Washington State Office of Financial Management

Case Study

Creating HR Change Management with Deep Roots and Wide Branches

After a series of departmental restructures and shakeups, the Governor of Washington went out on a limb and pursued an initiative to make the state an employer of choice for workers across the region. The Office of Financial Management, which contains many of the state’s human resource policy functions, was elected to design a collaborative governance model that would accomplish this goal by sharing decision-making between the HR leaders of various agencies.

A Walk in the Woods
Coraggio was brought on to provide change management support and guide the Human Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC). We began by engaging with, and listening to, government employees at all levels – from entry-level staff to agency leaders. The results of this outreach informed our understanding of the current state of Washington’s human resources and opportunities for “quick wins” that would have an immediate and rewarding impact.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees
The HRAC discussed options and elected to develop an Employee Engagement Toolkit for statewide HR staff to use as they advised their respective agency leaders. Coraggio also assisted the HRAC in developing a Change Management Plan to support the rollout and adoption of the toolkit. With roughly 800 HR professionals in its employ, the state needed to ensure the plan would work as well for staff in Walla Wall as it would for those in Seattle. Our deliverables addressed key parts of the change management process, including:

  • Defining the desired future state. With a deeper understanding of the current situation, the HRAC could clarify its desired end result: increased engagement among state workers as a result of ongoing support and enhanced employee engagement competencies.
  • Evaluating progress and success. We developed goals, standards and metrics to evaluate progress, including both near- and long-term checks on a six-month interval basis. A custom survey for state HR employees set a baseline of employee engagement and could monitor any changes over time to test tool adoption and effects.
  • Organizational readiness and impact. We developed a custom instrument to measure the potential amount of change that this project would introduce into the lives of HR professionals. In addition, we tested agencies for their capacity and readiness for such change.
  • Resource requirements. A custom process identified the personnel and capital resources necessary for successful deployment and management.

Speaking from the Treetops
Plans for engaging with different audiences were clearly outlined for the HRAC, and a communications strategy supported the tool’s rollout.  By addressing likely points of resistance in advance, we gave the HRAC the confidence needed to move forward with the pending changes.

“ After a year’s worth of work, the Employee Engagement Toolkit launched to users this morning. We have 589 users from 53 agencies including 9 Higher Education. Thank you so much for your work and support with this project. You may have thought we would never get to this day, but here we are! ”

— Cherie Willhide, Human Resources