Organisational change guiding principles
The Change Management guiding principles have been developed to assist managers, supervisors and employees with implementing and understanding the processes which may be used during periods of change. They do not represent any decisions made by the University in relation to positions or affected employees.
The Change Management guiding principles reflect the University's commitment to the provision of providing for a high quality learning experience for its students and a high quality working environment for its employees. Underpinning all change processes will be the aim to ensure the University is well positioned to meet its future objectives. The guiding principles reflect USQ's strong commitment to the effective and inclusive management of organisational change and its reliance and belief in the value of employees and the contributions employees make.
The aim of the guiding principles is to assist in the development of appropriate change strategies that compliment the work area, its operations (including change project planning) and employees. To achieve this aim the guiding principles and Framework provide general, practical considerations that support engagement by relevant people.
On implementation of any organisational change, individual and customised approaches will be necessary having regard to the operational requirements of the University.
The objectives of the proposed HR Change Management Guiding Principles are to:
- Provide the framework for retaining and building capabilities for employees during change;
- Provide the framework for human resources implementation activities and timeframes related to an organisational change project;
- Provide detailed information relating to how employees will be transitioned into new or revised structures following a change exercise;
- Inform employees on the communication approaches related to human resources implementation activities;
- Promote and advise employees on employee support programs (eg. wellness and training and development activities to support employees through the implementation phase.
The proposed Human Resources guidance has been developed to support the University values in "caring for the individual through approaches that are fair, inclusive and equitable" and has been developed taking into consideration the University's obligations outlined in the USQ Enterprise Agreement 2010 - 2013.
Change processes at USQ are governed by a number of guiding principles (and in accordance with legal and industrial obligations) which include planning, consultation, open and ongoing communication and individual employee respect and support.
Sound business planning provides us with the information to understand, initiate and implement change. To do this successfully requires planning for the people who will participate in and/or be affected by the business change. These principles and processes assist with planning for the engagement of people in the change process.
Open and ongoing communication
Effective communication is vital for change initiatives to succeed. It helps convey the broader change vision and updates people about the issues. Affected employees need to be kept up to date on developments including if/when progress is delayed. Since there is the potential for people to hear and understand information differently, particularly given the higher levels of stress that can accompany change projects, repeating key information in a variety of ways over time can help keep confusion and misinformation to a minimum. Timely and accurate information will also bolster the credibility of the change and the change leaders.
Managers and supervisors should seek communication methods that keep relevant stakeholders informed of progress including employees from across the University and employee representatives, where necessary.
The University values employee feedback and consultation and, in accordance with its obligations under the USQ Enterprise Agreement 2010-2013, the University will consult with the relevant employees affected by change proposals and implementation of changes, in addition to consulting with the relevant unions through the Staff Consultative Committee. Providing avenues for employees to discuss and provide feedback enable them to understand the issues, become more involved in the process, contribute to and influence decision making, assume a degree of ownership of the changes and help them shift towards the desired change goals, either independently or with the support of the group.
Providing opportunities for input and discussion can inform and enhance the overall decision making.
Respect for individuals
Everyone approaches change in their own way. There are many variables that will impact on how we view each change process. Employees who feel valued, respected and supported are more willing and able to make the necessary transitions through the change process. By 'transition' we mean the psychological shifts that people go through to accept the change. It is timely for employees to use this time to reflect on their own personal and career goals and seek development opportunities throughout the change process.
While personal reactions are the responsibility of the individual the University seeks for each of the change processes to review the change management plans in consultation with individual employees who are most likely to be affected by the specific change process.
A range of assistance and support services are also available to employees.
These guiding principles are operationalised through the organisational change implementation framework for USQ.