Change programmes will only be successful if they take into account the individual needs of each employee, not just generic groups, delegates heard.
Surinder Sharma, national director for equality and human rights for the Department of Health, said that implementing change properly involved tackling diversity issues beyond traditional facets such as ethnicity, race and gender.
This included characteristics such as education, experiences and opinions, he said.
“The big question [when trying to implement change] is how you show people that there is something in it for them,” said Sharma.
“When we are training to deliver change on the ground we need to tell [people] what the changes will be and how they will change their lives – otherwise the people will not come on the journey with you.”
Lord Wilson of Dinton, the president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said staff should be approached from “every angle possible” to ensure a change programme is successful.
He told delegates that if employers could get enough people to support new plans they would persuade the less-willing to get involved.
“We aren’t going to convince everyone at once,” Wilson said. “But if you join up the points of light then they will put pressure on the more resistant parts of your organisation.”
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