Managing Resistance to Change: Delivering an Integrated Management System to your Workforce

As the ISO standards for QHSE will eventually be structured in a similar way (Annex SL) and are to be process-based,  this is an excellent opportunity for organisations to simplify the complexity of managing  multiple standards by creating a process based integrated management system. While this idea is practical, realistic and cost effective, it involves change, and some people don’t do this well. When change occurs out-with working hours (and none so striking as the decision to remove the UK from the European Union with a majority vote), many people have shrugged their shoulders and said, “ok lets get on with this…”integrated management system, image of graphic related to management of change

But during work hours, people’s resistance to change can become hardened by a number of factors that trigger rational and real emotions to the worker such as the following:

  • Failing to understand the need for change, either by individual stubbornness or poor management communication
  • Loss of face due to being associated with the past and therefore being defensive of change
  • Fear of not being competent in the new work method, and scared to ask
  • Low levels of trust as the last change failed miserably – no confidence
  • Fear of surprises and the unknown, taking people out of their comfort zone
  • Failure by change leader to consult affected workers  before its implemented
  • Loss of control interferes with personal autonomy, shifting power from one to another
  • Loss of job security as change comes before redundancy to some people

Irrational defensiveness can be shown for example when  process improvement  can set off the hard wired, emotional connections in people that even though the affected document  hadn’t been opened in years; it’s suddenly treated like the treasures of Jerusalem.

Traditional Management Systems Create Resistance to Change

Often the person who has responsibility for change within their job responsibilities can be the least innovative and most resistant to change, …an oxymoron I’d say. While I have been involved with business management system implementation for decades, I still haven’t seen a sea-change towards simplifying the content to allow the slowest person who works within the company to understand their roles, processes they need to work within and the inherent risks that they will face in the delivery of their tasks.

Some take the view that much of today’s QHSE software is aimed specifically at recording failures and faults as opposed to prioritising the workforce to provide clear guidance that would potentially reduce a percentage of non-compliance. The elephant in the room has always been the use of Document Management Systems that were driven by  IT departments whose idea of finding a document was measuring the time taken using the Search function.

Controlling documents is essential,  (no argument there) but I believe that compliance to ISO 9001:2015 with the adoption of the Process Based Approach,  the integration of Risk within Process together with the difficulty of portraying graphical models and end to end processes makes the traditional document management system cumbersome and not ideal for today’s standards. Companies need a more flexible structure to cope with today’s demands as horse-shoeing is costly, often not user-friendly, and expensive to maintain.

An Integrated Management System Reduces Complexity and Resistance to Change

While I work within the Governance and Performance software sector, my background as a QHSE Manager has taught me that your workforce should be provided with the right level of information, at the right time, otherwise the defects and deficiencies will increase exponentially over time.

Integrated Management SystemThe answer, (as you expected) is to employ an integrated approach that allows Business Models, End to End Process Overviews and Process Maps to be graphically displayed while linking seamlessly to a secure document repository that integrates with  Risk and Compliance demands. Adopting the Process-based approach to create an Integrated Management System model  has significant benefits to the organisation, not least being the following:

  • Greater transparency as to “Who does what, where and when”
  • Standardisation of process to remove duplication across the business
  • Clarity of individual roles & responsibilities
  • Increased visibility of Risk and mitigating activities
  • Quicker access to information, less hassle, easier to understand

..and importantly, there is a massive cost reduction compared to maintaining the traditional Management System structure and format.

For more information on Process Based Integrated Management Systems and how they can reduce operational complexity and thus workforce anxiety, CONTACT US today for a Free Demo of the Agility Management System Solution.

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