The article, “How to Manage HR Effectively during Times of Change”, explores organizational change issues, challenges, and best practices from a human resource (HR) perspective. The author illuminates several barriers to effective change management, such as lack of employee buy-in to the proposed change, underestimating the implications of change, and failure to comply with set regulations. She also presents a model for implementing change comprising four steps, namely overcoming resistance to change, engaging employees in the change process, implementing change in phases, and communicating change effectively. These steps provide useful insights on how business practitioners and change agents should implement the change process to achieve optimal outcomes. For example, in implementing the change process, businesses are advised to follow three linear phases namely (1) preparing for change, (2) managing the change, and (3) reinforcing the change. Lastly, the author uses a case study of a midsized manufacturing entity to underscore the need for organizations to have the right resources in place throughout the organization, work with the right partners to simplify the transition period, and involve employees in the change management process (Browning 43-48).
The article is easy to read and follows a straightforward structure to communicate the main arguments. The barriers to effective change management presented in the study are valid and accurate, as many organizations fail to implement successful change processes due to employee resistance and propensity to stick with the status quo. As rightly suggested by the author, these barriers fall into the HR domain owing to the fact that resistance may result from the failure of the HR office to involve employees in the change process or prepare them adequately for adverse consequences such as layoffs and demotions. Complying with set regulations is also a HR function by virtue of the fact that the department is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that labor laws and employee rights are upheld in the change process.
The author does well in presenting a simple change model that could be used by organizations to steer the change process. It is agreeable that the change management process should commence with overcoming resistance to change by using effective communication mechanisms, ensuring employees are involved in the change process, enlisting the services of change champions to reduce resistance, explaining the reason and intended benefits associated with the proposed change, and ensuring management support for the change process. It is also agreeable that employees should be involved throughout the change process if resistance to change is to be overcome. These are strong points based on the fact that many organizations adopt a wrong approach in thinking that they can implement the change process without the input of employees.
However, despite all the strong points in the paper, it is incorrect to think that organizational change barriers are limited to the three factors presented by the author. Practical experiences show that some organizations fail to engage in meaningful change processes due to structural and management issues that are beyond the scope of employees. Additionally, the step on change implementation is too theoretical and lacks enough evidential underpinnings to demonstrate how the three phases under the step could be successfully implemented. A more insightful understanding is needed to show how the three phases to change implementation are interrelated for successful integration. Lastly, it is unclear if the change model presented by the author can fit all types of businesses based on the fact that organizations are driven by inimitable needs. A more specific approach, in my view, could have rendered the explorations more valid.
Browning, Stacey M. “How to Manage HR Effectively during Times of Change.” Employment Relations Today. 42.2 (2015): 43-50. Academic Search Premier. Web.