To fear change is to fear being challenged. To fear being challenged is to fear growth and new possibilities. 

– Ty Howard


The role of HR in driving organisational change is sacrosanct. For organisational change to be meaningful and effective, employees should be informed throughout the change process from start to finish to enhance their acceptance of the change. Human Resource leaders and professionals are to champion and support the change process, especially in this competitive market environment. HR must play a more strategic role in our organisations’ success if they are to survive and thrive in these times.


With the increase in competition, locally or globally, organisations must become more adaptable, resilient, agile, and customer-focused to succeed. This is a mandate HR must lead by being strategic partners to the business rather than operational onlookers.


HR must be perceived and seen as a business value-driven function with a thorough understanding of its goals. This perception will strengthen HR’s ability to influence key decisions and policies towards achieving the organisation’s goals and objectives. The focus of today’s HR should not only be administrative but strategic. HR must be the key drivers of organisational performance as well as employee retention and talent development plan. HR professionals must be change champions, helping to motivate, coach and tutor the business in navigating the times. One key competence in managing and driving change is getting the business’s buy-in and acceptance (people). This is necessary for the successful implementation of change.


Regardless of whether change is required or requested, it is HR’s responsibility to be proactive in ensuring and identifying change. Competencies like relationship management, critical analysis, consultation, and leadership are crucial in engaging employees in managing change.


Driving change is crucial. However, it is vital to establish a clear framework for accepting, evaluating, and integrating employee feedback. It is also critical to have mechanisms in place for determining how effective the change management process is. This is key as any kind of organisational change impacts employees who tend to resist change.


Resistance to change is recognised as a barrier to organisational change. It encompasses a range of behaviours from passive to active resistance. The changing expectations of both management and employees require new roles to be played by HR Professionals. The role of HR can no longer be confined to traditional HR practices. The role of HR is not only crucial in managing organisational change but also in creating a culture of change within the organisation. If HR professionals know this, they can plan a roadmap to guide employees through periodic change initiatives.


Another critical role of today’s HR is to communicate and manage all relevant stakeholders effectively. Communication is the life and blood of any change initiative. Managing the complexity and sensitivity of communication required on change assignments can be tedious. This is where you might need an experienced external party or third eye to walk with you as you navigate the turbulence associated with change. Change is connected to people, and this is one of the areas we have displayed expertise over the past 28 years.


Written by:

Mayowa Oloyede

Senior Consultant