THE Royal Mint is ringing the changes for the New Year quite literally... by replacing our £1 coin for the first time in 30 years.

It will be swapped for a larger, thinner, 12-sided, bi-metallic coin in March.

That’s a lot to deal with. First off, how are we going to release shopping trolleys?

Undoubtedly, it will take time to get used to things.

Unless you’re an HR professional. After all, one of the essential skills any HR practitioner must master is the successful management of change.

This is true whether you’re seeking a starting role as an HR assistant or hoping to nail “HR director” to your office door in 2017.

Achieving mastery involves first understanding the mechanics of every new change, however big or small. This means discussing every element with managers until there is a clear picture of what’s going to happen, how this will look, and what the final outcome will be.

Along the way you’ll ask the questions others may not be thinking (or avoiding!): Does everyone have the skills and resources to make the change? Will extra training be needed?

In fact, your greatest value at this stage will be as a pesky busy-body, insisting enough time and energy is spent on laying solid foundations.

After this, communication is everything.

The first thing to remember is it’s only human to resist change, so there’s no point storming in with your best Borg impression: “Resistance is futile!”

Instead offer information as plainly and as completely as possible. What’s changing, how it’s changing.

Once the what and the how are understood move to the why: Why the company is moving in this direction, why the change is a great idea, and why everyone must come onboard.

Now be prepared to answer questions, such as: But what’s wrong with the way things are? Will I have to work longer?

If the change is taking place in a specialist area, harness the talent around you to provide knowledge and expertise.

Introducing a new intranet-based service, for example? Ask your IT guru to help explain the details.

Often changes within a company can impact clients too, so guide them through what’s happening – if you have a communications officer, use their channels.

Finally, gathering feedback will highlight areas needing fine-tuned to make the change a rip-roaring success.

Master change and you master your career destiny!