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Smooth transition: How to succeed at change management

Change management is no easy feat - so what's the best way to go about implementing a cultural shift? We speak to Travelport's LEE GOLDING, MICHAEL HALL of WildWorks and ALEC BASHINSKY of Deloitte for their tips on bringing about change in a workplace.

Video transcript below:

Stephanie Zillman, HC TV
Stephanie Zillman:  Hello, I’m Stephanie Zillman and you are watching HC TV. Whether it’s an important company milestone or simply a shift in procedure, any business change is going to affect its staff.  Travelport’s Lee Golding says no matter what the alteration, a business needs to take its employees into account.  

Lee Golding, Travelport
Lee Golding: Major M&A activity is a huge change undertaking and so that requires a lot more planning, but you can’t ignore the people aspect of any organisational change and every organisation I know employs people.
Stephanie Zillman:  Lee Golding says it is for this reason HR must be engaged to help successfully manage business change.
Lee Golding:  The involvement of HR in any major change, organisational change is vital because right from the very beginning it’s critical to really get the messaging, communication and the engagement right and that’s where the HR Department has a role to play.  So my view is that you would want to involve your HR Department in any discussions about change right at the beginning.
Stephanie Zillman:  So what is the essence of change management?  Michael Hall of Wildworks says it’s not just about fostering general staff.  Senior figures in the business must also be brought into play.
Michael Hall: I think a lot of it gets down to the fact that it shouldn’t be so much change management, more about change leadership.  It’s getting people actually leading the organisation to take accountability for the change.  You can’t outsource a transformation to an individual or a group in an organisation.  You must engage the right leaders in the right areas for the right reasons and continually keep them aligned around why you are doing this. The engagement will then flow accordingly.
Stephanie Zillman: Retired Railcorp HR Director, Brian Hartmann agrees, advising HR professionals not just to go just for the business head, but to seek the most relevant senior partner for the change.
Brian Hartmann, Retired Railcorp HR Director
Brian Hartmann:  Not necessarily the CEO, it could be a senior line manager, for example a division that may wish to change in a major way, I would hope that the person at the, at or about the top of that division would be the change champion, the person who is out there along with myself for example in the role of HR Director, both communicating to the work force and obviously using a network of people.  Some HR practitioners and change managers would be involved in that as well to communicate with the rest of the organisation and also with the affected division.
Stephanie Zillman: But can there ever be too much change?  Deloitte, Australia’s Alec Bashinsky says the concept of change fatigue, is too often simply assigned employees aren’t being kept in the loop.
Alec Bashinsky, Deloitte
Alec Bashinsky: I think the change fatigue thing, I call it almost project fatigue.  Change I think our Gen X and GenY and I still refer to them as such are very comfortable to embrace it.  In other words it’s hard to keep them focused on a longer term project because they want to see what’s happening when they move to change.  I think it’s more about understanding what we are trying to do and I use the word in there about trust.  In other words it’s being transparent to our employees, explaining why things are happening, the importance of change happening and that allows them to feel like they are part of it, rather than change being done to them.
Stephanie Zillman: For more on change management and other industry news, click around HC Online.   I am Stephanie Zillman and I will see you again soon on HC TV.