In the last week or so, we have read about the massive global restructuring projects about to be undertaken by both Malaysian Airlines (6,000 redundancies) and HSBC Bank (60,000 redundancies). Both of these announcements are transformational to the respective organisations and will have a profound impact upon the employees leaving the organisation, as well as those who remain.

When planning and implementing a global change of this nature, how do you support your leadership team and fellow employees?

It’s pertinent to note that both Malaysian Airlines and HSBC Bank are service oriented organisations. They rely significantly upon the human assets they employ to build and grow their organisation; to deliver the services their customers require, to administer their internal processes, and to effectively work together to present a seamless customer experience across the many countries in which they operate. When a global transformation occurs, these same employees are suddenly lumped with a great deal of uncertainty. Their job and financial stability are seemingly put at risk, and they all want the answer to one question, “What does this mean for me?”

As an HR Manager, it is your responsibility to manage the human impact of change within your organisation. But how do you manage the successful roll out of a global transformation whilst managing the engagement of your workforce?

Successful transformation on a global scale requires a number of different elements, including:

  • Exceptional and decisive leadership;
  • A clear plan with identified milestones;
  • A committed leadership team;
  • A communications strategy, which acknowledges all stakeholder needs, but particularly addresses the needs of employees who will be required to implement the plan; and
  • A clearly defined Change Management strategy for your organisation, including:
    • What will change look like?
    • Why is change required?
    • When is it going to happen?
    • Who is affected?
    • Where will it happen?
    • Recognition that diversity of cultures may require additional or alternative support.

In many cases, human capital is an organisations most valuable asset. Despite this, we often find that Change Management strategies are poorly planned and implemented.

HR has a key role to play in demonstrating the importance of planning and implementing the ‘human’ aspect of change to the leadership team. If it is successfully implemented, your organisations transformation has a far greater chance of success as employees understand the reason for change and how it affects them. This is because:

  • Your employees will be involved in the change process and can see the commitment of the leadership team to this process.
  • Your employees will understand how the change will affect them and their role in building new processes which will assist in transforming the organisation.
  • Your employees will be engaged; engagement will go a considerable way in enabling the global transformation to succeed. The alternative is generally the reason why transformation and change efforts fail.

This was reaffirmed in a recent Restructuring workshop I delivered in Indonesia. I was interested to learn of the experiences of the group in managing previous Restructuring programs. The key learning experience of all of the participants was the importance of ensuring the ‘people’ component of the change strategy was properly planned, communicated, and implemented. A major component of this learning was the importance of customising their change plan to reflect the needs of the local organisation to assist in building the successful engagement of the organisation and its people.

It is paramount that leaders of global transformations never lose sight of the fact that it is the human capital which will determine the success or failure of the transformation.

For more information on how Choice Career Services or one of our OI Global Partners can assist you in managing the human impact of a major organisational transformation, contact us today.