The objective was to transform a Customer Service Network. This entailed the closure of 39 offices across the UK; redeployment or redundancy of 170 employees; relocation of 100 employees to nearby offices; re-grading of 270 employees to a lower grade; introduction of new roles; introduction of remotely managed ‘flexible teams'; and centralisation of services.
Each of the areas above are being run as separate projects within a change programme, which is due to be complete within 18 months from the time of announcement. This change is also happening at the same time as a series of organisational restructures are happening in parallel; some of these changes are part of the overarching programme and others are being delivered independently
The biggest issue faced by the change programme was an announcement of the change was made to the organisation without a plan or strategy on how to implement the actions required. This was the first large scale downsizing the organisation had ever implemented. There was no precedence on how it should be led and managed and the staff were very shocked – redundancies had not been part of the working culture.
They applied the ABChange Model© , which helped them re-consider the entire change programme. They started to have conversations on why the change was necessary and how it fit into the future of the organisation. The biggest impact the model had for the team is it re-defined the change programme by definition and scope from an exiting of logistics and resources to managing people through redeployment and redundancy. Previously change had been defined by the organisation as removal of IT and sending out communications, not about people. The ABChange model highlighted change is about people not IT. The model also helped the team:
After applying the ABChange model to the change, the team decided the organisation had to start to create a vision for itself and how this significant change impacted that vision. This vision then gave people who were left behind and still working in the organisations a true vision and picture of the organisation, thus re-assuring their personal futures within the organisation. This was achieved by:
The real added value the team believes the ABChange model gave them was the ability to uncover the root causes of the issues they were facing. The model highlighted the need for the change team to stop managing staff directly. Instead they needed to provide support with strict instructions to managers to manage staff directly. By looking at the leadership styles and how to manage and lead people through this specific change made the team realise they needed to change their style and the way they interacted with staff in leading this organisational change.