Clarifying Needs/Challenges


At the point when change is being considered think about what the likely impacts on staff (and other key stakeholders) could be, and any impact this could have on the performance of the business area. This will include considering the potential impact on:

  • Contractual working arrangements/Staffing levels as described earlier
  • Equality
  • Staff Wellbeing

Equality Impact

For more information, guidance and template, see right-hand link.

  • Consider what might happen to different equality groups (also referred to as ‘protected characteristics’, see below for list of protected characteristics covered in legislation) as a result of the proposed change.  To do this you can use existing data available such as your current staff profile data to consider what impact the proposals may have. 
  • As well as looking at your data from the perspective of different protected characteristics you could also consider other issues such any impact on part-time or fixed-term staff, staff with caring responsibilities etc.
  • Online Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) Training is available on the Equality and Diversity webpages, if this is a new area for you.
  • Supplementary advice on equality and diversity issues, and assessing impact is available from Human Resources, should you require additional support.
  • Think about what you might learn through consultation (where appropriate). In some circumstances, you may also need to consider equality impact on students, visitors, alumni, etc.
  • Recording your findings and planned actions is an important point of equality legislation.

Restructuring EIA Case Study

Source: Equality and Human Rights Commission

An EIA undertaken at the proposal stage identified that a restructure might have a negative impact on women and on black and older staff: redundancies were anticipated, so fewer jobs would be available, particularly at senior management level; and many older staff who had been in post for a number of years had no recent experience of job applications and interview.

Actions taken included: a programme of support made available to all staff, focusing on briefings about the assessment centre process, as well as job application and interview techniques, careers advice help with writing CVs.

A post-restructure review revealed: an increase in black senior managers; no negative impact on women or disabled staff; and a more equal balance between women and men among administrative staff. The EIA process also improved management understanding of the workforce and further regular monitoring is now in place.

Staff Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing at work is strongly linked to having a degree of control over our jobs and how they are done. Giving staff a say in how change is managed can have an impact on their wellbeing during a change process and may help to maintain productivity.

The Change Wellbeing Risk Assessment (for template see right-hand link) will help you to identify whether you need to put any measures in place to help your employees remain engaged and productive during change. Any actions identified should then be incorporated into your action plan. You may wish to repeat the exercise during the change if appropriate.


Ensure you understand the environment the change will occur in and try to anticipate any potential obstacles or constraints, and how these could be addressed. These might include issues around:

  • Time; what are the key milestones, are the timescales realistic, etc?
  • People; do you have sufficient staffing resource to implement the change?
  • Budget; what are the resourcing issues?
  • Culture; are there cultural changes involved?
  • Politics; anything to be aware of?
  • Publicity; involvement of stakeholders?
  • Are there any external stakeholders who will need involvement / communications?
  • Other issues e.g. factors that helped or hindered the success of similar change
  • Other risks to change success plans, and contingencies
  • Systems/processes/structural constraints or considerations
  • Support, documentation and training – e.g. for any users


Examine the change and determine:

  • Their likely expectations;
  • Their likely needs and concerns;
  • What they need to know / understand;
  • Their involvement; what will be needed from them for the change to be successful.

A stakeholder analysis exercise may be helpful.