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Change Management Case: Sampson Television

Case scenario:
You have recently joined Sampson Television as its HR Manager. The prior HR manager - Genevieve - retired after 40 years. You were interviewed by Genevieve and the Accounting Manager; to whom you report. You are working with four HR professionals and realize that you have your work cut out for you. Every time you turn around, you see the disrespect your HR employees receive from all levels of employees. You are determined to change this relationship. It seems that the HR department is viewed as a necessary evil and constantly is spending time trying to justify its existence.

You realize that the previous HR Manager had a lot to do with how HR is viewed in this company. You have discussed this with your boss and the HR employees and they shrugged their shoulders and acted like nothing needed to be changed. One employee commented that "If you rock the boat, it will make things worse." Tomorrow is donut day. You have inherited from Genevieve the job of picking up 900 donuts from the area bakery and personally delivering them to all of the break rooms throughout the plant and offices. "Enough is enough!" your thoughts scream.

Put together a 12-month plan of how to reverse this situation. (Hiring additional help, even part time, is not an option.) Be as specific as possible.

In changing a previously held "norm" of HR being the "necessary evil" will take time. The first step would be to engage the four people currently in the department in moving away from the mindset of negative treatment is "ok" - and ensuring all knew it was unacceptable for that type of behavior to continue. I would also focus on educating other managers as to how my department is treated by them, and their staff, to gain support for it to end. Finally, several months of the plan will involve "meet and greets" with staff, to "humanize" the face of my department, in hopes that the negativity will stop.

Solution Preview

Change is unsettling for most people as it involves moving away from what is comfortable and perhaps even considering a different viewpoint or opinion than what has always been considered the "norm" on a topic. There may be a couple reasons for the negativity surrounding Human Resources (HR) at Sampson Television Manufacturing (herein after Sampson).

The previous Human Resource Manager (HRM) Genevieve retired after 40 years; with the four other individuals in HR acting like the disrespect from other employees is the "norm" and do not feel anything should change. Genevieve may have noticed how her, and her subordinates were treated by others, but chose to do nothing about it. Or she may have attempted to speak with other supervisors about the treatment her division receives; and doing so resulted in an increase in problems. The dynamic I inherited as the new HR Manager is one where my subordinates ignore (or least do not acknowledge) behavior from others is disrespectful; and worse - they do not feel anything should be done about it. The other reason this likely continues with other employees is that they have always "gotten away" with treating the HR personnel in this manner. My change management plan involves all employees; in hopes of evolving behavior on "both" sides of this matter.

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Solution Summary

This solution is about 875 words long. It provides for a 12-month plan for change management within a Human Resources; from changing the negative perspective about the HR department to building positive working relationships throughout the organization. The solution explains, in detail, what should occur at each time period.