2. Table of content
1. Word from Jan Hein
2. The leader’s role for managing change
3. Managing change efficiently: Key steps
5. What doesn’t change? The importance of communication
7. Destined to succeed in a changing world
by Marc André Morel
3. Word from Jan Hein
Change. It happens every day in today’s evolving world of work. The way we work is changing,
the tools we use are changing, even the expectations employees and employers have are changing.
Change is an inherent characteristic of any organization and like it or not, all organizations must
change in order to remain relevant. But it is how change is managed that can be the difference
between surviving and thriving in business. And as leaders of change, you have a critical role to
play in ensuring that the change effort is successful.
Effective change management is about collaboration, discussion and open lines of communication.
It is an opportunity for growth and innovation. Managing change involves building a common
understanding of the nature, scope and purpose of the change, along with the development of
a shared vision of the future.
But just how can you lead a successful and rewarding organizational change initiative?
As leaders in our industry, Randstad Canada’s aim is to provide guidance and support to you
and your team in understanding the change process. This resource will help you understand the
complexities of a change management initiative and your role and responsibilities in leading and
supporting the change. Whether you are embarking on a new change initiative or considering
change within your organization, this guide can assist you at each stage of the process.
Jan Hein Bax
4. The leader’s role for managing change
While successful change implementation requires buy-in and As a leader of change your role will be to support and
support from all levels throughout the organization, in times encourage your staff throughout each phase. Resistance
of change, the importance of managers and supervisors is to change is one of the largest obstacles that leaders are
undeniable - but what do you really need to be doing to faced with when initiating a change effort. It can be very
drive successful change? damaging to the process and can potentially stall the efforts
to move forward if not addressed appropriately. There are
Whatever the change, leaders must clearly communicate many reasons why an employee may resist change and so
why the change is needed. Mobilize your team through as leaders of change, it’s important to be sensitive to how
an inspiring vision, and be able to support and listen if you individuals respond while keeping in mind that the process
encounter resistance. Leaders play a key role in addressing of commitment and acceptance takes time.
resistance, understanding where it comes from, and crafting
and delivering a message that will help employees view Expect and anticipate that people will go through the
the benefits of the change, and support them through the transition process at different speeds and in different ways.
transition. Your skills in communication, listening and coaching will
be pivotal in identifying how to support your staff, both as
Articulate a clear vision, explain where the opportunities individuals and as a group, so they can move through the
lie for employees and highlight the possibilities in terms of phases as quickly and effectively as possible.
growth and development, while providing sufficient training
and support. Be sure to provide enough background
information to make it clear why the change is needed and
remain honest, transparent, fast, and fair.
Randstad Canada: Facts about change
Recruitment and technology: Technology has changed
the way we do business. Mobile technology is used to
create virtual teams and social media has become a key
tool to reach customers and recruit top candidates.
Interesting fact: Nearly two in five companies
(37 per cent) use social networking sites to research job
candidates, according to a CareerBuilder survey.
Source: CareerBuilder, nationwide survey conducted by Harris
Interactive from February 9 to March 2, 2012
5. Managing change efficiently: Key steps
There are many different types of change and different Identify zones of resistance
approaches to managing change. Finding an approach that
• Identify the level of readiness of your organization.
suits you and your situation goes to the heart of an effective
• Identify all stakeholders and how the change
and successful initiative. And although it’s important to
recognize that each change situation will be unique, there are
• Identify who in the organizations will be your
still a number of common themes that will help ensure that the
influencers, and who will be strong resistors.
change process you decide to implement stands the greatest
• Prepare a risk mitigation plan which covers lack of
chance of success.
readiness (plan for additional training tools, external
Here are some high-level principles that your organization consultants, extra resources…).
can apply to ensure change is managed successfully:
Communicate and involve
Describe the benefits • Announce the change far in advance, allow people
• Choose a project sponsor among your executive time to prepare.
leaders who will communicate the vision and explain • Craft a message that is clear and transparent for each
the rationale behind the change. of your target groups.
• Clarify company vision and specific change plans. • Provide sufficient information on the steps leading to
• Identify what the company-wide benefits are the change and include details in order to avoid rumours.
(from a business perspective). • Acknowledge when you don’t have the answers but
• Acknowledge the negatives of the change. emphasize that change will happen.
• Identify the ‘’what’s in it for me’’ from the • Before and during implementation, involve people in
employee perspective (what the employee can get out the process (surveys, sandbox testing, focus groups).
of the change). • Communicate using multiple media channels
(blogs, power points, etc.).
Get feedback and reinforce
Randstad Canada: Facts about change • Put in place a support team to resolve issues and
Skills shortage: Talent shortages, especially in technical develop FAQs to respond to anticipated questions.
fields, will continue to be the most pressing issue for • Organize a post-mortem session or create a
employers over the coming years. The ageing workforce post-change survey.
has a huge impact on the participation rate in the • Make sure you keep lines of communication open to
labour force, which is projected to decline during the allow people the ability to communicate issues,
next two decades. questions, suggestions or concerns.
Interesting fact: 55 per cent of Canadian employees say Monitor results
they expect a shortage of highly qualified employees • Measure results. Revisit the initiative periodically and
within the next three years. realign it to your business goals.
Source: Randstad Workmonitor, third wave (July 17 to • Establish KPI’s and assess bottom line results.
August 15, 2012). • Evaluate your program with ongoing metrics that will
identify weak areas and minimize any downside to
unanticipated new issues.
7. What doesn’t change?
The importance of communication
Knowing how to communicate change is critical to the Create a communication checklist
success of any communication strategy.
Before embarking on a change initiative, take the time
Effective communication during a change effort will serve to prepare a communication checklist. Keep in mind,
to provide employees with timely and accurate information, there is no single checklist that will steer you through
which can positively influence whether the organization this change process, as managing change is complex. But
can maintain employee productivity, morale and overcome by asking yourself the questions below when developing
resistance to change. your checklist, it will help you reflect on how you are
communicating change, your current stage of development
The key is to emphasize the benefits of adopting the and any further actions required.
change, and adapt your message to each different group, as
the benefits may not be the same for everyone. One of the • Are you delivering a message that is consistent with
best ways to help employees cope with change is to allow that of the president, the executives, and
them to become a part of the process. Involve workers in HR department?
the planning process, make sure you put in place channels • Are you effectively showing your support for
to provide and collect feedback to better understand your the change?
employees’ concerns and issues. • Does your message relay how the change will affect
employees and the business?
• Does your message clarify the vision, plans,
and progress of the change initiative?
• Have you clearly communicated what is expected of
employees and the resources available to them to help
Randstad Canada: Facts about change them through the transition?
• Are all of your communications timely, transparent,
The complex composition of the workforce: and accurate?
Employers must deal with a very diversified, multi- • Are you creating opportunities for feedback
generational workforce. and following up on items of concern following
Interesting fact: Younger Canadians (-40) mainly look these conversations?
for international/global career opportunities, while the
older Canadian workforce (+40) are more concerned
with competitive salaries and benefits.
Source: Randstad Award survey 2012
The increasing need for more flexibility: As working
mothers and fathers with child or elder-care obligations
struggle to balance work and family responsibilities,
they are more likely to require flexible work
Interesting fact: 88 per cent of Canadian businesses are
now offering their employees some form of flexible
Source: Regus PLC, March 2011
9. Destined to succeed in a changing world
by Marc André Morel
1. Recognize and appreciate your ability to adapt 3. Creating parallels between the old and the new
Every day, thousands of living species disappear from the Human beings don’t fear change, they fear the loss of
planet forever. Even though humans have at times been what they know. When computers were first introduced,
helpless in the face of the elements and certain predators those of us who had only ever used a typewriter were
that roam the Earth, there are two main reasons why our fearful of their screens, which seemed to keep everything
species has survived for thousands of years: the first is our inside. Many thought of the computer as a “luminous
ability to adapt, the second will be revealed later on. prison” of sorts, until they made either a conscious or
unconscious decision to notice the similarities between
2. Learning to deal with things that scare us the mechanical object and its electronic counterpart: both
Change is not the problem. Winning $12 million in had QWERTY keyboards, although backspace and delete
the lottery would be a major change, but it would be keys rendered the use of white-out obsolete. We no
welcome. The reason for this is that I could still keep longer needed to use our fingers to adjust the roller, for
doing what I was doing before; I wouldn’t lose anything. we now had a cursor that could be moved using either
Depending on my choices, the only thing that would the arrow keys or a mouse. The list goes on.
change is the quantity of my possessions and the quality
of my life. The same might be said for cosmetic changes 4. Identifying and appreciating personal
made to my work environment (i.e., interior design, advantages
furniture, system upgrades, day care arrangements, break One obvious and very important step occurs when we
room, workout room, restaurants and cafeterias, etc.). My learn to appreciate the advantages of the new method.
work experience exists in the realm of what is “known.” As was noted in the previous paragraph, we no longer
It stems from the same habits and points of reference. have to deal with white-out blotches, so editing is
more simple and efficient. We now waste less ink
and paper, and results are more professional overall.
Despite much resistance, electronic word processing was
rapidly adopted by the mainstream. I must admit that
it is sometimes necessary to do a little bit of digging to
uncover certain personal advantages, but this is what I
am encouraging you to do. For instance, try writing your
issue at the top of a page (e.g., new computer service,
SAP integration, new boss, etc.) and list its potential
advantages for you, such as new skills, opportunities for
promotion, better market value, new contacts, increased
10. Destined to succeed in a changing world
5. Change your attitude, slowly but surely 6. Motor, don’t paddle
Mark Twain once said, “A habit cannot be tossed out the Since time is always of the essence and because the
window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a economy privileges speed, it is easy to understand the
time.” Truer words were never spoken. More than 100 motives of those high-powered executives who would
years later, the scientific community has recently ruled on like to see their members adjust to certain changes in
whether detoxification programs should be administered record time. That being said, many scientific experiments
gradually or “cold turkey.” Research shows that when it show that resistance is not the issue – exhaustion is.
comes to changing a habit or behaviour, 80% of people It is pointless to compare a person who is working
respond better to the first method. In other words, hard within his or her comfort zone to someone who
whether or not there are emotions involved, people need is making an effort to remain mentally sharp in an
time. There will always be individuals who are able to effort to build momentum. The employee who is being
quit smoking from one day to the next or adapt to a new asked to adapt to something only has a limited amount
automatic method without difficulty and move on to SAP of patience, strength, and perseverance. Just like a
just as quickly, but these people are few and far between. motorboat, which must constantly run at full power just
to keep moving – employees who hop into the boat and
I would therefore suggest the implementation of a paddle to get to the next place will unfortunately grow
“positioning” period, several weeks or months prior to very tired, very fast, whether they are motivated or not.
the change. Rally a team of teachers, mentors, coaches, This is often wrongly perceived as resistance. As a result,
and specialists to create a systematic skill-transferring their aching muscles force them to turn around and go
program where no one’s ego will be harmed. Organize back to previous methods, which were much less taxing.
confidential one-on-one meetings where candidates Imagine what would happen if you were to implement a
who require a closer and more extended follow up number of new measures each year!
can express themselves freely, without being judged,
in an environment where all of their questions may be
Following this positioning period (when you will promote
the impending change) and the communication of
the transformation or innovation comes the period of
“reinforcement.” This triad – borrowed from the launch
cycle of a professional training activity – will inevitably
ensure that new work methods are ingrained into the
DNA of all members of your organization, gradually and
without causing exhaustion.
11. 7. Use emotion rather than motivation Marc André Morel
In this regard, relying on people’s motivation to reach Founder of Morel Leadership International and Leader
new dimensions, states of mind, or business processes is a Publishing, Marc André Morel has delivered close to two
disaster waiting to happen. Even for the best teams made thousand inspiring, educating and entertaining sessions
up of motivated, competent and talented individuals with to both English and French audiences across Canada, the
outstanding attitudes, success is only temporary; sooner or United States and Europe. With four published titles, he
later, your team will need to be replaced. Picture yourself is a best-selling author, columnist, coach and consultant.
at a strategic planning retreat, discussing recent losses
due to a weak quality control system within your team. www.MarcAndreMorel.com
What would be more efficient: an elaborate PowerPoint
presentation, or 21 cubic feet of your company’s defective
products dumped in the middle of the boardroom?
Choose the latter tactic, and even the most vocal member
of your group is sure to stop talking. In other words,
there’s nothing like emotion to spark a real change or
even pure transformation. Viewing advertisements about
the dangers of texting while driving might serve to remind
you of the importance of being safe on the road, but your
impulses will remain; in other words, you will be required
to “paddle upstream,” against your bad habits and
desires. On the other hand, waking up in a hospital bed
because of a distraction that caused you to have a brush
with death is bound to change you forever.
8. Cultivate a spirit of collaboration
Despite all of our talents and the passion we have for our
work, we can’t succeed alone. Throughout history, with
its many changes and transformations, two things have
contributed to the survival of the human race: the first is
our ability to adapt, the second is our spirit of community.
When times are tough, one of the worst things you can do
is retreat to your cubicle and hide behind your e-mail and
9. Don’t be dramatic!
No matter what, the discomfort is only temporary!
Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing,
recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated
staffing company in the country, we understand the
recruitment needs and demands of employers and job
seekers across all levels and industries. Through our insightful
knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global
network of recruitment experts, we are shaping the
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Find out how Randstad Canada can help you find and
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