The purpose of this work is to write an executive memo summarizing the findings and recommendations for change management in government organizations that are customer-centric or "centered on the customer." The processes involved in change management will be reviewed and discussed as well as the challenges, barriers, as well as rewards inclusive in the change management process from that of an industrial-based to a knowledge-based workforce structured organization.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has laid out a strategic plan stating that they will "strive to meet the needs of the Nation's Veterans and their families today and tomorrow by: Becoming an even more Veteran-focused service to the men and women who have served our Nation; and Cultivating a dedicated VA workforce of highly skilled employees who understand, believe in, and take pride in our vitally important mission." (Kurtz, 2004) In order to accomplish this The V.A. will have to gain knowledge of the new movement in the business world which is encompassed in the phrase "change management." Although change management sounds like an event it is in actuality a process that is ongoing and is perpetual.
Human Resources Change Management Plan
- Executive Memo
January 22, 2005
Change management is defined as a process in which a planned approach is developed for making necessary changes in an organization. Change management can be either proactive or reactive.
The new environment of today's business world has reached the private and public sector organizations. The globalization of the business world in alignment with overall globalization has changed the processes within the organization. The technologies of today as well as the diversities experienced throughout the entire work environment in communications as well as activities of meeting, conferencing and the like are accomplished through a collaborative business web. Achieving productivity is certain to be through an interactive, process of negotiation, respect and in an environment structured toward retaining employees through treating them as capital of the company and indeed they are. Teamwork yields efficiency as well as expediency in the workplace. Organizational Analysis of many government sector organizations has been conducted and in fact it is civil reform that is the hottest item of talk in the cultural interactions at this time in history. Bad management is the whispered phrase in relation to the government organization. It is said that: "the system, the rules, the regulations and the laws in which federal government manages their people needs to be changed to deal with the human capital crises and in boosting government performance." Friel (2002)
The work of Friel, 2002 looks at the question of whether it is an issue of such as compensation, regulation, or management function that either causes individuals to be retained by an organization. Also looked as is the question of failure to maintain retention of employees may be attributed to a failure or weak link in the management processes within the organization. According to case study material it is concluded that managers are critical in the retention or loss of employees. The Veterans Administration Regional Office in Los Angeles was one of the world's poorest-performers among V.A. Offices in the United States but manager, Steve Liff has used an approach that is successful evidenced by the 30% improvement results since he came on board. Friel (2002) Friel's work entitled: It's Not Just the System It's You states that there are five tools necessary in the change management process. Those five identified and stated tools are the:
"Recognizing good work with such things as thank-you-notes, plaques, on-the-spot awards and other forms of recognition."
"Emphasizing the balance of work and life through counseling programs, employer activities, telecommuting, and alternative work schedules."
"Creation of a positive culture within the workplace, encouraging a specific leadership style, welcoming diversity."
"Providing opportunities for development of employees such as training programs and classes."
"Improving the workplace through coaching, career growth, and environment, including the physical workspace as well as the organization vision and structure."
Organizational development practitioners are individuals that assist organizations in the management of change in the work environment. The forms of assistance provided are varied and are inclusive of assessing needed change in the organization, design of the specific needed changes and then coaching and helping those who will be leading team members through the transitional phase into the "change in the structure" of the organizations management processes. Change management is a process that is inclusive on a non-optional basis of solid and strategic planning in situating employees in the position that is prime for their productivity within the organization. In order to prepare the plan for the human capital or the workforce within the organization required is creation of the plan, implementation of the plan and an ongoing evaluation of the plan.
The business of human relations was once an industrial enterprise however it is not an enterprise that is knowledge-based. In a report which presents an analysis of the current state of the Federal Human resources states as a finding that the HR business is changing, downsizing, reorganizing with a "strong focus on results which is forcing agencies to validate their business processes, reassess the role of the HR function and evaluate the adequacy of the work performed by the HR employees." Klitgaard & Light (2004) Key findings of the report are that:
HR professionals need to perform the role of Technical HR expert,
There is a gap between the competencies that HR professionals are currently using on the job and those that are viewed as important to the HR function' and Technical expertise is the foundation of the HR business function and is required in some form at every level.
There is a serious gap in the ability of the HR workforce in providing basic quality technical advice.
Most agencies do not have a formal plan in place to close the competency gaps that have been identified.
Closing the gaps and rebuilding the Federal HR function will take commitment, planning, money and time. (Klitgaard & Light, 2004)
Workforce planning consists of three phases states Klitgaard & Light (2004) which are the following:
1. Phase of plan creation.
2. Phase of plan implementation.
3. Phase of plan evaluation.
"Workforce planning [i.e. human capital management, HR management, etc.] provides the roadmap for agencies to resolve people management issues in conjunction with the mission of the organization." (Klitgaard & Light 2004) The current planning environment for the workforce is scattered and stated to be "quiet fragmented." (Klitgaard & Light 2004) "Employees needs are not known or integrated along the lifecycle of their employment." (Ibid.)
Challenges in developing and managing knowledge retention strategies include:
Getting people to look for best-practice.
Motivating people to share knowledge.
Knowing what type of information to capture.
Making knowledge accessible.
Making information usable.
Keeping relevant technology up-to-date.
Determining how to use what has been captured.
Finding the right people to manage the process.
Creating value strategies for workforce planning are not successful for several reasons including lack of focus by government executives, unclear demonstration of business benefits from workforce-planning initiatives, fragmented strategies that attract, develop and retain people and knowledge. Right information strategies are stated to be aligning the roles and responsibilities for centralized and decentralized human resource entities, Integration of needs across the employee lifecycle, integration of capabilities to electronically capture key questions, opportunities and leading practices, and leveraging of enterprise resource-planning packages to improve employee collaboration. Gresham & Andrulis (2004) The workforce is best enabled through accomplishing the following:
Customer service can be improved by enabling collaboration among government agencies as employees seamlessly capture, update and store customer information.
Employers are perceived as credible, trustworthy, and helpful advisors, as they develop a more comprehensive understanding of customer needs.
Operational costs are reduced by elimination of unnecessary HR information by capture and storage activities.
Customer support improves as critical institutional knowledge is identified, captured and stored.
Employees are placed in the right job due to an effective alignment of skills to customer requirements.
Government can present a unified face to customers through greater linkage of business and human capital strategies by stakeholders." Gresham & Andrulis (2004)
The workforce planning initiatives should be prioritized with strategic business cases. Furthermore, the need for human-capital discussions during the strategy sessions of business should be demonstrated. The positioning of the workforce during planning is an activity that enables collaboration among government organizations and adopting performance management systems that support business strategies is critical as well. Promotion should be win-win or through interest-base approaches and adoption of a project management approach in execution of strategies is further advised. Gresham and Andrulis (2004) Stated in the work entitled "Strategic Human Capital Management" [High Risk Series] is the fact that: "strategic capital management must be the center piece of any serious change management initiative and efforts to transform the…