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What to include in your workforce and implementation plan

What are the models and strategies you can follow when managing change in your organizations workforce?

Below is a list of what you should include in your workforce plan. Now that you have collected as much information as possible, you can write this up along with an implementation plan. Once complete and approved, it’s time to consider the change management model you wish to adopt to action what you have set out to achieve.

The video above is illustrative only. It contains no audio. It shows a team leader having a discussion with her team.

Workforce plan

  • An outline of the beneficiaries of the workforce plans, initiatives, and changes.
  • The methods to be used to measure the achievements of the objectives.
  • How senior management will support the implementation of the plan.
  • The individuals who will be managing the implementation processes, identifying who is accountable, and what they are responsible for.
  • What rules and procedures for decision-making will apply?
  • The implementation schedule, and work breakdown structure.
  • A comprehensive list of all the resources required for the implementation.
  • The name of the budget management tool that will be used to track expenditure throughout the implementation.
  • Risk management strategies to mitigate potential risks which might affect the implementation of the plan’s initiatives.
  • An outline of the communication plan that will be actioned including how the plan’s initiatives and changes will be shared, and the media that will be used such as training sessions, emails, and meetings.
  • How the integrity of processes is to be maintained.

How does this compare to an implementation plan?

The implementation plan must:

  • cover the legal requirements by ensuring they are identified and met.
  • ensure that all objectives are met.
  • be concise, but not so concise that important information is omitted.
  • be written in plain English and jargon-free so that everyone who will use it can understand it.
  • identify/outline the workforce plans, initiatives, and changes to be implemented.
  • explain why workforce plans, initiatives, and changes are being introduced and how they will contribute to the achievement of organizational goals or objectives.
  • explain why those workforce plans, initiatives, and changes are expected to deliver the outcomes sought.
  • identify timeframes for the implementation of workforce plans, initiatives, and changes.

Change management models

Change is constant and inevitable in every organization. Organizations grow, downsize and/or restructure to find better ways to achieve their goals and remain competitive in a volatile business environment. As a result of your workforce planning, change is likely to be required.

Many organizations struggle with this and it impacts their ability to execute their implementation plans. This includes ensuring that individuals and the organization are appropriately supported during the process. Learning how to navigate the change process is critical to achieving the objectives of the change initiative, regardless of what the change entails.

Key steps to consider:

  • acknowledging the process of change
  • being intentional about the changes
  • gaining the support of those in the organization
  • communicating openly as much as possible
  • modeling a positive response to organizational change

When it comes to successful change, worker buy-in is critical. If workers do not support an organization’s underlying strategy and logic on all levels, the project will be confronted by resistance, refusal, criticism and non-compliance.

What are the risks?

  • Loss of management control over the organization
  • Stagnation and limitation in creativity and innovation
  • Unmotivated staff
  • Retention problems
  • Inefficient application of tasks and new processes
  • Inefficient investments in systems and instruments

Failure to manage the change carefully can lead to high levels of worker stress, loss of key workers, removal of senior management, loss of stakeholder credibility and market position, and failure to achieve desired outcomes. To ensure the success of a change process, management needs to proceed carefully.

Current trends indicate that organizations will experience major change approximately every three years, with smaller changes occurring continuously. The way change is managed can be more important than the change itself.

Below we are providing an overview of various change management models.

Lewin’s change model

Includes 3 stages.

  • Unfreezing. Preparing the workforce that change is necessary, breaking down the existing status quo. Communicating what is required, and dealing with resistance.
  • Changing. People begin to resolve their uncertainty and look for new ways to do things. This stage takes time.
  • Refreezing. Changes are embedded. You have a stable organization chart, consistent job descriptions, and more internal stability.

Beer’s change model

  • Involve many staff members in the identification of problems and how to solve them to gain their buy-in.
  • Create a common view of how to organize and manage changes to achieve goals.
  • Foster consensus and commitment to the new shared vision and the competence to bring it about.
  • Spread the word about the change without pushing it from the top or management.
  • Institutionalise the change through formal policies, systems and structures.
  • Monitor changes to ensure that they are solving the identified problems (the reasons for change) and adjust as needed.

Nadler and Tushman’s change model

  • Motivate workers so that the necessary changes in their behaviour are achieved.
  • Manage the transition by taking action to ensure that control is preserved during and after the transition and ensuring that workers understand the vision for the future by communicating clearly with them.
  • Shaping the political dynamics of change so that power centers/groups support rather than resist change.
  • Ensure that structures and processes exist that provide stability and that workers can hold on to, decreasing uncertainty and turbulence.

Bandura change model

  • Change the environment within which staff work.
  • Persuade workers that they are capable of new behaviors.
  • Convince them that change will lead them to a result that they will value.

Over to you

  • Which change model sounds most favorable to you and why?
  • Have you experienced change somewhere you have worked? Can you identify if any of these models were used?
  • How was the change handled and what can you learn from this?

Share your views in the comments below.

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Workforce Planning: Research and Implementation the Basics

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