Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Friday, May 29, 2009

Organisational Change - HR Practices

Organisational Change - HR Practices

Best practices in managing organisational transformation.

Key learnings:
  • Organisational change aimed at improving work methods, productivity and business profits must be coherent
  • Enthusiastic leadership, flow of creativity and stability in procedure helps in reaching the goals

Jargons like organisational change and organisational transformation are often used theoretically and in management talk. The term organisational change is used in the context of companies that are undergoing or have just undergone a transformation.

However, organisational change management is not a 'one-month ordeal'. It is a process that involves rearticulating managerial, technical, financial and business aspects.

A McKinsey Quarterly online survey shows that only 38 percent of the global employees consider change as a positive effect on performance. And, 10 percent believe that most of such transformations are unproductive.

Change management

According to change management experts, two factors are critical for any transformation to click. One is vision or goal-the changes the company aspires to bring about. The second is sustainability. The sustainability factor refers to the unwavering energy, commitment and persuasiveness to reach the goal.

Defining the objective

A well-defined and comprehensive objective spells out the goal clearly for all the employees of the organisation. While different departments may have different approaches, the core aim of transformation remains unchanged. This distinctly clear system ensures an upbeat journey that promotes organisational health, participation of every employee and bottom-line profits.

Defining the role and time frame

A well articulated strategy ensures that there is no overlap of roles. It also rules out misinterpretation. Each employee has his defined role that is personal and challenging. Moreover, since the focus is on 'strengths', the definitive goal of 'effectual transformation' is accomplished.

When the time frame is set over a few months, the employees will be enthusiastic. Goals set over three or five years fall prey to dwindling employee interest. In such cases, the leadership of the organisation plays a very important part. For effective articulation of long term goals, involvement of employees and applying fair and apt metrics to track developments, it is important for employees to remain clued in to developments.

Sustaining energy and flow of ideas

Creativity and ideas are advantages that help sustain organisational change. Many a time, organisations discard ideas doubting their practicality. However, innovation is the key to reach people and bring about desired changes.

Most often, ideas from employees or leaders are considered deeply. Mutually inspiring organisations initiate creativity, responsibility and accountability. To encourage an 'idea sharing' work environment, leaders must espouse innovation and sharing thoughts that can bring about radical transformations.

Channelising energies

When leaders of an organisation announce transformation to employees, two extreme reactions are bound to happen. There will be employee totally gung-ho about the transformations and those who will be cynical. It is important to generate positive stimulation and help employees channelise their dynamism. Some companies reward 'ideas champions', while some appoint 'the master blaster'. Such steps energise the staff towards transformation.

"A smaller set of high-impact, briskly moving initiatives is more energising-and thus more sustainable- than a broader set of initiatives moving at a stately pace."

Seeing is believing

Any results of the transformation, however small, must be highlighted to ensure greater participation. Employees usually remain mute spectators to the brainstorming sessions and meetings that are part of the organisational change. The worth of such sessions is usually taken too lightly. However, even a small success during the transformation reaffirms employee faith in the process and the overall vision.

Learning curve

The transformational process is a learning process for leaders, management and employees. Open communication channels, suitable rewards and discipline are extremely important to understand the change. While the transformation aims at bringing about success in the organisation, individual growth and learning cannot be ignored. Experts rightly suggest that organisational transformations which focus on individual strengths create a more involved staff.
In today's highly dynamic market, being a flexible, employee centric and practical organisation is a plus. An organisational transformation is a dynamic process with multiple levels of planning and execution. However, the reengineering and rebuilding process can be an exhilarating expedition if the leadership has commitment and clarity.

Reference: TheManageMentor.

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