We live in a constantly changing world, where everything around us changes all the time. Organizations should not be an exception, they cannot afford to decide whether they want to change or not, they have to. Their success will be linked to their ability to adapt to social, economic and cultural changes. As technology evolves, organizations will have to incorporate them to keep competitive in the market. Doing so, will change the ways of work and processes, among others. The profiles of the collaborators and consumers will also evolved, which are more demanding and committed thanks to the amount of information they can access to and the adoption of new digital habits.
Organizations cannot change by themselves; they need Organizational Change Agents to lead the process. Generally, the agents of organizational change work in human resources.
The role of Human Resources as a successful Change Agent within an organization will occur if they act decisively and collaboratively, analyze the environment and affirm positive change proactively. In general, an
efficient agent of change constantly seeks improvement and Organizational Development, creates a favorable climate of change within their work team and the organization, getting people to be involved in the process as collaborating agents.
As agents of change, they will have to preach by example and be the initiator of change processes for improvement, so that, in this way, others will consider it as an example to follow.
Some tips and best practices on how to deal with the change process efficiently and effectively are:
- Understanding: Agents of Change must have emotional intelligence; be perceptive, intuitive and thoughtful, in order to anticipate the level of resistance to change within the organization and formulate an effective strategy.
- Understand the organization’s short and long-term objectives: Having this understanding will help to hire the right people, encourage the development of their employees and create a positive work environment. Knowing what drives the company can help play a key role in realizing its vision and strategies for success.
- Communicate with senior management: Change needs the support of business leaders. To succeed, change agents must understand and “adopt their language”: quarterly objectives, return on investment, organizational structure, etc.
- Organizations must change in addition to the individuals within them: Change agents can seek to achieve a change in organizational structure through the three organizational change steps of Kurt Lewin, defrost, change and freeze again. Thawing meaning creating will and motivation in anticipating the future and analyzing the possibilities of change, changing means seeing things differently and acting to move towards a more desired state, and freezing again establishes new ways of affirming change and ensuring the new structure
- Take a proactive role in leading the change: Because Human Resources is in contact with all levels of staff, they tend to have a more nuanced sense of problems around productivity. They should take advantage of their interpersonal and communication skills to convey the ideas and problems of staff to management effectively, as well as the objectives of management for the workforce.
- Align the change with the objectives of the organization: Change is difficult and expensive, and as such, you must link the change with the final objectives of the organization. It is necessary for everyone to understand what they are trying to achieve and why.
- Establish metrics and milestones: Change agents need to define metrics for their initiatives that support their personal and team efforts. When they do not, there is a tendency for them to concentrate on the long list of tasks that go on without recognizing the steps they have taken and the current achievements.
- The best tool of a Human Resources leader in the face of change is effective communication: Many obstacles are avoided by communicating with the workforce before transmitting the next changes. Human Resources can help people understand how those changes will directly benefit them as employees.