'The role of HR during change is often underestimated'

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Disruptive change can foster progress and innovation, how can HR sensitively sway change resistors in order to future-proof their organsiations?

Jenny Williams, client director at Humankind, told HRD that the role of HR during change is “often underestimated”.

They are often seen as the people to draft the consultation documents and letters, arrange EAP and provide support in the background, and not as a strategic partner who can and should assist in decision making from the beginning, according to Williams.

“HR professionals are the key to ensuring change is successful and that a great employee experience is maintained throughout the change.”

Indeed, Williams will be speaking at the upcoming New Zealand National HR Summit on the topic of Leading Organisations through Disruptive Change.

So if Williams could give one piece of advice to HR professionals relating to change management what would it be?

“Ensure you have a seat at the leadership table and use that seat to highlight the importance of focussing on the employee experience during change,” said Williams.

“This is often forgotten or it is assumed that employees will be negatively impacted by the change process no matter what. In fact, the opposite is true.

“When done well, change can empower employees as well as foster innovation and progress.”

Williams added that with HR, there is often not a single right answer - there are multiple ways to approach the same issue, and what is right for one organisation may not be right for another.

“Events (like the New Zealand National HR Summit) give HR professionals different ideas and different ways of doing things that they can take and adapt according to what their organisation needs.”

The New Zealand National HR Summit will take place on 21 August 2018 at the Hilton Auckland. To register, click here.

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