A Los Angeles-based Taft-Hartley pension and health care plan contacted us to help them through critical organizational change. They knew we had a history of serving benefits administration funds.
Talking with their administrative director of benefits and participant services, we soon discovered that their changes and needs truly ran the gambit—from responding to new legislation and Board policies, to automation system upgrades, to adjusting to a new senior management team and operational restructuring. And everything was deadline driven.
“Many of our staff members were suspicious of change. This made it difficult to get them to fully participate in critical initiatives.”
Since the roots of their challenges went beyond automation system needs, we first created a robust change management infrastructure to support them now and in the future. This involved creating a repeatable process to help them identify, analyze and implement change in a way that utilized the strengths of their managers and staff members.
We also introduced a program of operational base lining. This provided a starting point for automation system requirements, an as-is basis for operational process re-engineering, and the means by which they could identify and confirm key business rules and policies.
The client saw positive outcomes almost immediately.
One key aspect for future organizational health was the creation of a permanent change management team, made up of representatives from each of their business units. This team would receive early, immediate notification of any change to the organization’s structure or operational rules.
“For us, the most powerful benefit is that each team member analyzes change from the perspective of his or her business unit, which leads to a high-impact assessment.”
To support the new committee, we introduced a project kit, including documentation and project planning templates, they could use to document, archive, and revisit their successes.
After learning about their historical culture, we identified several approaches to help them inspire greater staff participation.
Working with senior managers, we developed a series of informal staff meetings, including an “all-hands address” from the executive administrative director. We followed these group meetings with one-on-one conversations between staff members and managers, thereby opening the door for greater communication and collaboration.
“This helped us catalyze a unified vision, something we lacked in the past. Now staff members had the opportunity to voice their concerns and questions in an environment that encouraged contributions.”
The client has gone on to meet many significant challenges using their new process and procedures, including the implementation of a new primary healthcare network, a new core claims management system, and a new pension administration system. In addition, more internal subject matter experts have stepped to the plate to support change.