We are committed to creating a culture that encapsulates our values and is responsive to constructive organisational change.

Change is a healthy part of UQ's growth. It enables us to:

  • meet the emerging needs of our students, staff and community
  • adapt to our changing external environment.

When you are leading change, it is essential that you:

  • develop change strategies that are suited to your work area and its operations (including change project planning)
  • engage and support your people through change
  • consider UQ's industrial obligations as outlined in the Enterprise Agreement.

Developing change strategies

The more complex your change process is, the more important it is to understand and identify factors that may require greater consideration or emphasis throughout the project.

Your change strategy should take into account the:

  • content of the change: usually more tangible aspects of the change such as strategy, structure, systems, technology, processes, products or services
  • people aspects of the change: shifts in mindset, behaviour, relationships and culture that are required to make the change successful
  • process component of the change: a roadmap to get you from your current situation to where you want to be.

These 3 factors work together, and you should integrate them into both high-level strategy and tactical project plans.

All change projects are unique. Therefore, strategies that have worked before may need to be tweaked or even overhauled to suit a different organisation, change type, time or group of people. Many challenges require developing entirely new solutions rather than simply applying something that’s been done before.

You will need the support of many people across the organisation to develop and implement your change strategies. You’ll also need to constantly update your plans to take into account:

  • progress
  • unexpected challenges
  • changes in direction or the environment.

Supporting your people through change

People respond to change in many different ways. Even positive changes can invoke some degree of uncertainty and difficulty. Your role as a leader is to support people through these transitions by:

  • enabling them to move through as smoothly as possible
  • providing assistance when things are difficult.

It can be tempting to focus only on the structural and technical components of a change process. Research demonstrates that engaging your people in change greatly increases the likelihood of a smooth and successful change journey. This may include:

  • helping people to understand the need for, and benefits of, the proposed change
  • enabling people to see where they fit into the new model
  • acknowledging what will be lost in the change
  • inviting feedback on aspects of the change
  • offering opportunities for input into design of the change where possible
  • listening to people’s concerns and working with them to identify solutions
  • ensuring that your people have the knowledge, skills and resources required to operate in the new model
  • identifying and removing barriers to change
  • providing opportunities for people to take positive action
  • celebrating successes and reinforcing progress towards the desired end state.

Considering UQ's industrial obligations

Our Enterprise Agreement identifies specific consultation and implementation processes for particular types of change, particularly those that involve restructuring or major changes to role duties. The requirements will depend on the scale and scope of your change, and will probably include:

  • formal notice and consultation periods
  • development of issues papers
  • input from specific groups, including union representatives.

Staff and union representatives must have the opportunity to influence decisions around proposed major changes, so you need to consider this early in your thinking.

Help with leading change

Organisational Development can help you to:

  • identify suitable change strategies and adapt them to your work area
  • develop stakeholder engagement and communications strategies
  • determine the change-readiness of your work area, and appropriate actions
  • provide support to your teams as they transition through change
  • facilitate engagement processes
  • identify development needs and activities
  • review and update plans as the change progresses.

Employee Relations can help you to:

  • understand and follow the appropriate processes under our Enterprise Agreement
  • draft issues papers to ensure they capture the full scope of your change
  • navigate the consultation process with all appropriate stakeholders.

Your HR Professional Services team is also available to help support change processes within your work area.

You can also explore the 'Purposefully leads change' capability within the UQ Leadership Framework.