The First Steps on Your Path to Organisational Transformation: How to Get Started


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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Organisational transformation is a priority for all companies committed to remaining ahead of their competition and staying relevant in the market. Organisational transformation is closely linked with digital transformation but can also incorporate transforming your company culture and changing organisational processes within your company for the better.

Article 5 Minutes
The First Steps on Your Path to Organisational Transformation: How to Get Started

Transforming your organisation relies upon your ability to be agile, responsive, and open to the technological and digital developments shaping the future world of work.

Why organisational transformation should be a priority

Organisational transformation has become critical for almost all companies as it’s closely tied to business outcomes. All businesses experience growth and change throughout their lifetime and making the most of these periods and taking the time to transform and develop positively is vital to remain a competitive business. Organisational transformation must be a priority because it impacts many aspects of your business, including:

Company culture

How representative is your company culture to your business? Is it an accurate reflection of your people’s experience and those of your customers and community too? If not, transforming your culture with its relevance in mind might be necessary. Cultural transformation can help improve retention, productivity, and engagement as you give your people a reason and purpose and demonstrate their value to the organisation.

Performance improvement

Auditing your company’s performance will soon show that outdated and legacy processes and systems simply aren’t up to the task when digital alternatives work more effectively and efficiently. Organisational transformation focused on upgrading your systems will quickly reap the rewards as you benefit from the latest developments.

Market impact

Standing out in your market depends on staying ahead of your competitors and thriving in even the most difficult times. Organisational transformation positions your business to be resilient and agile and, in practical terms, can involve mentoring, developing employees, and defining your company’s core purpose and values.

Competitive advantage

Companies with strong employer brands, loyal, high-performing talent, and strong company culture stand out for the right reasons. Organisational transformation allows you to develop consistency across all areas of the business and ensures your people are all on the same page. This will ensure you stand out from competitors who are yet to align so effectively.

The role of HR in organisational transformation

HR plays a pivotal role in organisation transformation as it’s responsible for shaping your people’s experience. HR drives your people throughout the organisation transformation in the following ways:

Training and development

HR is responsible for delivering training and development in line with the unique learning needs of your people. During organisational transformation, HR is responsible for leaders receiving the training to guide their teams through the transition and ensure everyone is up to date and on board with the new processes and systems. Your people need new skills and knowledge to react and be able to adapt adequately to the change that comes with transformation.

Workplace communications

Effective communication is the driving force behind any new concept or idea taking hold in your work environment. HR is a valuable part of this as their in-depth knowledge of your people means they can ensure everyone receives the information they need in a way that they can digest and interpret. HR also plays a key role in feedback, so any thoughts, issues or concerns about transformation can be managed appropriately, and everyone can be aligned in the new way of thinking.

Developing talent management programmes

Throughout the organisational transformation, HR needs to be sure that recruitment drives are in line with the goals of the transformation. Talent management programmes need to be rerouted with the transformed way of thinking and behaving in mind. When talent management programmes are aligned with the organisation’s new direction, it’s easier to bring in the right talent to fit naturally in with your way of working.

5 steps to a successful organisational transformation

Follow these steps to ensure your organisational transformation is as successful as possible:

1. Define the change and align it to your business goals

Knowing you want to make a change is one thing, but seeing whether it’s possible and in line with your organisation's goals is an official step towards change. Conduct a critical review of your organisational objectives and performance goals assessing them for their suitability for moving your business forward strategically. Ask yourself: What do you need to change, and why?

2. Explore and identify the impact and those affected

Once you have a defined strategy and goals to achieve, You should explore the impact of the changes at all organisational levels. Review how the change will impact each area of the business and how it’ll cascade through your organisational structure to your individual people. This will help to show where you’ll need additional training and support to mitigate the impact.

3. Create a communications strategy

Significant changes to your business structure and approach need to be communicated well but sensitively. Your people need to be taken on the transformation journey with you. Still, you should ensure key stakeholders are on board and work with them to help plan the best communication methods and strategy for involving your wider organisation. The communications strategy should include a comprehensive timeline for sharing the core information about the transformation and how you plan to communicate it (what methods, channels etc.).

4. Provide suitable training

A significant change in your organisation means specific training is essential to ensure everybody is up to speed on the changes. Your people may be worried about the change, so the provision of training can help allay their fears and also help them feel confident moving forward with the new approach, systems, and processes. Training can be tailored to your people’s preferred learning styles and incorporate on-the-job practical elements as well as microlearning and mentoring involving the people driving the change.

5. Support and guide with care

A well-designed support structure will help your people feel they have somewhere to turn if they’re struggling with the changes. They may need both emotional and practical support to adjust to the change and redirect their behaviours to suit the new ways of working. Mentorship schemes and open-door policies with management can help your people feel listened to and ensure they have the support they need if they do find the transition difficult.

Prepare your people to embrace organisational transformation

Organisational transformation is vital for the survival of many businesses. Some have adapted along the way so the changes can be gradual and easy to manage. However, others may need a significant overhaul to catch up with the competition and remain viable. Empowering your people with the information and communicating well will help ensure your business transformation runs as smooth as possible.

Cornerstone OnDemand

Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ: CSOD) helps organisations to recruit, train and manage their people. We work with hundreds of the world’s largest companies—from Walgreens and Starwood Hotels & Resorts to Deutsche Post DHL and Xerox—and thousands of smaller ones to help them engage their workforces and empower their people. Our software impacts every aspect of the employee experience, helping people to make their best work even better – which ultimately translates into greater business results.


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