Moving forward with change in the public sector

For the public sector, change is often viewed as something to fear, with failed transformation projects leading to a negative organisational culture and even reputational damage. However, by gaining an understanding of the key drivers for change, the public sector can overcome the barriers it once faced.

Proof change can be positive

Over the last year, the public sector has been forced to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Innovation has been pushed to the fore, with new technology solutions having to be introduced quickly in order to maintain service continuity while working remotely.

This necessary transformation has shown that change can be carried out successfully, as long as the organisation has the right tools in place.

Shifting perceptions

The move towards a more modern operating model has helped to alter people’s perceptions of change within local authorities. However, to ensure organisations continue to view transformation as positive, a people-focused approach is needed going forward.

Promoting the long-term benefits of change and addressing past failings can lead to successful transformation projects in future.

Creating a robust strategy

Reduced expenditure, inadequate resources and understaffing have all contributed towards past failings. These factors are unlikely to disappear overnight, so must be considered in project strategies. Potential complications should be identified early on, allowing realistic timelines and goals to be set.

Preventing misunderstandings

There is a misconception amongst the public sector that change always leads to job losses. By keeping a clear line of communication open with employees, and laying out the project’s aims from the start, people are more likely to support the transformation.

Involving employees at all stages of the project can also improve organisational culture. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as regular consultations or internal surveys.

Transformation shouldn’t be seen as a quick fix. Continuous improvement is vital to a successful change project, making employee support essential. A shift has already happened in the public sector. Now is the time to build on the positive changes that have been made, by embracing new technology and placing people at the centre of organisations.

For more information, contact Julie Smith.

Published: Apr 15, 2021

By Julie Smith

Senior Consultant

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