HR should care deeply about change management, especially in today’s volatile work world.
The contemporary, fast-paced economy is changing faster than ever.
And this change is not just limited to technology – the workforce is also becoming more volatile.
- According to Visier, Millenials are more than twice as likely to quit their job as older workers
- In a study by EdAssist, 53% of Millenials said that “learning new things or having access to professional development opportunities” could keep them at a job
- Workers of every age range are losing interest in their jobs at an unprecedented rate (see below)
The situation becomes more dire when you dive deeper into the data…
Why Should HR Care About Change Management?
There are plenty of reasons HR should care about – and be involved with – change management.
Gallup’s “State of the American Workforce” report, conducted in 2017, found that only 33% of American workers are engaged at their jobs.
Other data from the report underline this disengagement trend:
- 51% are actively looking for new jobs or looking for openings
- 51% of employees would change jobs for one that offered them flexible hours
- 37% of engaged employees were looking for jobs or actively watching for opportunities
- 56% of non-engaged workers and 73% of actively disengaged workers were doing the same
- Only 21% of respondents strongly agreed that “their performance was managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work”
The same report also explained a few reasons why employees left their current jobs.
Topping the list were:
- Career growth opportunities
- Job fit
- Company culture
Gallup is not the only company that has reported such striking workplace trends.
Many other studies echo similar disengagement trends across
4 Ways to Attract, Retain, and Engage Top Talent
The solution for HR?
Change initiatives focused on improving talent attraction, retention, and engagement.
Here are four changes that HR professionals can focus on, to help them do just that:
As we saw above, career development is one of the biggest concerns for today’s worker.
Career development options was listed as a top reason people leave their jobs.
Therefore, offering career development opportunities should be a priority for HR.
A few ways to do this include:
- Personalized career advice
- Mentorship and apprenticeship programs
- Extensive on-the-job training
- Access to online learning opportunities
Employee training and career development options abound.
Education programs can be developed in-house, they can be outsourced, or offered via online learning platforms, such as LinkedIn Learning or Udemy.
Well-being should be a core part of HR strategy, according to other studies.
Virgin Pulse, part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, develops wellness programs for corporate clients.
They claim that corporate wellness programs can, among other things:
- Improve retention
- Increase engagement
- Reduce stress
- Prevent burnout
Other solutions, such as Oracle’s HCM Cloud, also emphasize employee wellness as a way to improve engagement and retention.
For inspiration, simply search online for examples of corporate wellness programs.
Google, for instance, offers massage therapy, exercise spaces, and even sleeping pods.
Other companies offer on-site yoga classes, health food, and corporate fitness programs.
Flexible Work Options
Flexible work options are critical to employee engagement.
For instance, the Gallup study mentioned above showed that people preferred flexible hours.
Another experiment run by a Chinese company dramatically improved workplace engagement by allowing staff to work from home.
That experiment not only improved worker satisfaction, it also saved the company on furniture and space. On average, each employee saved the company $1,900 for the 9-month experiment period.
Sophisticated Training and Onboarding
The Wynhurst Group reported that employees who went through structured onboarding programs were 58% more likely to be with an organization after three years.
Given the expense of recruitment and training, this should make onboarding a clear priority.
To develop an effective onboarding program:
- Set clear expectations
- Give employees ample opportunities to meet, greet, and socialize
- Check in regularly to ensure employees are acclimating
- If possible, assign a mentor or coach
- Develop a personalized career track that integrates them with your wellness program, career development program, and other HR programs
- Extend onboarding for 6 to 12 months – at which point you can transition from job training to continuous education
This type of employee onboarding program can greatly increase job satisfaction, engagement, and retention.
Today, employee engagement is more important than ever.
To effectively transform HR, implement change management projects that are:
- Focused on increasing the metrics mentioned above – attraction, retention, and engagement
- Integrated with other HR programs, as well as the corporate strategy
- Sophisticated, structured, and adaptable
The bottom line is that, alongside today’s evolving economy, HR’s role is also changing.
To keep up and get better results, HR should consider changing the way it operates.
Approaches such as those covered here can help create a healthier, happier workforce – one that generates higher returns for its business.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.