Less than half of executives consider the impact of organisational change on people

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A new poll from O.C. Tanner claims that less than half of UK leaders (47 per cent) take their employees into account when deciding to enact business-wide changes. And just 44 per cent of UK senior leaders seek employee opinions as changes are rolled-out. These are the findings from O.C. Tanner’s 2024 Global Culture Report which gathered data and insights from more than 42,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and executives from 27 countries worldwide including 4,818 from the UK.

The Report suggests that traditional change management practices, which tend to be linear, top-down, and process-oriented, are no longer fit for our evolving work environments. They also fail to involve employees in the planning, thereby underestimating and under-prioritising the organisation’s people. Just over half of U.K. employees (53 per cent) believe that the organisational changes they have experienced were well-managed. 23 per cent felt they were poorly managed and the remaining 24 per cent were indifferent to how change was enacted.

The Report recommends that effective change management must first start with nurturing a culture where employees have high trust and feel appreciated and valued. Decentralising the change management process so managers at all levels can be involved is also important, together with ensuring regular, transparent communications and that all employees have a voice.

According to the report, when employees have a voice in organisational changes, they are eight times’ more likely to have feelings of trust, are five times’ more likely to have a sense of community and thriving at work is three times’ more likely.