How to Overcome Rapid Organisational Changes in Regulations and Employee Attitudes

Oracle | 8 min READ
    
The impact of rapid organisational change on business
The world is changing at a rapid pace. In the 21st century, many organisations are struggling to adapt and keep up. There is a demand for fast, efficient organisations to prevent them from becoming obsolete or outplayed by competitors.
Vipin Bansal
Vipin Bansal

Associate Vice President

Birlasoft

 
When speculating about upcoming trends in business, industry experts hypothesise that one of the keys to a company’s success relies on understanding this demand for adaptation. It also appears to be the new normal, with 92% of employers saying they have “at least one form of flexible working practice available in their workplace” [https://comparecamp.com/]. Achieving this contemporary work model may require a series of cost cuts, streamlining operations, and becoming leaner to meet these needs.
This plight presents the ever-essential question: How can modern organisations keep up?
How to overcome the challenges posed by rapid organisational change
In many cases, organisational change is necessary to promote increased efficiency. One of the most effective ways that HR experts can help employees navigate this, is to enable a “can-do” culture and ensure that people feel comfortable bringing ideas forward. A survey conducted by CIPD stated that “only 17% of respondents mentioned trade unions as a channel for voice. The most common channel was one-to-one meetings with a line manager” [cipd.co.uk]. They can also supplement their processes with secondary systems like Human Capital Management (HCM) software.
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New challenges are also forcing organisations to re-evaluate how they operate. These changes are a product of the global economic downturn, technological advances, and the evolving socio-political landscape. Technology has transformed how companies work, consumers behave, and competitors do business in a post-pandemic working world. Consequently, many consumers have become more demanding in their expectations of brands that offer quality customer service. “According to Forrester, nearly 95% of leaders say that providing a good customer experience is a top strategic priority, and 75% want to use customer experience as a competitive advantage.” [fonolo.com]. As a result, new entrants are stealing market share from incumbents by providing innovative ways of engaging customers through social media applications or smartphones. Consequently, established brands have had to spend heavily on technology and new solutions to keep up.
Leading change is complex, and one person alone cannot undertake it. It requires effective teamwork throughout the organisation. Communication needs to be constant, and employees need to feel involved with all aspects of the project, from drafting the strategy to implementation. Q&A sessions are also an essential part of this communication process, as not everyone is comfortable in open meetings standing and sharing their thoughts in open forums. This communication needs to happen at al levels of the organisation, otherwise it may not be effective. Michael Foote, Vertical Head, Birlasoft shared his experience by stating “Achieving success through change also requires commitment from all stakeholders and customers, who need to know how to benefit from any changes.”
The importance of continuous communications and status updates can help change happen effectively.
When leading change within an organisation, it is essential to get support from all stakeholders involved. Leaders need to embrace their employees’ knowledge and experience by consulting them throughout the process rather than just approaching them with a new strategy at the end of the project. This framework will help unite the team and keep everyone informed. In addition, employees will also recognise which parts of the business are undergoing fundamental restructuring to keep their skills up to date [hbr.org]. As a result, they will better understand how they fit into the overall organisational structure and feel more engaged and motivated in their work. [https://online.hbs.edu/]
Both managers and employees are in the same boat, and it does not work without action and direct investment of time.
Tips for maintaining a positive attitude during times of upheaval.
Organisations that lack a “can-do” culture may struggle to meet customer needs and remain competitive. It can be the difference between success and detriment; “59% of consumers who love a brand are prepared to forsake it after poor experiences” [Forbes.com].
HR experts should work with managers to create a “can-do” culture where people are encouraged to pitch new ideas, even if they challenge orthodoxy at times. This kind of attitude enables organisations to be flexible and adaptable while still meeting the needs of their customers. Companies must train managers to make effective decisions in complex situations to achieve this. A Bain & Company article emphasised this, stating: “10-year research program involving more than 1,000 companies shows a clear correlation (at a minimum 95% confidence level) between decision effectiveness and business performance.” This training includes giving them the skills to manage change effectively and the knowledge required to understand key business processes.
Strategies for dealing with sudden changes in employee attitudes
Achieving success through change starts with effective leadership. Leaders need a clear vision of what those within the organisation could achieve to understand how they can facilitate it. As a result, leaders need to understand the types of employees they have and what motivates them.
Part of this understanding means that leaders need to manage employees who may be resistant to change to impact others significantly. Leaders need to have the skills necessary to identify those employees who are not committed and give them feedback to remain engaged throughout the project. By managing employees’ expectations and ensuring they are fully engaged in the change process, leaders can increase the likelihood of achieving more positive results.
Dealing with change saturation.
In any change activity, those leading the transition should anticipate a saturation point or change fatigue. Change fatigue may affect the employees, stakeholders, leaders, managers, groups, departments, and even investors and customers. This effect is brought about when a company’s ability or capacity to change is overwhelmed by the disruption and limited bandwidth.
Communication, honesty, and the sharing of value, need to be at the forefront of every company’s message. Additionally, there needs to be an offering of practical help and advice to individuals- particularly those who have never been part of a change process before. Now, more than ever, there are intelligent systems that can aid managers and HR teams in their supportive roles, whilst alleviating a portion of the pressure that accompanies it.
How to Overcome Rapid Organisational Changes in Regulations and Employee Attitudes
Dealing with the stress that comes with rapid organisational change
In addition, HR professionals will also have to address some challenges faced due to rapid changes in regulations. One example is the European Union’s new laws about working hours and overtime. “A report by the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA), which represents around 6,000 employment lawyers in the UK, expressed concern that the government would not be able to ensure UK workers’ rights without new legislation” [peoplemanagement.co.uk]. This law has caused outrage among many labour unions who view these as attacks on their rights, and it will also take time for workers to adjust to the new rules.
These changes may cause many employees to suffer from stress or anxiety. HR experts should be the first line of defence against this concern; their primary role is to care for employees and ensure that any personal problems do not impact productivity. They can do this by implementing policies and systems that help stressed or anxious employees. HR experts should also ensure that management practices are defensible according to the company’s need for flexibility without compromising fairness or equity among the workforce.
Dealing with growth in enterprise change capacity (ECM).
Companies that invest and place change at the heart of their business ethos set themselves apart from their peers and competition. Ultimately, today’s changing business environment, and working normality will provide a competitive advantage and drive at both individual and corporate levels a culture of assessing, noting, and then changing. Deploying change management across an organisation is not a simple task, and it does not happen overnight. It’s about building competencies, educating and ECM or enterprise change management can fail if the whole organisation do not treat this as a project but as a change.
How to Maintain productivity during times of chaos:
The key for HR managers is to find a balance between giving employees the freedom to follow their schedules, while still ensuring that deadlines are met. In addition, they should attempt to maintain this sense of space by allowing flexibility in the workplace, such as offering remote working options or flexible break times. “A study of nearly 1,400 healthcare workers in Taiwan found autonomy is linked to greater job satisfaction, and a lower likelihood of leaving their positions.” [https://www.ciphr.com/].
In conclusion, organisations must prepare to make short-term sacrifices to benefit from the long-term change. Many employees are not used to rapid changes, especially when enforced without warning. HR professionals are tasked with making these positive and beneficial changes, even when that is not the case. The key to success during times of upheaval is communication that keeps all staff up to date with company plans while also addressing any concerns about new policies or procedures. Poor communication can result in low morale and a dissatisfied workforce who will work below their potential if they do not trust HR experts or managers.
This article was originally published on the HR Director website - HR Director website
 
 
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