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Five steps to managing change in the charity sector

Effective operational change can help charities to make the most of their existing resources, boost internal efficiencies and attract further support from donors. The sector’s ever-growing emphasis on ‘value for money’ and difficulties around securing funding are increasing the need for streamlined processes, which have a positive impact on public perception.

Following these five top tips can help charities to drive value from transformation projects, and benefit those in need.

Recognise red flags

Staying alert for signs that a charity is struggling to achieve its objectives can help when deciding whether to implement operational change. Warning signs might include high levels of stress or a lack of motivation amongst employees. Inefficient processes and the lack of a proactive approach within an organisation may also indicate the need for urgent improvements.

Drive forward digital transformation

Having a strong digital strategy in place is essential for enabling accountability around spending decisions and measuring the impact of a charity’s work. Other important benefits of digital solutions include:

  • Streamlined internal processes and systems
  • Enhanced communications with employees working remotely
  • Increased competitiveness

Choose a tailored change solution

Choosing a bespoke change solution, which complements a charity’s existing resources and works alongside employees, is vital. Doing so will ensure that change projects deliver long-term results. This approach provides the workforce with opportunities to upskill and boosts their sense of ownership.

Bolster employee buy-in

Investing time in internally communicating the reasons for change is vital for securing employees’ commitment to making transformation projects a success. Assessing potential impacts on the workforce, and taking steps to mitigate these in advance helps to ensure a smooth change transition.

See the bigger change picture

Strained resources, funding issues and time-poor employees may mean that charities fail to view change projects as a priority. However, when implemented effectively, organisational transformation can significantly enhance efficiencies whilst supporting long-term relationships with donors.

For more information or to discuss change management solutions further, please contact Anna Lane.

Driving value from business change in HE

Investing in up-to-date facilities and undertaking a business culture transformation could support UK universities in a number of ways. Not only can it help to maintain profitability, but it could also mitigate the impact of Brexit on overseas applications. However, the disparate nature of many institutions and difficulties in accessing funding can make business transformation challenging for the sector.

Here are five steps to drive effective business change. They will help gain the support of the entire university community and keep costs under control:

Outline business change objectives

To ensure large-scale transformation projects run smoothly, it’s essential to map out key drivers for the programme at an early stage. Undertaking a gap analysis will enable universities to consider the current outputs and actions needed to improve efficiencies. By doing this, comparisons with competitor institutions can be made.

Prioritise

Rather than attempting to handle all areas of a change project at once, institutions should divide it into specific areas. This will enable them to prioritise changes which offer the best return on investment. They can then focus on these first. For example, streamlining the supply chain can have a rapid and significant impact across different stakeholder groups

Evaluate processes and systems

Technological innovations across the sector are developing at a rapid pace. As a result, HE institutions should waste no time in a thoroughly reviewing their processes and systems. This will allow any improvements to be included in the business transformation programme. It will also help to drive efficiencies across the project.

Create a communications plan

People experience business change in different ways. For this reason, it’s important that the communications plan for large projects considers the need to communicate to a variety of stakeholders. This should be done using a range of different channels. Including an FAQ section or site can prove a useful way of anticipating stakeholders’ likely questions. It also provides them with the information they need.

Ensuring stakeholders are onboard with business changes is crucial. A successful communications plan, using honest and consistent messaging, will help win trust.

Consider external reputation

Reputation is crucial for HE institutions. Therefore it’s vital that they give thought to communicating change externally and maintaining a positive public image. During this process, universities should ensure that their external messaging aligns with what has been communicated to internal stakeholders.

For more information or to discuss change management solutions further, please contact Eman Al-Hillawi or Peter Marsden.

Three key steps to navigating the politics of change

Business politics can be one of the main challenges when looking to drive successful business change. However, the careful navigation of internal politics is a factor that is often overlooked.

Here are three ways that effective change can be achieved while ensuring that political sensitivities are managed:

1. Communicate

When faced with change, the natural reaction of most people is to consider the personal impact this will have on them. A good change programme should consider the implications of the suggested approach for each employee. Consequently it should offer support mechanisms right from the very beginning.

In turn, this will also make it easier to anticipate and mitigate any setbacks. By building in buffer time and creating a communications strategy you are able to pre-empt any issues.

2. Map out stakeholder groups

While focus is usually placed on senior stakeholders, influencers are in fact often spread across the business and may be found in many different positions. By mapping out stakeholder groups at an early stage in the change programme, it becomes far easier to determine who the true influencers are within an organisation. The easiest and most effective way to do this is by spending time with employees and gaining a better understanding of the workforce and its dynamics.

3. Review the reasons behind resistance

It can be easy to dismiss resistance as defiance when coordinating a transformation programme. However, it is important to consider whether there is an underlying reason for this behaviour. Different people have different worries and similarly respond to different methods of communication.

As such, thought should be given to how the change process can be organised. This will ensure that it reflects the needs of the majority of employees. By adopting this approach from the start, change managers can help businesses to avoid costly and time-consuming resistance throughout the project.

Five things to remember during a tender process

Avoiding disruptions to daily business processes when putting IT or other third-party services out to tender can be difficult. It’s vital that the right provider is chosen and that changes are communicated as early as possible. But how can this be done effectively?

Here are the five things that will make your tender process as seamless as possible.

Clarity

Clarity is key when putting services out to tender. Businesses should start by clearly defining the scope of their requirements. This will ensure that the third-party provider understands what is expected of them. Once this is achieved, it’s easier to gain an understanding of cost expectations and which suppliers the business should be targeting.

Find the perfect match

It’s important to assess potential service providers by their:

  • Culture
  • Capacity
  • Capability
  • Track record

Discovering whether they have experience in the relevant field and if there is a good culture fit is often a good place to start.

Compare cost and quality

Scoring potential providers against their responses to the tender requirements can help establish value for money. At this point, it’s also worth checking whether there’s scope for contract flexibility. In the long run this can save precious time and money as business requirements develop.

Communicate

The smooth onboarding of a new provider requires excellent communication. Developing a comprehensive internal communications plan keeps the current workforce up to date. However, it’s also important to ensure that third parties are making use of similar technologies. Subsequently doing this can have a huge impact on communications between the organisation and the provider as the project progresses.

Acknowledge it will not be an isolated change

Although external providers may be introduced for one specific reason, there will always be wider changes to be made. Consequently this often creates a snowball effect, with one change triggering the need for others. Being prepared for any extra alterations is an important in keeping the tender process seamless.

For more information or to discuss change management solutions further, please contact Eman Al-Hillawi or Peter Marsden.

Smoothing the transition: A modern approach to HR solutions

Employee self-service (ESS) is dramatically changing the world of HR. But for those organisations that are still using entirely manual processes, a digital transformation can seem like a daunting prospect. So why should businesses make the change and what are the benefits?

What is ESS?

ESS is software that enables employees to carry out their own HR processes via an online portal or app. These processes can include:

  • Checking and updating personal information
  • Booking leave
  • Reporting absence
  • Claiming overtime and expenses
  • Coordinating appraisals

Why is it so beneficial for employees?

A self-service model can dramatically speed up processes and optimise efficiencies. For instance, leave can be requested and approved online, meaning staff can work remotely and don’t have to be in the office.  By including payroll information, employees can access key documents and the business doesn’t have to print and send paper copies.

And for the business?

By giving managers greater visibility of data, self-service can promote stronger ownership of data, and more proactive management, while also creating an audit trail. This could prove crucial when it comes to compliance with equal opportunities and gender pay laws.

A transformation to self-service could also provide business leaders with the opportunity and motivation to update and streamline policies and data. For example, employee contracts may have different terms and conditions depending on the date they joined the organisation. Taking the chance to review inconsistencies such as these could help to highlight and eliminate these discrepancies.

How to prepare for ESS implementation

Any change can be met with resistance from some individuals, especially where this can involve more visibility and accountability of sensitive HR and payroll information. It is crucial for any businesses undertaking a transformation to factor time into the project to allow for planning, communication and both employee and manager training.

Final Thoughts

Switching from manual processes to an ESS model may seem like an intimidating task. However, it is increasingly important for businesses to embrace digital innovations, to remain ahead of the curve and stay competitive. In turn they may also unlocking a host of internal benefits, from more efficient and proactive processes to buoyed employee morale.

For more information, please contact Eman Al-Hillawi, Tamara Pleasant or another member of the team.

Airports get to the front of queue management

Long queues at UK airports have recently made headlines, with a Which? report finding that around 1.3 million passengers suffered delays of at least 3 hours in the 12 months to June 2018.

With the increase in low-cost flights having led to more passengers at terminals, this trend is only expected to escalate. Operational and systematic changes will need to be put in place before more long-term problems are caused. But how can this be achieved?

Undertake accurate forecasting

Capacity forecasts can inform which changes should be at the top of the agenda and whether planned investments still make commercial sense. For instance, if passenger numbers are projected to drop, delaying more capital-intensive work may be a shrewd move. A capacity planning team should be implemented to oversee this, as well as to monitor performance and drive change.

Implement a PMO

Establishing a project management office (PMO) can add real value. It provides board members and decision makers with overarching visibility across the project pipeline, guaranteeing that work is being undertaken in the optimal order. In helping to establish where the passenger journey can be improved, a PMO can inform budgets and ongoing strategic decisions.

Consider external transport

A passenger’s journey actually begins at connecting transport interchanges, such as rail, bus or car. Wider transport issues are often caused by seasonal changes and national holidays. They can have serious knock-on impacts on passenger numbers and delays. Therefore it’s important to be aware of these and communicate expected issues ahead of time.

Balance the queues

Airport managers should aim to make wait times as balanced as possible. Simply pushing queues from one place to another should be avoided. A 10-minute queue at check-in and another 10-minute queue at security is likely to be preferable to one 20-minute wait at security.

Communicate effectively with staff

Airport staff often cite a lack of internal communication as their biggest problem. However, it can also seriously affect passenger experience. Subsequently, airports around the UK have begun to trial a system that communicates real-time information to its staff and contractors. In doing so they are able to keep passengers aware of any issues and reduce frustrations.

For more information or to discuss airport management solutions further, please contact Eman Al-Hillawi, Matthew Garrett or another member of our team.

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