How to complete a Change Management project with a smile

Yesterday my one OK two minute HR Tip was about allowing things to take time!

I always say that the thing that makes HR so interesting is the people. Everyone behaves differently and those reactions are what can make life as a manager so challenging!

Not that long ago I went all the way to Inverness to close down an office and make all the 80+ staff redundant. This wasn’t a one hit meeting, I’d been visiting the same office every month for the last 5 months. Meeting with unions and staff, dealing with queries and getting to grips with all the little details that ensured the ending would be smooth and the staff would be as happy as possible.

The interesting thing was that no matter how I prepared, every meeting came with a new challenge or issue that I needed to find a solution to. It was like playing pass the parcel; every layer revealed something new!

Whether I’ve been consulting on changes and opportunities that come about from business growth, or the need to save money and create efficiencies. Reactions aren’t always what you expect. I’ve have staff say “No” to promotions or that they’d prefer to take redundancy rather that re-interview for their role, and then cry when they receive their redundancy confirmations.

Timing is everything!

I’ve learnt to allow extra time in my plans as everything takes a little longer than you’d envisage, and no one wants to be stressing, trying to cram everything in at the last minute.

There's no time limit for how long the period of consultation should be, but the minimum is: 20 to 99 redundancies - the consultation must start at least 30 days before any dismissals take effect. 100 or more redundancies - the consultation must start at least 45 days before any dismissals take effect.

Even if you aren’t making redundancies you should still give a reasonable time for consultations and take into consideration things like holiday’s and those on maternity leave or long term sick.

Remember to allow time for:

  • Preparing documentation
  • Union Consultation (where appropriate)
  • Group consultation meetings
    • Start
    • Update
    • End
  • Applying for roles (where appropriate)
  • Interview process (where appropriate)
  • Outcomes
  • Handovers (where appropriate)
  • Notice periods (where appropriate)

Taking time to prepare and address all of the issues that came about in Inverness meant that when the final confirmations were handed out, I received hugs and best wishes rather than anger and frustration. And for me that is the ultimate sign of a job well done.

If you need help with your change management, get in touch and we’ll give you all the support you need