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Paving the Way: How HR Coordinates Change Management Projects

July 27, 2022


Every organization, throughout its lifetime, experiences change. A constant pattern of the world is that growth and change are inextricably linked. Therefore, embracing this process is absolutely essential for healthy federal agencies. 

In both the public and private sectors, Human Resources typically plays a leadership role in organizational change, so answering, “What is change management in HR?” and understanding how it coordinates these types of projects are prerequisites for success.

The Importance of HR in Driving Change

Federal leaders may prescribe change, but Human Resources management is usually set in the driver’s seat for planning and implementation. Whether change is required by new legislation or because of technology or industry progression, HR is typically the organizer and facilitator across affected departments.

HR is a strategic ally for leadership because they usually have the most insight into employees’ needs and expectations. They are positioned for facilitating communication, feedback, and engagement, enabling a smooth transition from old to new and ensuring the agency’s objectives are met.

Without this, workflow and productivity may be negatively impacted, customers or business opportunities may be lost, and retention and recruitment issues may rise – leading to a loss in resources, revenue, and ROI.

On the other hand, successful change management can bolster an agency’s overall success by reducing inefficiencies, increasing productivity, and strengthening employee and customer relationships.

Strategies for Change Management in HR

Organizational change typically fails because of a breakdown in preparation, communication, employee engagement, or post-change analyses. Thus, any change management strategy must carefully consider each of these things.

Train.

It helps if human resources personnel receive training in change management so they understand different models and strategies that have proven successful. 

Select a Plan/Model That Everyone can Use.

Understanding different change management models helps HR choose the right one for their particular organization and culture. Educate leaders and employees on the strategy so that everyone is on the same page.

Execute Change in Phases.

Whatever plan is chosen, make sure it is implemented step-by-step over time, rather than racing toward the finish line. This way employees can acclimate to the change(s), feedback can be collected and reviewed, progress can be evaluated and any necessary adaptations integrated.

Accept Mistakes. Embrace Positive Reinforcement.

Educate leaders on supporting the learning process for their workforce. Allow employees to fail and learn from failure, and institute a performance management system that rewards employee successes and engagement.

Incorporate Technology.

Sometimes the organizational change will involve instituting a modern technology system, but regardless, HR can use technology to manage change and track its implementation and success. HR can also use technology for engaging the workforce – adopting platforms for training, suggestions, or feedback.

Open Communication.

In all phases of change management, an agency may face employee resistance or uncertainty. That’s why it’s important to clearly communicate every step of the plan to every impacted person in the organization. 

Define roles, responsibilities, important dates, tools, training, and rewards. Encourage feedback and suggestions. Make employees feel like they are part of the solution and success, rather than just people that change is happening to whether they like it or not.

Set the Table for Success.

Beyond engaging employees through feedback and performance management, HR should also implement support systems that help the workforce adapt to the change. These may include on-the-job training, online courses, continuing education courses, seminars, etcetera. 

Organizational change is a natural product of growth. How HR coordinates change management projects will determine whether the impact is positive or negative, whether it sparks greater growth or triggers loss and setbacks. When Human Resources embraces its role as facilitator and mediator of change management, progress is more easily and successfully achieved.

When federal agencies need guidance and assistance with implementing organizational change, GovStrive provides the necessary knowledge and tools that facilitate employee engagement and communication. Our process encourages empowerment and positive transformation.

Learn more about the Power of GovStrive today.

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