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What is the role of HR in change management?
Blog //21-02-2024

What is the role of HR in change management?

by OneAdvanced PR, Author

Human Resources (HR) transcends mere employee management; it encompasses a multitude of functions essential for organisational success. Amidst the myriad facets comprising the HR services portfolio, organisational development emerges as a pivotal aspect. Beyond traditional personnel administration, HR professionals are increasingly tasked with driving strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the business. 

What is change management?

The strategic and methodical approach used to handle the transformation of a business's objectives, procedures, or technological systems can be termed as ‘change management’. The goal of this approach is to use effective tools to initiate the shift while motivating employees to move toward the shift.

In identifying the change impact during digital transformation, HR plays a multifaceted role. HR professionals assess the organisation's current capabilities and future needs, identifying skill gaps and talent requirements for successful digital adoption. They develop and implement training programs to upskill employees and facilitate cultural change to embrace digital technologies.

HR also collaborates with cross-functional teams to ensure alignment between business objectives and digital transformation initiatives, driving organizational effectiveness and innovation.

Why the HR change management process matters

Effective HR change management processes play a pivotal role in facilitating organisational transitions with minimal disruptions and ensuring seamless continuity of operations. By actively involving employees and addressing their concerns, these processes foster a sense of ownership and engagement, thereby encouraging greater productivity.

Moreover, they serve as a crucial mechanism for reducing resistance through transparent communication and articulation of the benefits associated with the transition. Providing adequate support, resources, and opportunities for training and development further bolster employees' confidence and readiness to adapt to new paradigms. In essence, these processes serve as the cornerstone of successful organisational shift initiatives, driving efficiency and promoting a culture of agility and innovation.

Embarking on organisational transformations requires a strategic and well-executed approach, and Human Resources (HR) plays a central role in guiding these initiatives:

  • New work policies: HR plays an important role in managing the implementation of new policies such as flexible working arrangements, remote working or hybrid working models. Guidelines and relevant policies are communicated to employees by Human Resources to ensure shift.
  • Cultural change/support: HR takes part in managing cultural shift and support in the organisation. Success planning and talent development is the responsibility of HR and ensures that employees unleash their true potential and get the best results.
  • Changes in customer needs/desires: Businesses are constantly evolving, disruptions occur, and customers demand better and replaceable solutions. HR recognises the importance of adapting the workforce to the changing needs and demands of customers.
  • Onboarding changes: When a business undergoes an organisational shift, the recruitment cycle is always affected, and HR plays an important role in changing the onboarding process to accommodate new strategies in the organisation.
  • External social/Political factors: Legislation, geopolitical needs, socio-political variations are some of the external factors that determine the policies created by the institution. Human Resources is responsible for following these conditions and updating the company policy to ensure full compliance.
  • New software: HR is responsible for managing the use of new software or technology in the organisation. They coordinate training, support employees during transitions, and ensure new software meets the organisation's overall goals.

What is the role of HR in managing resistance to change?

Businesses often grapple with significant concerns during times of transition. Chief among these worries is the fear of the unknown, particularly regarding job security. However, open and transparent communication about the impending shifts can greatly alleviate these anxieties and enhance the overall well-being of employees throughout the transition.

Additionally, information loss poses a considerable challenge as individuals naturally seek clarity about organisational shift. By providing adequate support to aid employees in adapting to new working patterns, companies can mitigate disruption and maintain operational continuity.

Furthermore, addressing the issue of trust is paramount, as employees serve as the cornerstone of any organization. Involving them in decision-making processes through focus groups and exchange meetings not only demonstrates the company's trust but also fosters a sense of ownership and commitment, thereby bolstering employee retention efforts.

Navigating any kind of organisational transition within an organisation can often evoke feelings of uncertainty and apprehension. However, with careful preparation and strategic foresight, the daunting challenges can be effectively mitigated.

Assessing readiness for change

HR professionals should assess readiness among employees and the entire organisation.  

They can ask themselves the following questions:

  • Are employees aware of the need for change?
  • Do employees understand the benefits and consequences of change?
  • Do you have concerns or resistance to change? Is there a change in the staff?
  • Do employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to be transferred?

Effective communication strategies

Communication is the key to convincing employees to accept transition. A centralised communications system that disseminates information throughout the organisation and keeps employees informed of the shift can go a long way in reducing   HR professionals can consider the following questions:

  • Are we clear about the reasons for the change and the expected consequences?
  • Do we give employees time to ask questions and express concerns?
  • Do we give employees time to ask questions and express concerns? Looking to customise our communications to meet different employees and their unique needs?
  • Have we developed strategies to ensure continuous communication throughout the transition?

Training & development for change adaptation

Training and development are important to help employees adapt. The most important part of adapting to transition is to ensure that employees gain momentum and are ready to take on new responsibilities. This will be possible if employees complete the necessary training to help them meet the needs of the updates.  HR professionals can ask themselves the following questions:

  • What specific skills or knowledge do employees need for a successful transition?
  • How can we provide relevant, effective and interesting training to our employees?
  • Do employees have time to practise and use new skills before the shift?
  • How do we measure the effectiveness of training and adjust accordingly?

Employee support

Employee support throughout the transition is critical for their motivation. Listening to employees while they work is important and can be done through anonymous engagement surveys and feedback strategies. HR software helps build relationships while working with employees by providing self-service so employees can access resources, support information, and FAQs. H R professionals can consider the following questions:

  • How do we deal with personal problems and provide personal support?
  • Are there programs to help employees manage stress or emotions related to shift?
  • How can we develop a supportive culture where employees feel safe sharing their experiences and problems?
  • Do we have a process where we can collect employee feedback and solve problems instantly?

Measuring the impact of change

Measuring the impact of the transition helps HR professionals evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies and make informed decisions. Tracking employee engagement, performance, and other metrics after a shift can prove the success of the shift. Organisations can make small adjustments to their strategies through proper data management. They can ask themselves the following questions:

  • What key indicators can we use to measure the success of the shift?
  • How do we collect and analyse data to measure impact?
  • Is there a process for collecting feedback from employees and other stakeholders?
  • How can we continue to monitor and adjust our approach based on the feedback and data we collect?  

Your HR Change Management 

We rarely put HR at the forefront of organisational shift. As this article explains, a good HR team supported by HR software can provide many benefits.

Advanced HR enables planning, implementation and monitoring with its powerful features and capabilities. It allows HR professionals to improve communication, provide clear guidance and drive communication across the organisation.

Advanced HR along with our performance management system can also help track and manage employee engagement, resolve issues, and collect feedback during transitions. The ability to measure software provides better insight into the impact of the shift, allowing HR teams to take the best steps forward.

Discover Advanced people management solutions to increase organisational strength and success.

Get in touch with our team today, click here!

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