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Organisational Change arises when teams or services have to be restructured and there is an impact on the terms and conditions, scope and/or nature of individual roles. The University Organisational Change policy does not include changes that have no impact on contractual terms and conditions. Other arrangements may be referred to for those individuals who are on TUPE arrangements. For those who are on MRC terms and conditions the process would follow the MRC Redundancy policy and the MRC Redundancy Compensation Scheme relevant to when the unit transferred into the University of Cambridge. This webpage is to provide more detailed support for both Managers and Employees going through an Organisational Change process.
HR Policies and Procedures
The Organisational Change Policy will normally start with a business case which details the change, why it has come about and the potential impact on roles. The business case would be shared in the first consultation meeting, which marks the first day of the consultation period. Affected employees are expected to attend at least one consultation meeting but can arrange additional meetings if required. At the end of the consultation period, and taking into consideration all of the relevant feedback, the decision is made to either go ahead with the proposal, amend the proposal or completely cancel the proposal. If continuing, the next stage is the implementation period.
View the full policy for further information.
Guidance for Managers
This can be a very unsettling time for everyone involved in an Organisational Change. It is important to remember that individuals cope and respond to any change in circumstances in different ways. This can therefore require a range of support mechanisms.
Some key tips to effectively manage Organisational Change:
- Consider the end result when planning for an Organisational Change and keep this in mind whilst going through the process.
- Is the proposal future proof? It is worth looking at whether the change will continue to be effective in the future both short term and long term.
- Never underestimate the power of having a plan. The more you are able to plan the more effective the process will be managed.
- Ensure clarity in relation to in scope (employees who may be impacted by the change) or out of scope (employees who will not be impacted by the change). Individuals going through an Organisational Change can find it easier if it is clearly defined why they are affected or not.
- Clear, consistent and regular communication.
- Resistance to change isn’t always negative. Individuals process change and express their views in different ways. Therefore it is important that you take the time to listen to the feedback provided.
Whilst going through an Organisational Change your responsibility as a Line Manager could involve presenting the reasons behind the change to the employees affected. Youwill have a clearer understanding of the impact on the science or the funding and how these changes will work in practice. A full and clear explanation is critical to ensuring an effective Organisational Change process.
You must also ensure that you never over promise when going through an Organisational Change. As mentioned previously going through an Organisational Change can be unsettling but it is important to provide truthful, accurate information and not to commit to something which may change. For example confirming that someone will not be made redundant if there is a possibility that their post might be at risk.
It is important to remember that when you are dealing with redundancies you are making a post redundant not the individual who is currently the post holder. The individual is redundant as a consequence of their post being made redundant. This can be confusing but when discussing this with the affected parties and when creating a business case this should be clear.
Changes which might be considered minor, with limited impact, such as a change of Line Manager, can be viewed as a major change to that individual. As the Line Manager you should take the time to listen to their concerns and although the change may still need to be implemented you should try to appreciate and alleviate their concerns.
Guidance for Employees
Organisational Change can be a very unsettling time. Despite this it is important that you review the business case and try to understand the end goal and the reasons for the need for an Organisational Change. If you require clarity it is always good to ask questions and those specific to you or your situation are best asked in individual consultation meetings. You are encouraged to use the consultation period to provide constructive feedback and possible suggestions on how the business case could be improved. Share the feedback with the appropriate person(s) in a timely manner to ensure that the feedback can be fully considered.
For employees whose post may be at risk of redundancy as a result of Organisational Change there is redeployment support available. Information regarding this can be found here.
How long will an organisational change process take?
It depends on a number of things such as your terms and conditions and the number of individuals going through the change.
What is the difference between a consultation period and an implantation period?
Consultation period is an opportunity for the manager to set out the proposed changes and the rationale behind the proposal. This is also the opportunity for the affected employees to review the proposed change and provide feedback. The implementation stage follows the consultation period assuming the proposal is approved. In this period anything that needs to be organised to ensure the proposal can start smoothly happens. This can include training, organising IT resource and recruitment to name a few.
Do I need to attend meetings?
The consultation meetings are there for the employees benefit and we recommend that they attend at least one consultation meeting even if they don’t want any further meetings. If an individual has concerns about attending these meetings then we encourage them to speak to their Line Manager or HR.
Can I be accompanied to the consultation meeting?
The employee is able to bring a Trade Union representative or a work colleague.
Further FAQ’s can be found in the Organisational Change policy.