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Managers not being prepared for change

Less than half (47%) of organisations are adequately preparing leaders and managers to manage change

According to research from Lee Hecht Harrison | Penna almost all (94%) UK businesses have recently – or are due to undergo – significant workforce changes, such as restructures, mergers, acquisitions, office relocation or leadership change. However, more than a quarter of respondents (27%) said they felt senior management currently lacks the skills and experience to successfully manage transitions.

Four in 10 (41%) organisations cited losing their top talent during uncertain times as a reason for being unable to deliver business transformation plans successfully, while a quarter (25%) of employees do not believe their organisation will be able to take full advantage of business transformation.

Larger companies of 2,500 or more employees appeared to be finding workforce change the most challenging, with nearly a quarter (22%) thinking it is being managed and communicated poorly in their organisation. The figure dropped to 8% in small businesses of 100 to 249 employees.

Nick Goldberg, CEO UK & Ireland of Lee Hecht Harrison | Penna, said businesses need to overcome their concerns about change.

“While many may fear workforce change and the impact it has this shouldn’t be the case,” he said. "By embracing change businesses stand to better serve their customers, and transformation plans are ultimately designed to have a positive effect on the organisation’s financial performance. Yet our research has shown that inadequate leadership and talent planning means many businesses are not able to realise these benefits.

“Organisations need to acknowledge this and then take the vital steps to future-proof themselves. This should begin by developing change management capability in leaders and senior managers but at the same time facilitating a more effective relationship between the two groups, so they are ‘singing from the same hymn sheet'. The amount and rate of workforce change is only set to increase, therefore the quicker firms embrace this the more they ensure they will be able to meet the headwinds they’ll face.”