How can HR inspire change?

by Victoria Bruce06 Jul 2016
In today’s ever-changing business climate, HR professionals play an essential role in leading the successful transformation of their organisations.
 
Key to any successful change management strategy is the need to inspire excitement and employee buy-in, to drive change from the grassroots level.
 
National Australia Bank’s head of change implementation, Galia Jenshel, said modern HR professionals need to view organisational change as an ordinary part of business operations, and adjust their strategies accordingly.
 
“In today’s environment, no organisation has the luxury of standing still and leaders need to be adequately equipped to help their teams navigate constant change as a new normal,” Jenshel told HC Online.
 
“HR strategy needs to think of this capability as core organisational capability and plan meaningful and layered interventions and development activities to continually update and assess,” she said.
 
Getting change right can be a big challenge for many HR professionals, said Jenshel, who will deliver her topic, Communicating change: How to build excitement and buy-in at the Melbourne HR Summit, on 27-28 July.
 
“They can look at change as an event rather than business as usual and can forget to provide a strong enough story around the changes to allow individuals to find meaning in it for themselves and for the organisation,” she said.
 
Jenshel suggested that HR is in a unique position to influence positive change behaviours throughout the different levels of their organisation, ensuring communication is correctly tailored to have maximum impact with different audiences.
 
“Communication needs to be a combination of visual, verbal and nonverbal delivered via multiple channels and utilising both formal and informal techniques,” Jenshel said.
 
She added that the content of the communication should also consider individual differences and employ a variety of messaging types including data, structured and unstructured content, and emotional pull.
 
HR professionals can also leverage HR policies and processes such as performance processes, capability and talent programs or recruitment interviews to drive and reinforce desired change through an organisation.
 
Her advice for fellow HR professionals seeking to bring about change in their workplace is to keep things as simple as possible.
 
“Overcooking change efforts can work against you as it creates noise for employees as well as a sense of an event rather than business as usual,” Jenshel said.
 
HR professionals should seek to find the right balance of factual and emotional in communicating changes and ensure that messaging is consistent, layered and meaningful and pitched for the target audience.
 
“Don’t be afraid the embrace unusual interventions, quirky messaging and have some fun with it to grab a bit more attention!” she said.

Galia Jenshel will will be speaking on Communicating change: How to build excitement and buy-in at the Melbourne HR Summit later this month.

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