As a part of the HR team within your organisation, creating rhythm and processes around the management of your employees needs is a critical aspect of your role. However, when the Government of the day makes changes to the Employment Act, you and your team are suddenly required to adapt your approaches to implement and manage change, and the uncertainty that will inevitably arise amongst your employees.

Unfortunately, this type of announcement is not an uncommon event across the Public Sector in Australia. For any employee who is implicated by a changing Employment Act, the event can be very unsettling when they are unsure of how the change will affect them and the security of their job.

So, as an HR leader, what do you need to do to effectively implement and manage change of this nature amongst those who are directly affected – your employees?

1.Alleviate the element of ‘unknown’

The biggest challenge when managing the human impact of change is managing the unknown.

Your employees want to know. If they are to embark on a journey, they need to be aware of the destination and have an understanding of how they can relate to it.

Painting of the picture of the ‘change journey’ that your employees will undertake and the benefits that journey will impart will help reduce the uncertainty associated with a change event. Successfully managing the emotional impact of change will alleviate much of the stress and anxiety your employees will feel when change is initially announced.

We already know from studies undertaken by Beyond Blue that the cost of mental health related issues in the workforce, expressed in the form of absenteeism and presenteeism, is estimated to be an economic impact of $11B per annum.

2.Clearly articulate how change will affect your employees

Employees, unsurprisingly, want to know how change will affect them. They want answers to simple questions: why / who / what / when / where?

Although it can be difficult to answer some of these questions with certainty, there are many tools and resources that HR can deploy to make the change journey somewhat easier. If the impact of the change requires employees to reapply for roles in a new organisational structure, then workshops and practical assistance around basic employment skills (i.e. resumes, applications, STAR, and interviews).

Setting a requirement to engage in such a process can be incredibly productive for employees and help alleviate some of the anxiety associated with change. Clearly articulating how change will impact your employees will go a long way in delivering a decisive and positive impact on morale and confidence.

Do you and your HR team need clarity on how to effectively implement and manage change? If so, contact the Choice team for guidance – it may make the organisation’s journey to the destination much clearer!