When it comes to managing organizational change SHRM say HR can play multiple important roles in a number of areas including:
Implementing: if change is required by outside forces for example changes in law or safety regulations. Many HR departments found themselves involved in the communication and implementation of social distancing regulations required by many countries during the pandemic.
Facilitating: if change is required by an internal stakeholder in the business for example the merging of departments or changes to IT operations, HR departments often play a role in managing the communication around the need for change.
Enabling: sometimes change is enabled by human resources because it is right for the organisation for example improving diversity in the workplace.
In essence effective change management from a HR perspective is about communication. Most HR professionals are the agents of change by acting as intermediaries during the change process. You will need to work with the other stakeholders to understand who needs what information at each stage of the process. This will need to be mapped out against the steps involved in making the change so that no one is left in the dark.
Establish multiple sources of information so no matter which communication form an employee prefers, they can access the information they need. For example, add details to the intranet, ensure they are emailed and discuss it at team/company meetings. If there are significant changes planned that impact particular individuals within the business more than others, ensure they have been informed one to one or in a small group setting before announcements are made to the wider business.
Change can be a cause of stress for many people. Help mitigate this by ensuring communications include supports that are available to employees. This could be in the form of management initiatives to assist with the change, external employee assistance programmes or one to one meeting with the HR team to discuss their concerns. It is also important for successful change management that there is a robust communication framework in place to accept, evaluate and integrate if appropriate, employee feedback into the plan.