The following are some examples of how Michelle Harvey-Jones has tackled various issues that crop up in the real world of business.
Addressing attitudes to change
At a recent session of the “change your attitude” development programme to change approaches to change we had one individual who began the day being very cynical about changes generally and about the day before them. At the end of the day this individual approach me and said “ I had never really considered that my attitude could impact on the changes that have happened in my life - today has made me realise that this had contributed to several things not working out and I am not going to let that happen again”. He then proceeded to become involved in the working group that was taking the change forward and became a very strong advocate for the change to be undertaken.
Staff attitudes to a demerger
Trying to meet the needs and requirements of staff during change is difficult but is easier to achieve if you know what those needs and requirements are. During a demerger of one company into five smaller companies we undertook 1:1 interviews with all the staff twice. The first time we discussed the options available and asked for preferences and the second interview was to inform them of the outcome for them. This ensured they felt valued, informed and important. This approach ensured we could take account of each person’s different approach to the impending change and try to fulfil their individual needs whilst still meeting the requirements of the five new businesses. It also meant that each of the new companies had employees working for them who wanted to be there doing a role they wanted to do. This ensured the majority of staff took positive attitudes into the change and had positive attitudes as the new organisations began.
Managing public sector redundancy
A large public sector organisation was undertaking a redundancy programme following budget reductions. This change followed on from a number of other large changes that had affected all the staff. The staff were demotivated and demoralised.
One of the local offices was facing a 30% reduction in staff and I took a lead role for this major change programme The approach was to communicate as much information as possible to the staff using the union and staff group to decide on how best to inform them of the issues. We also used the union and staff group to help write the processes we used and we tried to incorporate feedback gather during a staff survey the previous year. The aim was to give employees as much control as possible and to ensure they felt involved in the change being implemented. Consequently the staff that left chose to and those who stayed were mainly able to undertake a role they truly wanted to do. This helped to ensure the organisation could move forward even though things were difficult for a short period of time.