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Managing change at work

One element will significantly increase your success when managing change at work.

Change is an inevitable part of life. It’s also an inevitable and often crucial part of business.

Organisational change helps propel a business forward as the enterprise works to grow and adapt to changing times. Business changes can be small – think incremental changes to policies or processes – or they may be large: adding new products to the company offering, introducing new technology, moving to new markets or significant organisational restructuring. Whatever the situation, business leaders are constantly having to make decisions about how to change and adapt their organisation. 

Research reveals that approximately 70 percent of change programs fail to achieve their goals, largely due to employee resistance and lack of management support.

Why do people resist change at work?

The top reason employees resist change is because they lack awareness about the purpose and reason for the change. This typically arises from the organisation’s failure to communicate details and business reasons for the change, as well as a lack of clarity about employee roles in change success.

What’s the magic bullet?

In our experience, one key factor will significantly assist in overcoming employee resistance. That factor? Effective communication about the change.

Managing people through change

Managing people through change involves motivating your people to work together on planning and making the changes, including issuing your team clear goals and defined roles. Communication not only streamlines this process, but also generates a synergy that promotes a better understanding of what you and your team are working to achieve.

What “effective communication” looks like in the workplace

Before you enact any change process it’s important to:

  • plan your communication strategy. Consider multiple channels to communicate the change to all employees. Emphasis of the importance of the change can be demonstrated if the MD or COO talks personally to employees.
  • explain to staff your rationale for the changes
  • highlight how the proposed changes can benefit them
  • identify change champions (those who can influence people) at all level of the business
  • involve your staff in all phases of change discussions and planning and continue to communicate regularly throughout the process.

Any research to support communication as mission critical?

According to 65 percent of senior managers interviewed for a Robert Half Management Resources survey, clear and frequent communication is the most important aspect of leading a team through a transition. It was the top response for companies of all sizes and far outdistanced the second-leading factor: managing expectations (16 percent).

The best part: cost

Communication is the top success factor when it comes to effective change management. Many business leaders approach change management apprehensively, worried about having to persuade reluctant staff to accept new ways of doing business. But, in fact, many people welcome change – provided they have a chance to collaborate in it. And the best part? The cost. It might be naive to state a great communication strategy will be completely free but it’s not far off…and how many components of a business process offers that as an incentive?

Need to push a new change initiative through your business? Give Bare Bones Consulting a call. Our experience with people and the HR systems that support them delivers tangible results. Why not give us a call to see what we can bring to your business? 

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

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Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.