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How to eradicate ethical issues in change management

 Here’s how to effectively manage change when introducing new processes at work.

According to the results of the 2018 Fair Work audit conducted by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), 48% of businesses in New South Wales aren’t compliant with legislation and requirements that are outlined by the state and federal employment ombudsman.

Of these breaches, the Fair Work Ombudsman found:

  • In mid-north New South Wales, 33% of companies did not pay hourly rates in line with the Fair Work minimum wage and 16% didn’t pay the correct penalty rates.
  • In mid-west New South Wales, 23% were non-compliant with Fair Work timesheet requirements, payslip issuance and record-keeping obligations.
  • Over $430,000 was recovered for employees in the state as a result of the audit.

If you’re going through changes in the workplace, these change management tools and steps can help you eradicate any ethical issues that might arise along the way.

The results of the FWO audit show it’s essential for organisations to update their processes to better comply with legislation around fair work for employees. However, for many employers, this means overhauling company policies and procedures, and making some big changes to mindsets and behaviours.

Change management steps to manage transitions in the workplace

If you’re going through change management in the workplace, it most likely involves engaging your existing team in new mindsets, roles, behaviours and procedures. Change is never easy, but managing change is essential if you’re implementing new processes to be compliant with Fair Work standards.

As an employer, there are some steps to keep in mind to manage change effectively:

Engage managers and key stakeholders first. Your managers and key stakeholders (such as HR or legal) are essential when you’re going through changes involving workplace legislation. Teams may come to them with questions or issues, so they should be involved in the change management process and be trained to respond to common questions or concerns.

Conduct a risk analysis. It’s useful to be aware of all the risks you could face during the process, including any risks to the physical or mental health of your team as a result of any changes. This can include things like anxiety about their job or stress at the amount of workload involved, and is particularly important if an employee is already suffering from mental health conditions. 

Have a plan to manage the rate of change. Change management is a gradual process, and it’s important not to overwhelm your employees in the beginning. By building a plan and pacing out the rate of change (for example, when new processes or policies are rolled out and when trainings will be delivered), employees have time to adjust.

Communicate often and provide support. Open communication and dialogue play a big part in managing change effectively. Announce new processes and policies clearly, either via a company-wide announcement or in one-on-one meetings, and give plenty of opportunities for employees to voice questions and concerns both publicly and confidentially.

Useful change management tools

From ethical issues to Fair Work unfair dismissal policies, change management can be complex, which is why the FWO and HR Advance have plenty of tools to help organisations, including:

  • Self-audit checklist. The FWO provides a handy self-audit checklist to help you evaluate your existing processes and policies to see if they are compliant with state and federal legislation.

  • Comcare website. Comcare is a dedicated resource to help organisations manage change and support the creation of a healthy and safe workplace.

  • Fair Work Ombudsman website. The FWO website is filled with information for employers, and includes FAQs to help organisations build an environment that supports fair work for employees. It also has the Fair Work Ombudsman phone number, so employers can contact the FWO if they need more information.

With the right approach to change management, open communication, and the right processes in line with the Fair Work Act employee legislations, you can build a healthier and more productive workplace that’s compliant with Fair Work  standards.

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