An important concept that human resource majors need to understand is change management. It is a fact that the business landscape is constantly evolving; to meet these challenges effectively, businesses need to learn how to effectively use change to their advantage. This is especially important for human resources (HR) personnel, as they are often the front line of implementing changes within an organization. Here are some of the most common situations in which HR professionals employ change management techniques.

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Redefining Employee Roles and Responsibilities

One of the most central responsibilities of human resource professionals is defining roles and responsibilities. Change management comes in to play when those employee definitions need to be redefined. This can occur due to many situations including economic instability, the need to downsize, new technology or procedures, or trends in consumer purchasing behavior. Reorganization often requires HR to redefine employee roles and responsibilities as well. In many of these cases, training programs may need to be created to acclimate staff to their new positions and responsibilities.

Reducing or Eliminating Resistance to Change

As an article in Forbes states, change in an organization can cause stress and fear among staff members. The best way for human resources to manage change and alleviate stress is through communication. Change management takes consistent communication, from announcing a change to providing feedback throughout the process. To help alleviate stress and anxiety about a change, it is important for HR personnel to describe how changes will ultimately impact or benefit staff members as well as the company overall. The more HR teams can get individuals to buy in to the change, the easier the change process becomes.

Implementing Changes in Distinct Phases

Another reason that managing change is important for HR professionals is because it is typically their responsibility to implement changes. It is best to implement changes slowly, over time. In this way, employees have time to become comfortable with the changes. Phases for implementing change should include: Prepare for the change by outlining key roles; communicate key dates for change implementation; monitor change results and listen to feedback; and alter plans and communications as necessary.

Providing Support Systems and Training Programs for Change

Perhaps the most important reason that managing change is so important in HR departments is because these professionals are responsible for providing support systems and training programs to implement changes. To ensure that staff members learn what will be required of them in the face of change, they will need the support of their supervisors and experienced coworkers. They may also need various forms of training that could involve on-the-job training sessions, mandatory seminars, job shadowing, continuing education courses at a local community college, or virtual classroom training. HR professionals ensure the appropriate training is available to employees impacted by change.

Organizational change can bring about many negative feelings in employees. To help encourage more positive feelings, learning effective change management is important in human resources today.