3 Common Misconceptions About HR Change Management

Blog article | By Andrew Barlow, March 2, 2018

Here are three of the biggest we’ve encountered from our experience

People are naturally fearful of change. Whether in their professional lives or their personal lives. When people are used to doing something in one way, the new way can seem intimidating and cause someone to not accept the new way.

Change is synonymous with HR software.
With quarterly system updates, changes to processes and ways of executing tasks, employees are expected to handle, accept and ultimately adopt a lot of change. When implementing a change project, you may come across some misconceptions about handling the change management process.

1. Change affects only some areas of your organization

Perhaps the biggest misconception around change management we have seen is that change implementation only affects some areas of your business and not all. In large-scale organizations, the number of individuals and teams that need to be educated around the change and engaged in the change is huge.
Some organizations might turn to shortcuts and ways to aggregate their change management initiatives. Like rolling the change out to just three departments – instead of 20,000 individual employees.Whilst this is certainly a way of driving more efficiency.

Your departments are complex, made up of teams with different individuals with different levels of skills and ability. Therefore, each department will have their own challenges and barriers when implementing the change. If challenges aren’t addressed early in the change implementation process.

There is a much greater risk of not having the change successfully implemented, which is more dangerous to the projects ultimate success. Your people are more likely to resist the change if left unmanaged. When driving your change management efforts its essential to remember that your organizational chain is only as strong as your latest adopters.

2. Employees will take to change easily – with no problems

Many organizations set out a business case assuming 100% adoption of their HR technology. This is a huge misconception made by businesses in change projects.

As we’ve discussed earlier, your business is made up of individuals with different levels of skills and ability. Some are early adopters and are able to take to the change easily, where some employees are late adopters and require a lot more support and education around the change before being able to adopt your technology. Holding a meeting, or sending out a couple of emails across your workforce that briefly allude to the changes is not enough.

If you really want your employees to embrace your enterprise-wide change, you should be upfront with them about the full detail of the change. Expected roll-out dates, why the change is happening, how the change will affect them, will they be expected to change their processes or need to be unskilled, each individual needs to know.

Focus on adequately training each person in your organization, focusing on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Ensuring every last person is equipped to handle the change. You may look at rolling out a training tool in symbiosis with the HR technology rollout. That delivers training and support content to educate your workforce through the change.

3. Change will happen – in a snap

It goes without saying, rolling out a large-scale change project is a conscious effort. Change projects take time and cost a bundle. This can make many organizations tempted to roll out the change as quickly as possible to get it over and done with. But as we know, this would be a massive misconception.

Believing that change will happen in a snap, can cause a lot of trouble. You have to give yourself and your people time to process and come to terms with the change with access to content that will ease them through the process. As reflected in McKinsey’s 7 step change framework.

Change needs to solicit feedback, engage individuals and promote intended behaviors.Those responsible for the change project should create an appetite for the change across the organization first. The more prepared your organization is for the change, with customized communications, preliminary feedback on the change and active user champions to ensure the smooth running of the change. The smoother the change effort will be.

To conclude

Every organization is a complex culture of different skills, behaviors and attitudes. A large-scale organizational change project requires a lot and time effort put in to deliver success and a return on your HR software investment.

Change management is an art form that must be perfected. By understanding the impact of your forthcoming or existing organizational change, you are better equipped to deal with it.

Digitizing Change Management – E-Guide
What issues do you need to consider when implementing a change management strategy?

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