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A plan for change....

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Making a better workplace 

13 February 2019

So, we’ve all been there. Things feel wrong, the works getting done, everyone should be happy, but there’s something not quite right. The people are great, but there’s something missing. You want to make a better workplace … you’ve tried before but it’s not been successful.

How do you make changes that improve the workplace? Isn’t cultural change hard? Isn’t it expensive?

The answer is that all change is hard – but done properly it can be achieved and last. And no, it doesn’t need to be expensive. But it does need to be properly understood, and defined. Then planned, implemented and embedded.

And the workplace needs to be invested in the change; half-hearted engagement won’t produce the end results envisaged and will ultimately fail. You need to work collaboratively and design the future in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Define an end goal or vision and constantly return to it to make sure that the direction of travel is still towards that vision. Take time to discuss with your teams the changes that are being made, remember why they are being made and how this is being achieved.

1. Engage with your teams: ask for their support and to identify where they feel that changes need to be made. This needs to be made in a safe environment, where anything identified will not result in recrimination or judgement – all views are valuable and creditable. Be open and non-judgemental. And continue to engage with them throughout the process. Set a vision or goal to achieve.

2. Define the key areas for improvement with your teams: it may be easier to group changes into areas to see where the most issues lie. Encourage them to define not only what changes are needed but how they should be changed.

3. Plan responses: Consider quick and easy wins – what can be done quickly and cheaply to start creating momentum. The quicker you act, the quicker improvements are made, the quicker the benefits are realised. Identify the longer term & / or more costly changes – consider their impact and benefits, it may be worth starting some of these straight away to achieve the results you need.

4. Implement the plan: Empower individuals or teams to make the changes and take an active part in the implementation. Ownership and involvement ensure that individuals and teams are wedded to the process and have the investment to champion successful implementation.

5. Embed the change and enhance the workplace – work with the teams to make sure that the changes made are upheld, that the plan is seen through and not put to one side. Work through issues raised and keep true to the spirit of the vision… remember the vision was set as an ideal, the vision itself may need to be updated to reflect the future as changes are implemented.