With the professional landscape accelerating around us, an effective change management strategy is pivotal for recruitment and staffing firms in future-proofing their companies.
Change Management: What is it?
Change management is the process of managing, controlling, and monitoring changes to established business processes, workflows, or systems.
Composed of the design of a plan, monitoring the process, and executing corrective actions as necessary, change management should be an integral part of any organisation’s strategic planning process – especially in the recruitment industry.
In the last ten years, the concept of change management has evolved from its original emphasis on infrastructure change to one of the most strategic activities for managing business transformation projects.
Change Management and its Importance
Across the recruitment and staffing industry, agency owners and senior managers are faced with an ever-more challenging road ahead – under pressure to deliver growth and profit whilst navigating a progressively more complex landscape filled with near-constant change.
In fact, Bullhorn’s latest Grid report revealed staffing agencies are 236% more likely to have a digital transformation process than 2 years ago and so as the old adage stands:
“The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.”
It’s a concept much repeated in the digital age, made famous by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his Davos address – and a thought that’s been on the mind of many business leaders in recent times as the speed of workplace change continues to increase.
Much of that change is driven by the quickening pace of technology development, and for many businesses unlocking the growth potential of digital transformation initiatives ranks high among priorities.
But effectively implementing those change initiatives often proves to be the stumbling block, with lack of organisational change management cited as the number one challenge to digital Transformation, it was revealed at the SIA Executive Forum Europe.
Because of this, adapting to an ever-changing marketplace whilst still delivering long-term ROI on technological investments can be difficult, and so it’s crucial to understand how a strong change management structure can seriously benefit your organisation.
Successful CM Frameworks
In order to help business leaders craft effective approaches to change management, SourceBreaker recently partnered with leading change consultancy Gate One to introduce a series of battle-tested frameworks that bridge the gap between vision and execution.
Underpinning them are the ‘4 Pillars of Change Management’, which serve as the foundation of successful change initiatives and digital transformation programmes.
Each pillar links to a range of change ‘levers’ that leaders can operate to drive buy-in and long-term adoption across the organisation.
The 4 Pillars of Change Management are:
But what exactly do they all mean and how can you ensure they’re executed effectively?
Pillar 1 – Lead
Visible commitment and alignment from business leaders to the change, combined with consistent messaging.
This pillar focuses on how organisational leadership presents the change to the wider business, framing many of the subsequent steps and securing the correct level of prioritisation, focus and buy-in from key change sponsors, influencers and audiences.
Questions to ask:
Pillar 2 – Connect
Clearly articulated vision of change, delivered via a range of channels, phases and styles.
The goal here is effective communication of the change, ensuring that a variety of tactics are deployed to help change audiences understand the scope, duration and objectives of the change, especially with regard to their own personal involvement and outcomes.
Questions to ask:
Pillar 3: Equip
Training, resources, space and support provided to facilitate change.
This pillar looks at the training, support resources, peer-to-peer role assignment and other key elements of the programme, giving change audiences the right tools and time to embrace the change.
Questions to ask:
Pillar 4: Embed
Transition to a new way of working, incentives and celebration of change outcomes.
Lastly, change should be embedded in the business, with old ways of working removed from view and behaviours, incentives, KPIs and reporting updated to reflect the change.
Questions to ask:
Employing the 4 Pillars to your Recruitment Agency
By developing a coherent change management approach across the organisation – and ensuring that all stakeholders adhere to clearly defined roles throughout the initiative – businesses can drive better adoption of new technology products and achieve significantly increased ROI on key software investments.
As Caro Ruttledge (Gate One’s Global Head of Change) states, “no one pillar is more important than any other – but each change programme’s chances of success increase if all four are used together.”
TL;DR Key Takeaways
- Change management is the process of managing, controlling, and monitoring changes to established business processes, workflows, or systems.
- Change management is one of the most strategic activities for managing business transformation projects and should be an integral part of any organisation’s strategic planning process.
- The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again. Adapting to an ever-changing marketplace whilst still delivering long-term ROI on technological investments can be difficult, and so it’s crucial to understand how a strong change management structure can seriously benefit your organisation.
- The four pillars of change management are: Lead, Connect, Equip, and Embed.
- Leaders need to commit visibly to the change and ensure their messaging is consistent. They must also make time and space for the business to process the change.
- Clearly articulating the vision of change is crucial, as is ensuring a range of tactics are deployed to help change audiences understand the scope, duration, and objectives of the change.
- Training, resources, space, and support should be provided to facilitate change, and new tools and training should be integrated into existing approaches.
- Change should be embedded in the business, with old ways of working removed from view and behaviors, incentives, KPIs, and reporting updated to reflect the change.