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Supporting Change Within Organisations

By ang17gna Mar 31, 2014 1500 Words
The Impact of Change

We are a family owned multi award winning Construction Company working across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, we are a leading SME contractor building sustainable growth, having dedicated teams, creating value for all, nurturing talent and rewarding success. We have been in business since 1946 and since our incorporation in 1978 have grown steadily from a turnover of £200k to over £22m today. As our turnover has increased so has our staff numbers, if we go back 20 years we employed just 36 employees but today we have over 80 employees. We have an ongoing portfolio of projects and our dedicated teams deliver exceptional value through their courage and passion to do things differently, We specialise in:

Design
Construction
Refurbishment
Conservation
Repairs and maintenance
We have a business plan where our “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” is to have sales totalling £60m by 2017, to achieve this we need to make sure we have the right people, who will fit into the culture of our organisation and embrace our shared values, doing the right jobs.

All companies need to change to keep one step ahead of their competitors, when looking at our S.W.O.T. analysis we can see factors that drive and influence change within our organisation.
Helpful
to achieving the objectiveHarmful
to achieving the objectives
Internal Origin
(attributes of the organisation)Employees
Leadership
Company Name
Shared Values
Waste management (1 skip per site)
Health & Safety Plan
Survival

Growth
Turnover
Profit margins
Salaries
New IT system

External Origin
(attributes of the environment)
Times top 100
New contracts
Competitors
HSE
Cost of materials
Minimum wage

To enable our organisation to change we must look at areas within the SWOT analysis: New IT system – this drives change as all employees are learning to use the new system which for some is more difficult and can take longer. Our ongoing training means that support will always be available either in the office or out on site.

Health & Safety Plan – as a construction site can be a dangerous place to work, we take health and safety very seriously and are now more health and safety aware. We have adapted a system where we only work with sub-contractors that pass our health and safety vetting system, turning them from red to amber and then green where they prove they have completed risk assessments on all aspects of their job to be able to work on our site. We are employing more people within this department to allow for more site inspections. This has an effect on the organisation by helping to prevent accidents. All site operatives/visitors must now be able to produce an in-date CSCS card which must be relevant to the tasks they will be carrying out; if a sub-contractor does not hold a card we will help them source and complete the training so they can apply for a card. Survival – as we have been here since 1946 we have seen many of our competitors go into administration during the economic crisis, not only have we continued to survive but we have managed to grow and have even moved to larger premises to accommodate this and to enable further growth. Minimum Wage / Salaries / Cost of Materials – these three areas from our S.W.O.T. analysis are linked together, if the government increase National Minimum Wage to £7 in October, as reported in the news recently, it will have a knock on effect throughout the industry. This in turn will affect organisations by costing them a lot more money for the same workforce, meaning the cost to employ will rise significantly, both for ourselves and our suppliers, which will lead to our suppliers putting up the price of materials and labour therefore we will have to increase our costings when tendering for projects which could mean we lose work. Employees – for any business to succeed it must look at all its employees. When employing new staff we don’t always employ the most qualified candidate we look for the best fit candidate, will they fit into the culture of our organisation and embrace our shared values, we have found this has affected the organisation by reducing our staff turnover and the cost of recruitment. Here are extracts from our shared values:

Involvement
Work to build the self-esteem of others giving them the space to shine Learning:
Mentoring each other through encouragement and sharing expertise Enjoyment:
Be happy and enthusiastic in your work – its infectious
Teamwork:
Give your support and your encouragement to others
Responsibility:
Commit to not letting people down
Be prepared to initiate action where it is needed rather than waiting for your managers or others to do it Strengths:
Use the right people for the right job
Honesty
Create a climate of openness with all the people we work with Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses Respect:
Gain respect by earning it not demanding it
Trust:
Trust is the foundation of our future success
Trust is painstakingly built and quickly destroyed
Can do Attitude:
Be open, understanding and approachable
Face each day with a positive attitude
Communication:
Communicate to people at all levels in a way you would wish to be spoken to Leadership:
Leading by example and showing commitment are great motivators

When change has to take place, we try to manage it by communicating all changes that are to be made in many ways; firstly this could be done by sending a memo with the support of the Directors. Employees seem more willing to accept changes that have the backing of the Directors, secondly by all Team Leaders holding meetings where they describe the change in as much detail as possible giving employees a chance to ask questions, this gives employees clear and visible leadership and a point of contact should they have any concerns relating to the change, this will help to actively engage employees. As the HR department we are there to support the transition in any way they require us to, if we try to solve a problem that does not actually exist, we could add to the difficulty some people may have with the change, so we are there to try and minimise the impact on the organisation and the individual. We need to give people time to understand the change themselves, but keep communication open.

People in general go through different stages when dealing with change; this is a process of transition, according to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross there are 5 stages of grief: Denial – refusal to accept the fact

Anger – people dealing with emotional upset can be angry with themselves, and/or with others, especially those close to them Bargaining – bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise
Depression – a sort of acceptance with emotional attachment Acceptance – an indication that there is some emotional detachment and objectivity some deal with grief better than others and accept death faster. In business there are very similar steps people take when faced with change: Step 1 – information – denial

Step 2 – support – anger
exploring which leads to
Step 3 – direction – acceptance
Step 4 - encouragement

Both of these are tools used to understand where people are in there individual journey through any change, it gives an insight to help Managers tailor effective communication, helping employees through the process of transition successfully. Denial – this is the most natural reaction to deny there is a need for change Anger – this is a time when people find it hard to find a way out of the change so resort to anger and bitterness, almost resentment towards the change. Exploring – this is when they realise change is not going away and they are starting to accept it is going to happen and finally buy in to it Acceptance – the individual has not only accepted the change but has accepted the need for the change and is getting involved with and dealing with it directly As a Human Resource professional part of our role is to support individuals during change, this can be achieved in a variety of ways: Firstly we have a duty of care to all our staff which involves being mindful of their physical, emotional and mental health, the well-being of all staff is a priority Creating a shared vision, looking to and focusing on what the outcome of the change will be and how it will benefit everyone within the organisation For some employees having someone to listen, giving them an opportunity to vocalise their thoughts, concerns and issues is all that is required, in these cases the role of HR may just be to listen. Provide confident advice relating to the change and how, if any, it will affect the employee. If the HR professional is knowledgeable regarding the change they have the confidence to advise others how, if any, it will affect the employee, based on sound understandings In conclusion a HR professional needs to have a sound understanding of the change before it is communicated to all staff, this way they will have answers for the employees when they start asking questions.

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