Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/11.1 Human resources workplace change management policy

Contact Officer

Associate Director, Human Resources (Workplace Relations)

Approval Date

27/10/2011

Approval Authority

Council

Date of Next Review

30/10/2014

11.1.1 Objectives
11.1.2 Application
11.1.3 Principles
11.1.4 Procedures and practices
11.1.5 The scale of workplace change
11.1.6 Project sponsor
11.1.7 Consultation with Human Resources Department
11.1.8 Change Management Plan
11.1.9 Other considerations
11.1.10 Implementation of Change Management Plan
11.1.11 Sources of workplace change proposals
11.1.12 Elements of Change Management Plan
Related Documents
Modification History

THIS POLICY IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW -
CONTACT POLICY AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

QUT is committed to meeting the challenges of the future. The University values its staff highly and is committed to open discussions about how best to meet the changing needs of the environment.

Effective management of workplace change is seen as a process by which change is introduced which achieves an improvement in service and/or efficiency, in a way that preserves or enhances a positive workplace.

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11.1.1 Objectives

The need for change in the University may result from external and/or internal influences such as government policy, funding arrangements and/or student demand. Workplace change should ideally be planned and supported by the University planning processes. However, often change can be relatively unexpected and may need to occur within more urgent timeframes. This policy recognises the fact that poorly implemented change has a strong negative effect on efficiency and staff morale, and can result in substantial avoidable costs.

This policy outlines key principles, procedures and practices that the University seeks to apply to ensure the effective management of workplace change consistent with sound management practice, relevant commitments outlined in University enterprise agreements, and related policies and procedures.

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11.1.2 Application

This policy addresses how approved change proposals are progressed at QUT (Figure 1). The change management principles outlined in this policy apply to all workplace change projects. However, the scale and nature of the change project inform how these principles are applied and the application of relevant procedures.

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11.1.3 Principles

Key elements and principles guiding the development and implementation of a workplace change project are as follows.

a) Project sponsor

A project sponsor will lead each workplace change project within the University. The selection of the project sponsor will reflect the scale of the change project. The project sponsor will either be a member of the Senior Staff Group, or a senior member of staff of the relevant School or Department.

For further details, see B/11.1.6.

b) Consultation with Human Resources Department

Any change requiring a formal Change Management Plan requires consultation with the Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee. This consultation will include the planning and implementation stages of the change project. Project Sponsors undertaking change projects that do not require a formal Change Management Plan will also benefit from consultation with the Executive Director, Human Resources nominee.

For further details, see B/11.1.7.

c) Change Management Plan

A Change Management Plan is developed to guide the successful completion of the change project. The Change Management Plan is developed following approval of a proposal for change through one of the processes outlined in B/11.1.11.

The level of detail in the Change Management Plan and the extent and timing of consultation will vary according to the scale and nature of the change project. Significant Workplace Change Projects will require comprehensive Change Management Plans. Change Management Plans that predominantly impact on the divisions are submitted for approval to the Vice-Chancellor and President, whereas those that predominantly impact on the faculties are submitted to the Vice-Chancellor and President through the Provost for approval.

Other Change Management Plans that impact at the school or department level only are submitted to the relevant executive dean of faculty / head of division, or head of school / department for approval. The level of detail and formality of these Change Management Plans is also dependant on the scale and nature of the change project.

For further details, see B/11.1.8.

d) Staff and union consultation

Consultation will occur with all staff affected by a change project and, where requested by an affected staff member(s), with their representative(s). A representative is a person chosen by the affected staff member(s) to assist or represent them. At the choice of the staff member this person may be a union officer or offical. A representative will not be a person who is currently practising as a solicitor or barrister.

It is important to remember that workplace change in one organisational area may impact upon staff in other areas. The Change Management Plan outlines the consultation process that will take place. This Plan details the formal and informal mechanisms that will be utilised to keep staff informed and involved during the change process.

The timing and level of consultation will depend upon the nature and scope of the change proposal. Consultation may occur at a number of steps in the change management process, from the development of a change proposal through to the review of the change project.

In situations where change may have significant consequences (B/11.1.5) the University is committed through the enterprise agreements to timely consultation on a number of matters with affected staff and the relevant Union(s).

e) Staff support

The University will provide support such as personal counselling and career planning to staff affected by the change project. The University is committed wherever possible to retaining staff and offering future opportunities to affected staff. These opportunities may include:

  • retraining;
  • flexible working arrangements such as part time employment;
  • job swap arrangements; and
  • opportunity to apply for a new position.

In the event that the University cannot avoid redundancies, redeployment and voluntary redundancy may be considered, with involuntary redundancy being undertaken as a last resort.

f) Health, safety and environment

Planning and implementation of the change project will consider the health and safety of staff consistent with the University's health, safety and environment framework (A/9.1).

g) Equal opportunity

The change project will be developed and implemented in a manner consistent with the University's equal opportunity and diversity policy (A/8.4).

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11.1.4 Procedures and practices

The approval processes for workplace change projects are illustrated in Figure 1.

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11.1.5 The scale of workplace change

This policy identifies two broad categories of change to which the policy principles apply. The scope and nature of the change project inform the amount of detail required in the Change Management Plan (B/11.1.10), the selection of the project sponsor (B/11.1.6), and determine the final approval process. Change projects are defined as either Significant Workplace Change Projects or Other Workplace Change Projects. The Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee can assist in determining the scale of the change project.

a) Significant Workplace Change Projects

Some workplace change projects may result in change with significant consequences. Significant consequences include but are not limited to:

  • substantial changes in the composition, operation or size of the University workforce;
  • substantial changes in the skills required by staff;
  • restructuring of organisational units;
  • variation to the delivery of University services which impacts on its staffing structure; and/or
  • any changes likely to lead to job loss.

Consistent with University enterprise agreements, the University is required to consult with affected staff and, where requested by an affected staff member(s), with their representative(s) as defined in B/11.1.3 (d), where the University decides that such significant change is required.

Change Management Plans for these projects will be comprehensive outlining all relevant details and will be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor and President for approval.

b) Other Workplace Change Projects

Other Workplace Change Projects do not result in change with significant consequences, as described above, and therefore are not covered by the consultative requirements of the University's enterprise agreements. Yet such change is important to the work area and still requires consultation. The level of consultation for these projects varies according to the scale and nature of the change project.

These change projects may require Change Management Plans outlining all relevant details, or may be informal plans. Informal Change Management Plans may use as a checklist the elements of the Change Management Plan to ensure they have been considered and appropriate action taken.

These change projects require submissions for approval to be made to the relevant executive dean of faculty / head of division, or to the head of school / department. The project sponsor will generally be a member of the Senior Staff Group of the relevant faculty or division, or a senior staff member of the relevant school or department.

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11.1.6 Project sponsor

The selection of the project sponsor reflects the scale and nature of the change project, and the approval process of the change project. For Significant Workplace Change Projects the project sponsor will be a member of the Senior Staff Group. For Other Workplace Change Projects the sponsor will generally be a senior staff member of the relevant School or Department.

The project sponsor is responsible for the following:

  • ensuring that the objectives of the project have the approval of appropriate senior management;
  • managing the project effectively;
  • ensuring the project has access to the appropriate resources;
  • achieving project objectives;
  • working to gain the commitment of senior staff affected by the change project;
  • consulting with staff affected by change;
  • determining the appropriate formality and level of detail of the Change Management Plan, and ensuring it is developed, submitted for approval and implemented as required; and
  • approving the evaluation criteria and methodology, and ensuring the evaluation is conducted in an appropriate time frame, and a report submitted to the Executive Director, Human Resources.

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11.1.7 Consultation with Human Resources Department

The Executive Director, Human Resourcesor nominee will provide assistance in preparing the Change Management Plan regardless of the level of detail or degree of formality of the plan. Advice should be sought on managing change, consultation with staff and the relevant Union(s), recruitment and selection, redeployment, and voluntary and involuntary redundancy arrangements to ensure consistency with current industrial provisions.

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11.1.8 Change Management Plan

The level of detail and formality of the Change Management Plan will vary according to the scale and nature of the change project. The Change Management Plan will include elements as outlined in B/11.1.12

Where the change project involves significant job redesign, the Change Management Plan will include a review of position classification levels. The manner in which a new position will be advertised will be detailed in the Change Management Plan. If job loss is expected to result from the project, an implementation plan in accordance with relevant enterprise agreements is required. See B/11.1.10 and B/11.1.12 for further details.

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11.1.9 Other considerations

Workplace change may result in changes in areas other than staffing. The impact of the workplace changes on funding arrangements, technological systems and processes, facilities and accommodation may need to be considered as part of the management of the change project (guidance on relevant consultation and approval processes are found at MOPP A/3; and Chapter H).

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11.1.10 Implementation of Change Management Plan

In implementing the Change Management Plan a number of factors will need to be addressed including:

a) Workload considerations

The impact of change on the workload of staff will need to be addressed in accordance with the relevant provisions of the enterprise agreements.

b) Training and development needs

The training and development needs of staff affected by the change project will need to be considered during implementation. Assistance in the identification and provision of training and development activities is available from internal providers including Human Resources Department, Equity and Student Counselling, Information Technology Services and Learning and Teaching Unit.

c) Staff support

The University may make support services available to staff to assist in the implementation of workplace change, such as personal counselling and career planning. The Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee can provide assistance in identifying appropriate support providers.

d) Updating administrative systems

A number of areas responsible for University administrative systems may need to be informed following the successful implementation of workplace change. The Department of Reporting and Analysis and the Human Resources Department should be advised of changes resulting in the creation or disestablishment of an organisational area, the creation of new cost centre codes, transfer of existing budgets and/or the establishment of new budgets.

The Finance Resource Management Department should be also be advised of the establishment of project accounts and/or the transferring of account balances and other finance systems issues.

Human Resources Department and Information Technology Services should be advised of any changes to the human resources information systems.

Governance and Legal Services should be notified of any changes to financial and human resources delegations.

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11.1.11 Sources of workplace change proposals

Workplace change may be driven by factors internal and external to the University. Change that is likely to impact on staff will normally be initiated through the operation of one of the following mechanisms.

a) Corporate proposals

The sources of corporate proposals are as follows:

QUT Council: Council is ultimately responsible for decisions relating to the establishment, monitoring and closing of centres, institutes, schools and faculties (A/4.1 and B/3.1).

Planning and Resources Committee of Council : Planning and Resources Committee is responsible to Council and may initiate reviews in relation to resource utilisation and other strategic resource management issues (A/3.5)

University Academic Board : University Academic Board is responsible to Council for the academic policies and practices of the University. University Academic Board may become aware of the implications for significant workplace change due to its involvement in the academic program, and where academic policies and practices impact on the establishment, monitoring and closure of faculties, schools, institutes and centres (A/3.6).

Faculty/division reviews : Faculties / divisions are usually reviewed externally every 7 years. The purpose of these reviews is to promote continuous improvement and assure the quality of University programs and services. Planning and Resources Committee discharges Council's responsibility for the overall implementation of these reviews (A/2.3)

b) Faculty and divisional proposals

In addition to the external reviews, faculties / divisions can initiate internal reviews of their work areas in response to changing needs, new technologies or other environmental changes to improve efficiencies and/or service levels. These reviews can be conducted internally by the faculty / division, or undertaken by parties external to their faculty / division or the University.

Notwithstanding the use of internal or external reviews, individual units or a number of units jointly may make proposals to amend the organisational structure of academic areas. These proposals are made to University Academic Board for recommending to Council. Similarly individual units or a number of units jointly may make proposals to amend the structure of non-academic areas. These proposals are made to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

c) School and department proposals

Heads of school / department / independent section are responsible for ensuring the school / department / independent section is adequately servicing the needs of the faculty or division, and is responsible for advising the executive dean of faculty / head of division as appropriate on all matters associated with the operation of the school / department / independent section. Change proposals initiated by heads of school / department / independent section need to be approved by the respective executive dean of faculty / head of division before being forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor and President or Council for approval. This would include approval of the change proposal, and any subsequent Change Management Plans.

d) Authorities to determine and allocate staff resources

The allocation and coordination of resources to the faculties is undertaken by the Provost (A/4.1).

The determination and allocation of resources within faculties and between schools in a faculty is undertaken by the executive dean of faculty in consultation with the heads of school (A/4.1).

The creation and dissolution of sections, departments and divisions is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor and President (A/4.1.8).

Details of authorities to create positions and appoint staff are provided in the Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (Appendix 3).

e) Role of workforce planning

Workforce planning is designed to assist managers to plan workforce needs to achieve strategic planning objectives. As such the workforce plan is an important vehicle for initiating incremental change in staffing structures.

The identification of the need for new ongoing positions generally occurs as part of the strategic planning process. Faculties and divisions prepare annual workforce planning submissions to the Division of Resources. These submissions outline workforce needs as anticipated by the faculty / divisional strategic plan. Following submission, the Vice-Chancellor and President approves for each faculty and division a staffing structure comprising both academic and professional staff ongoing positions, on the advice of the Executive Director, Human Resources (A/2.2 and B/3.1).

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11.1.12 Elements of Change Management Plan

The Change Management Plan will include the following elements:

(a ) Project title/date

(b) Approach rationale

  • clarify the reason for change
  • outline the impact of proposed changes on costs, quality of service and/or managerial efficiencies
  • demonstrate how the approach will promote commitment amongst those directly affected by the change
  • detail how the project will be evaluated in terms of achievement of objectives and approach

(c) Objectives

  • clear, concrete and measurable
  • relates to work area strategic direction and is consistent with Performance Planning and Review objectives of senior staff

(d) Current staffing structure

  • current approved staffing structure and reporting relationships for senior positions
  • history of significant staffing restructures over the past 5 years

(e) Proposed staffing structure and funding

  • highlight the differences between current and proposed structures
  • assess any impact on the work or conditions of staff
  • outline the cost implications of changing the staffing structure

(f) Impact on workloads

  • identify impact on the workload of staff

(g) Key steps, responsibilities and timeframes

Define the:

  • change process including the key steps, those responsible for undertaking them and appropriate time frames
  • target completion and evaluation dates

(h) Communication/consultation strategy

Detail the:

  • consultation approach with staff and, where requested by an affected staff member(s), with their representative(s) (as defined in B/11.1.3(d))
  • arrangements for any staff and union consultation
  • means by which staff will be informed of the objectives of the project
  • formal and informal networks that will be utilised to keep staff informed of the progress of the project

(i) Proposed transition arrangements

Detail the:

  • proposed timing of implementation ie stages or all at once
  • recruitment and/or selection approach for any new positions
  • need to review any current job classification levels
  • need for redeployment of staff and any redundancy implications
  • training and staff development implications

(j) Evaluation methodology

  • the criteria which will be used to assess the success of the project
  • who will conduct the evaluation and when it will be conducted.

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Related Documents

QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff)

QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
10.07.18 All Vice-Chancellor and President Revised policy to include department name change from Corporate Finance to Finance Resource Management
27.10.11 All Vice-Chancellor Revised policy
19.02.11 All Vice-Chancellor Policy revised to include approved name change for Office of Teaching Quality to Learning and Teaching Unit
26.10.05 All Council Revised policy to comply with Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRR)
13.12.00 All Council New policy

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