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Work Redesign Model: Improving Organizational Effectiveness

The decision to execute the concept of work redesign is challenging. It must involve
top management who are visionary, persuasive, and consistent. The need for work
redesign may be initiated by financial challenges, often a reduced budget. Other
reasons include:

Strategic planning demonstrates the need for a change

Leadership sees problems and challenges coming
Regulatory changes require a review
Leadership wants to be a distinguished competitor

Prior to initiating work redesign, it is very important to be clear about why the
organization is promoting a concept or solution called “work redesign”. As a leader or
HR professional supporting initiating this sort of change, you need to be prepared to
address the questions identified below.

• What is the driving purpose of the redesign? In particular consider scope and
• What is the desired result or outcome? In particular examine potential
financial savings, efficiency or improvement to employee well being.
• How will we engage individuals and teams within the process of review?

In a change there are four dimensions at work:

• People- The characteristics, attributes and skills of the people working in the
environment, PEOPLE make an organization and need to be our number 1
• Systems/Process- The structure, equipment, methods and technologies used
to get the work done
• Results- How we know and let others know that we are successful
• Culture- How we relate with one another, customers and do our work

This comprehensive model examines the current and future state, and lays the
foundation to enable ongoing systematic improvement.

1. Identify a change management team with leader. An Organizational
Effectiveness (OE) consultant will partner with leadership and HR to facilitate
group meetings and develop a contract for the change. Other experts may be
brought to team as needed.

Make sure to involve those that are engaged in the work on team and that a
clear outcome is identified. This team will also make recommendations related
to communication needs and operational considerations as the change moves

2. Conduct “As Is” systems assessment

• Look at current organizational structure. Look at acquired and accumulated
roles and resources. Is accountability and authority clear? Do staff trust one
another and work well together? What is the readiness of the group to take
on the effort? How is conflict resolved in the current environment?
• Examine other benchmarks, when necessary.
• Unit collects data to support need for change.

Possible consultant activities:

Leader group assessment
• Objectives and measures of success
• Review organizational chart and current staffing model=what are the major tasks
and priorities? How even are the workloads? Are there peak times? Are the job
descriptions current? Are the classifications appropriate?
• What things are not getting done?
• Where are there redundancies?
• Are there conflict or performance issues?
Employee interviews or focus groups
• What are your major priorities
• How long do major tasks or projects take? What are the smaller tasks that are
built in?
• What are the barriers to efficiency?
• What doesn’t get done as timely as you’d like?
• They do it, have them pick who should do it
• Have them develop the questions, what information is important?

3. Create an infrastructure to sustain the change. Use this time to step back
and look for new solutions.
• Prepare organizational chart for the future
• Consider span of control for managers
• Review key functions: services, culture etc.
• Review key processes: identify new workflow or business changes, are work
processes continuously improved?
• Review system: Are methods and procedures carefully defined? Determine
measures of success or desirable outcomes.

4. Complete talent pool assessment with key leaders

• Take into consideration

- Current effectiveness of potential individual leaders
- Levels of role complexity
- Potential for future roles in organization
- Impact analysis related to diversity

• Are leaders appropriately skilled and knowledgeable? Are they fully

committed? Commitment is demonstrated by “walking the talk”, modeling
the behavior change that has been articulated.
• Have broader leadership discussions to explore questions
Is anyone left out?
• Do we have gaps and need to hire in order to improve performance, or do we
need to engage in performance management?
• Are we being fair to individual choices and career paths?

5. Support new organizational model

• Identify growth and maintenance pieces
- Do policies and practice support new organizational model?
- Redefine job descriptions and evaluations as needed.
- Redefine performance metrics.
- Develop reward and recognition programs to sustain and encourage the

6. Implement new organizational model and communicate often.

• Offer rationale and opportunity for ongoing feedback from internal staff and
• Provide support for remaining and exiting personnel if needed.
• Provide support for manager, emphasize leadership accountability to process.

7. Manage change of new organization

• Acknowledge staff participation and contributions to change effort!!
• Modify and communicate frequently, recommend some form of follow-up with
group at 3 and 6 months, and one year.
• Review and evaluate original performance metrics frequently the first year of
implementation with the leader.