Di Everingham shares her experience of working as Change Manager for the Catholic Schools Office.
Two years ago, I was offered the role of Change Manager on a complex and exciting project at the Catholic Schools Office Diocese of Broken Bay – the implementation of a web based payroll and human resources system (known as ‘phris’) across four dioceses within New South Wales. With an employment history predominantly in change management and human resources, including 6 years as Human Resources Manager at CatholicCare Broken Bay, this job was a wonderful fit for me.
The role of Change Manager is to ensure that there are strategies and plans in place to minimise the disruption to everybody’s work when a new system is introduced. It is key that there are training and communication plans in place targeted at different employee groups. Given that the new system introduced Self Service functionality to every employee in our schools and the office, as well as Manager Self Service functionality to principals and CSO managers, the impact across the organisation was significant.
The beauty of working at the CSO is that people are encouraged to work collaboratively. I work as part of Human Resources Services, yet the development of training material and the training delivery was done together with the trainers in the ICLT area. People with the necessary skills work together to produce effective and professional products/results for the benefit of everybody in our schools.
Of course there are many challenges in this type of work. People generally do not like change, and often fear the unknown. My role is to make the changeover to a new way of doing things less scary, and assure people that support is always available.
One of the most rewarding aspects of this job was being involved in the training at each of our schools prior to the roll out of phase 1 of phris in 2013. By visiting schools individually, time could be spent on discussing how the new system and associated processes could work best at that particular school. It was also a wonderful opportunity to see the schools ‘in action’. The importance of providing effective support to the schools, in a way that minimises disruptions to their busy days, became clear.
While there are many reasons I enjoy working at the Catholic Schools Office Diocese of Broken Bay, sometimes it is the little things that say it all. Every morning as I enter the lift to travel to level 6, people in it will look at you and say “Hello. How are you?”. Having worked in a corporate environment in the CBD where everybody in the lift looked down at their feet and said nothing, this really is a refreshing way to start each working day.