Managing change is biggest challenge for HR functions in the next 12 months

Navigating changes in the business, including mergers, new office moves and leadership changes, is one of the most pressing issues for HR executives, according to attendees at ReimagineHR.

The company held an event in London last week for 350+ HR leaders by best practice insight and technology company CEB to identify the most disruptive forces impacting the industry.

Currently, a typical business has undertaken five major enterprise change in the last three years with 73 per cent of organisations expecting to see even more change initiatives in the next three years. With HR teams being called on to take a bigger role in managing both external and internal change, the event looked at how HR teams can create a more ‘change-ready’ organisation.

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Instant polls from the event revealed that the majority of people (32 per cent) see managing change as the biggest single challenge that will face the HR function in the next 12 months. While 11.6 percent chose big data and analytics as the major challenge, the audience were least concerned about restructuring (1.9 per cent).

In looking at the types of change HR is facing, over one third of attendees (33.3 per cent) identified culture change as the biggest change expected in the next 12 months, including major shifts in the assumptions, values and beliefs within the organisation. Leadership changes, such as a new CEO or MD, was identified by 25 per cent of attendees, while only 5 per cent chose market expansion as the biggest change, including growing the business in new countries.

CEB advises HR teams to start seeing change as an ongoing part of today’s working environment and encourages them to help employees accept the reasons for change, even if they can’t immediately see the personal benefits.

At the end of the ReimagineHR conference, when asked whether people feel confident in managing and facilitating change within their own team, the majority of 87.2 per cent said yes, while 12.8 per cent admitted to feeling no confidence.


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