The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

6 Tips for Managing Organizational Change

When it comes to organizational change, managing the change process itself oftentimes is the hardest part. When the University of California, Irvine (UCI)’s HR team implemented a new HR model, they made sure to have a process in place to help usher in the change. Here are the steps they followed:

1) Create a vision. For a change initiative to be successful, there needs to be a clear vision for what the change will look like, how the change will occur, and what the end result will be.

2) Communicate the vision. Communication is vital for any change process. Before, during and after its change journey, UCI HR leadership was in constant communication with HR staff, stakeholders and clients as to what the change would entail and why it was in the best interest of the HR organization. Through effective communication, people will not only understand the reasons for the change, but are also more likely to agree with it and commit to making it happen.

3) Identify and recruit change champions. Find change champions — those who understand the reasoning behind the needed change and who wholeheartedly support it — to help rally the troops. A watercooler conversation among peers is usually more effective than a top-down mandate.

4) Gain buy-in from everyone else. Have milestone celebrations and launch parties. Whenever possible, give people a voice in the change process, and acknowledge people’s efforts often and publicly. These actions help everyone get on board.

5) Empower people to act on the vision. Bring people into the fold. For UCI HR leadership, this meant developing a bare-bones framework for the new unified HR organization, and asking HR staff members organization-wide to help define and build out the model.

6) Put metrics in place to measure success. One of the goals of UCI’s new HR model was to empower the university’s people to drive a culture of innovation, learning and service. To make sure it is achieving this goal, HR has measured (and will continue to measure) the level at which employees feel empowered, energized, connected and committed to UCI; the level at which highly qualified candidates view UCI as a talent destination; and more.

Read more about UCI’s new HR model in the current issue of CUPA-HR’s Higher Ed HR Magazine.


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