Data: The missing link in becoming a change-ready and change-capable organisation

Companies and their employees are experiencing change at an unprecedented rate, with more development and uncertainty coming in 2024. How can data help HR leaders cope with this new, volatile world of business…
HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Data: The missing link in becoming a change-ready and change-capable organisation
HR must help their business steer the course of change

2024 looks set to be another year of change. Already in January, we’ve seen further disruption to global supply chains following conflict in countries such as Yemen, an unexpected jump in inflation, and hints from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of a general election in the second half of the year.

Whilst uncertainty has become the new norm, many business leaders are understandably daunted by another year of relentless change both inside and outside the business.

From helping employees cope with the emotional stress of change to transforming their own department with the help of technology such as AI and amid new legislation and guidance on topics such as ESG, HR has a pivotal role to play in ensuring their company is change-ready.

Building adaptability into a company is no mean feat. But increasingly HR can rely on data analytics to predict workforce changes, guide decision-making, and become more agile when dealing with internal or external paradigm shifts.

The evolution of change management

Historically, HR has relied on traditional change management models to deliver transformation, whether it arises from active planning or re-active adjustments.

Models such as Lewin’s change management model, Kotter’s change management theory, and even non-HR specific frameworks such as the Kübler-Ross change management framework, all offer clear guidance on helping manage employees through change, and ensuring any changes are cemented well into the long-term.

Kotter's 8-Step Change Model benefits from a data-led approach

Although these models differ to some extent, there are plenty of common threads. First and foremost, communication – about well-defined goals and what it will take to reach those goals - is at the heart of any successful change initiative. “It’s all about transparent communication and that can look differently depending on the organization, depending on the survey, depending on the purpose,” says Scott Gebhardt, Head of Employee Listening, Citi. “When it comes to change, the uncertainty of the future can be incredibly stressful. You can't always share everything from the top down, but you have to communicate what's going on, what we know, what we don’t know, and how it impacts them. The sense of empathy employees gather through the communication coming from top leaders is very important.”

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