.


Share early wins with everyone to show how the change process is moving forward positively and to continue to get “buy in” from staff and stakeholders alike.




Embrace change, identify it as a constant, keep ahead of the curve, audit internal competencies, communicate, train and share success. 


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  • first sentence should read work with, not with with ;)

  • Great post Melanie - I think change is THE most important thing that HR need to be able to plan, work in, with with, work around and adapt to. We are often cited as being the 'change' agents and change is indeed the one constant in life. I've a number of quotes I always use when talking about change and I think the one that always stands out in relation to individuals, teams and organisations and how they nee to change is below:

    If you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've always got - Henry Ford

    I attended the recent CIPD Scotland Conference and sat in on a session on disruption and disruptive technologies and the whole session was about how some organisations see the potential change and react and some don't.

    Case in point HMV & Woolworths and a host of others that failed to see the change in technology and customer buying habits that ultimately led them to go out of business. Apple actually pay a whole team to destroy i-tunes - such is their desire to understand what product will (not could) come along and change the market so they are one step ahead and they are innovating not following.....think Netflix and the impact that streaming has had on Blockbuster. Eeek!

    We might not think this relates to HR but HR needs to stay at the forefront of change and understand what things are happening externally and internally to ensure we are changing, adapting, disrupting and providing the best possible service to our customers and ultimately our organisations. You snooze you lose in this fast paced and ever changing world......

    So what change can you see on the horizon for/in HR?

  • Hi Melanie this is really useful... I have only today done the Level 3 workshop that covers this.
  • Thank you Helen.  Hope all well with you.  I am on Level 5 now with Joss Anderson - and Zoe Bean is on the same course too which is great.


  • Hi Melanie, good to see your blog on here, it makes great reading and I am sure will be interesting for students when they are covering this on the HRP course, I will be sure to point it out to students on my courses :-).

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