The 4 Pillars of Change Management

As the pace of business change continues to accelerate, an effective change management strategy is key for recruitment and staffing firms to adapt to a changing marketplace and deliver long-term ROI on technology investments.

“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.

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. 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. In fact, Bullhorn’s latest Grid report revealed staffing agencies are 236% more likely to have a digital transformation process than 2 years ago.

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.

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.

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:

  • Do business leaders commit visibly to the change?
  • Are they role modelling new behaviours?
  • Is their messaging consistent? Are they all visibly aligned with one another?
  • Have high-profile ‘gestures’ been made to show commitment to change?
  • Has time and space been made for the business to process the change?

2. Connect

Clearly articulated vision of change, delivered via 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:

  • Has a clear vision of the change been articulated?
  • Do change audiences understand ‘WIIFM’ (‘what’s in it for me’)?
  • Is a range of channels and formats being used to communicate the change?
  • Has the change been broken out into phases?
  • Is a range of styles being used to present, support and create buy-in for the change?
  • Are two-way feedback channels being used to manage and update the change programme?

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:

  • What training has been made available to support the change?
  • Are resources, tools and templates available?
  • Have support lines and support roles been defined and articulated (such as super users, buddies and coaches)?
  • Has space been made available (physically and in schedules) to practice and experiment with the change?
  • Have new tools and training been integrated into existing approaches?

4. Embed

Transition to 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:

  • Have ‘old’ ways of working been removed across the business?
  • Have goals and KPIs been updated to incorporate the change?
  • Are rewards and celebrations in place to promote the outcomes of the change?
  • Have reporting tools and frameworks been updated?
  • Is a ‘continuous improvement’ method in place to ensure long-term adoption?

As Gate One’s Caro Ruttledge, 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.”

By developing a coherent 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.

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