CHANGE MANAGEMENT PLAN

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1 Appendix 10 Blaby District Council Housing Stock Transfer CHANGE MANAGEMENT PLAN 1

2 Change Management Plan Introduction As part of the decision making process to pursue transfer, the Blaby District Council recognised that improving services in the long term was a key issue for tenants, staff and members. The Council recognises that the key to a successful transfer and for the improvement of services to tenants in the future will be the successful management of change. Planning is an important factor in change management and both the Council and the new organisation will have action plans in place that link the process of change to the wider objectives of the two organisations. The change management plan recognises that there are different scenarios which could occur and different needs for the Council and the new organisation. It also recognises the need for the culture of the new organisation to develop alongside the culture of the existing organisation that it will be in partnership with. Transforming the Organisation The successful management of change is a significant challenge for any organisation. At Blaby we recognise that the transfer of the housing stock will have a major impact on the authority, its tenants, the local community and other stakeholders. It is important to understand and plan for the impact of change for those who are going to be affected by what will be a major change for a relatively small authority, whereby, its housing function is a significant part of its current portfolio in terms of staffing and other resources. Delivering change in an organisation that is undergoing transformation from a state of relative stability through a process of rapid development requires a corporate approach that is consistent, transparent, communicated to staff, customers and stakeholders. The underpinning principles for Blaby in delivering change is through a corporate approach which involves key stakeholders at all stages of the transition, delivers a consistent message and supports those affected by the change. This approach will provide the opportunity for the new organisation and the authority to undertake real and meaningful change which will enable them to achieve the transformation required. To implement the change effectively the organisation and its key stakeholders will go through a process of learning, review and re-adjustment. The development of people as part of, and to enable, the process of change will form a significant part of our approach. To deliver strategic change, we need to ensure: That we identify and assess the impact of the risks involved. 2

3 That we create a climate that enables the range of stakeholders to become aware of the need for change and their part in it That the case for change is seen as valid and credible That people have the opportunity to learn and develop throughout the process of change with the understanding that initially we may not get everything right That we acknowledge that there will be a period of uncertainty that inevitably comes with significant change and that we need to create the right environment to enable people to come to terms with a new culture, ways of working, new roles and developing new skills That support for change needs to engage the wider audience of stakeholders and gain their active participation That developing a shared vision and focus is shaped by the synergy of the newly formed partnership 3

4 Current Position In the last two years the Housing Service has responded to new legislation, Government policies, Best Value and inspection requirements. Internally the service has undertaken internal service improvements and has a proactively involved staff and tenants in this process. A key driver of change has been the desire to ensure that both the decent homes standards and aspirations for service improvements can be met. A wide range of stakeholders were identified as part of the stock options appraisal process, which delivered the outcome of stock transfer in order to meet our aspirations. Our approach is to further develop this involvement throughout the process of delivering stock transfer. Key stakeholders, including tenants representatives, members and staff are all playing a positive and active part in delivering this project. This is crucially important to ensure that there are clear lines of communication and development of trust. Tenants, Staff and Councillors are members of the transfer Management Board, Partners Selection Team and Shadow Board. To date the wider staff group in the organisation have been engaged through staff briefings, letters, newsletters and focus groups. The contribution of staff in the process of change is critical to its success. The change management plan must ensure that staff transferring to the new housing association are positive about the change. A further challenge for the Council is to understand and plan for the impact of the change on staff remaining and engage them positively to prepare for the changes to responsibilities and working practices that will inevitably occur. Tenants have been engaged through newsletters, articles in the Blaby Chronicle and drop in events. Tenant involvement, through the Blaby District Tenant Federation has been an intrinsic component of service improvements Members have been engaged through briefings, seminars and the formal committee process. These measures have effectively engaged all key stakeholders in the process of change. The challenge is to build on this and involve them in the next phase of the change management process. The recent recruitment of a Communications Advisor will help us to continue to effectively manage the change process. Corporately the organisation is embarking on a major review of its Medium Term Financial Strategy during August/September. This will be informed by the independent appraisal of potential residual costs of transfer carried out by Price Waterhouse Cooper and work with PCA on the valuation model. A stock transfer risk register is being developed which sets out and evaluates the various risks associated with the process. This work will inform decisions on changes to the corporate structure and services resulting from transfer. It will also inform any negotiations on medium term arrangements for purchase by the new organisation of services currently provided by the Council to housing. 4

5 Change Management Plan Strategic Objective Senior management team to develop a change management strategy and shared corporate approach Involve Partner throughout the process and share experiences and learning Communication is consistent, clear and appropriate to the needs of the wide audience if stakeholders Learning and adapting through, networking, listening to stakeholders and Required action/outcome Formal acceptance by Corporate Management Board (CMB) and Council Agreement by CMB of the strategic approach to managing the change process Process driven and monitored by CMB Management Team to work together to carry out a risk assessment and scenario planning CMB to agree a corporate approach to the change management process All members of the Management Team to take responsibility for the delivery of a clear and consistent message and take individual responsibility for ensuring that key strategic processes are actioned, monitored and measured Agreed approach to those aspects of the change process that require the involvement and support of the partner Housing Association Partner to provide agreed resource support during the pre-vote period Partner representation on the lead change management team Key involvement in ensuring clear communication with stakeholders, particularly, tenants and their representatives, staff and their representatives and the Shadow Board Work with partner to create opportunities for open and honest feedback from stakeholders, and be seen to act on that feedback Communication strategy to include: Regular newsletter for staff, members and trade unions Regular newsletter for tenants and residents Commitment that all stakeholders will receive the same information in a timely manner Ensure open lines of communication that enable all stakeholders to have equal access to information Seek regular feedback from stakeholders to check their understanding and perception and adapt communication channels and information in response to this feedback Network with other organisations which have experience of the process to obtain knowledge about good practice and advice on managing the change process and related issues effectively 5

6 sharing knowledge Involve staff at all stages of the process and utilise their ideas and suggestions to revise and develop the action plan and approach; this should include staff who will join the new RSL and those remaining with the council Use a range of methods to obtain and evaluate stakeholder views, provide opportunities for them to make suggestions, ask questions and receive timely responses and feedback about changes of approach resulting from this evaluation Financial resources are identified, risks and opportunities recognised and taken into account in our planning for the future We utilise technology, to share knowledge and information and as a key resource in the future development of the service Ensure that financial expertise is engaged from within the council and externally throughout the options process Raise the awareness of key stakeholders of the financial implications of the process and engage them in planning and forecasting where appropriate Assess the costs of delivering the process Assess and evaluate the financial requirements to deliver the change management plan and options process Carry out analysis of resourcing the change, its implications for the new RSL and the council and identify options to address areas of weakness Create a Business Plan Network with organisations who have experience of the resourcing issues, including financial, issues involved with support from external consultants Identify and assess the implications of the promises made in the business plan for future resource requirements Set up a working group of staff from those staying and moving, members and to produce a technology plan for the Council and the new organisation. This group to consult widely with staff, including frontline staff, internal and external experts and others with similar experiences to ensure that they obtain a complete picture of the implications of the change process and future technological requirements Undertake a review of existing technology and identify future requirements to enable both the Council and the new organisation to maintain good levels of service during the change over period and to ensure that technology can support improved levels of service in the future Utilise technologies to provide up to date and timely information, and communicate with stakeholders about the options process, progress and feedback actions resulting from stakeholder feedback 6

7 We review and revise our procedures to meet the future requirements of the service and provide the appropriate training for our stakeholders Human Resource planning Recruitment and Retention We involve and listen to stakeholders at all stages of diagnosis and planning and tell them what we have done as a result Set up working groups to carry out a review of the existing policies and procedures of the council, housing service and partner organisation, and identify their implications for the options process and future arrangements Develop a stakeholder development programme that provides appropriate training and support to ensure that policies and procedures and their implications for service delivery and working practices are embedded Develop a future workforce plan, recruitment strategy and HR strategy for the new organisation and for the council which takes into account the implications of its future portfolio, structure, resources and the political environment Develop HR systems and working practices to underpin and effectively deliver strategic and operational HR commitments Produce a staff development programme in conjunction with the partner organisation to take advantage of their existing good practice and provide for economies of scale Involve staff throughout the planning and implementation of the programme to ensure that it delivers organisational objectives and has the flexibility to meet the needs of staff Develop a comprehensive management development programme to develop and enhance the capacity of managers to lead and manage change, improve performance and deliver an excellent service Identify the key stakeholders and their role in the change process, and relationship with the future service Identify stakeholder concerns, expectations, and positive contributions involving them in all stages of the process to enable them to develop ownership of, and have opportunities to influence, the change Monitor and review the impact of the change on stakeholders and put in place mechanisms to support them and get their feedback at all stages of the change process Involve stakeholders in the assessment and review of the options process and its impact, this includes learning from the experience of other organisations Devise a mechanism to gather and act on stakeholder views and feedback and peer assessment to establish the impact of implementation planning and future options 7

8 We communicate options and potential outcomes to stakeholders and ensure that they have the skills, knowledge and opportunities to effectively participate We set ourselves goals, manage and measure our performance and share this information and our actions to address shortfalls with our stakeholders We measure the impact of change on staff through regular communication and dialogue, and provide opportunities for them raise their concerns and get a response Communicate options effectively in line with the Communications Strategy and utilise stakeholder feedback to revise the approach Communicate aims and objectives, the implementation plan and future actions to all stakeholders and check that it is appropriate and effective through regular formal and informal stakeholder feedback Provide, information, support and training for stakeholders to facilitate their knowledge and understanding of the issues to enable them to cope with and participate effectively with the changes and future issues To enhance the capacity of stakeholders through training and development to enable them to enhance and develop their skills to meet the changing needs of the organisation Include stakeholders through consultation and involvement in all aspects of the change process to enable them to influence and accept change and effectively have ownership of future organisational change and initiatives Produce a Project Action Plan with SMART objectives and clear milestones Communicate the action plan to all stakeholders Utilise the intranet to publicise the action plan, provide progress updates and achievements against milestones Regular action plan updates in tenants newsletter Produce regular updates for staff, members and Trade Unions through in-house publications and collaborate with partner to ensure that its staff are also informed Monthly update on actions against plan to the management, highlighting the achievement of milestones, revised actions and timescales in response to feedback and events Report regularly to the Housing and Assets Scrutiny Panel Regular staff briefings as necessary to gauge staff reactions, knowledge and understanding of the process and provide a platform for a dialogue to take place to deal with issues and concerns and reassurance and clarification as necessary Provide opportunities for staff to raise queries about any aspect of the process and organisational change Promote to staff and their representatives the option for individual discussions about any aspects of the change in relation to their role, future performance and skills requirements and regularly check with 8

9 We will identify and develop our leaders to enable them to provide the appropriate strategic direction and leadership We will provide opportunities for stakeholders to be involved in identifying priorities and issues, encourage their involvement in finding solutions and publish the outcomes We regularly check our organisational culture through dialogue with staff and formal and informal mechanisms staff and their representatives that they are comfortable with these arrangements Appoint a change leader for the change process who has existing skills and experience to effectively manage the change. Ensure that the appointed person can demonstrate skills in: Innovation Creativity People Management Information Management Organisational structure and service improvement Analytical assessment Budget Management Openness and approachable Identify other key leaders within the council who are able to lead appropriate aspects of the change and resulting future strategic and operational direction to meet new challenges Provide leaders individually and collectively with opportunities for mentoring and coaching support and facilitated development including scenario planning Provide stakeholders advice about and opportunities to get involved at every stage of the process to enable them to discuss, debate, give their views and suggestions Build stakeholder feedback into all communication mechanisms so that it is integral to the process and ensures that stakeholders have opportunities to influence change and future decisions and check that they perceive that these opportunities exist Publicise stakeholder involvement, the outcomes of stakeholder feedback, and their impact on the process and decisions Regular workshops for managers and staff to ensure a two way dialogue about the effectiveness of communication, information requirements, issues or concerns and address them in a timely fashion Provide a mechanism agreed with staff to record matters discussed at the workshops both positive and negative and responses/solutions as appropriate 9

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