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Change Management: How do you handle change?

By October 23, 2019 No Comments

Change is inevitable and it is absolutely necessary if you want your business to grow. Nowadays, the majority of the organizations are in a constant state of change. They need to continue to evolve in order to keep up with the fast-moving and dynamic business world, technological advancements, and local and global economies. The systems, strategies, and processes need to change continuously so that your organization can remain competitive.

Adapting to change may be challenging for both management and for employees. One has to ensure that people, the organization’s most precious asset, are facilitated to adapt to the change comfortably; otherwise they could become frustrated, lose motivation to work or even quit working for the organization. Organizations don’t want this to happen because losing good employees is not a desirable outcome. It costs the firm time, money and loss of crucial intimate knowledge of the business operation that each employee possesses.

Effective Organizational Change Management

Managers and business leaders must know how to manage organizational change effectively. A proper change management plan can provide support and guidance to your employees to make the transition smooth. If you fail to have a plan, you will be in trouble before the process starts – about 70% of change initiatives end up in failure because of unproductive management behavior and negative employee attitudes.

Six Steps to Manage Change

 

 

1. Define the change in a clear way and connect it to the business goals

Questions to ask:

  • What needs to be changed?
  • Why do we need this change?

While it seems obvious, many companies fail to do this fundamental task. This is not the same as articulating the required change. Rather, it requires a critical, thorough review of the change in relation to the organizational objectives and performance goals so that you can determine whether the change will steer your business in the correct direction so that it can be successful strategically, ethically, and financially. Clearly defining the change will also help you analyze the value of change so that you can know how much inputs such as efforts or money you should invest in it.

2. Determine the breadth and width of the impact and who will be affected

Questions to ask:

  • What are the effects of this change?
  • Who will be the most affected by this change?
  • How will the concerned people receive the change?

After deciding what you want to achieve through the change and why it is needed, it is time to consider the impacts of that change at every organizational level. Analyze how it will affect every business unit and how it will be transmitted through the organizational structure to the person. Utilize this knowledge to make a plan regarding where support and training are most needed to neutralize any adverse effects.

3. Build a communication strategy

Questions to ask:

  • How will we communicate the change?
  • Who will be managing the feedback?

While it is important to assist all your employees throughout the journey of change, the first two steps mentioned above will help you select the employees whom you must communicate to about the change. Figure out the mode of communication that would be the best to bring the concerned person or people on board. Your communication strategy should have all the necessary elements. It should include a timeline for the change, the communication channels, and the key messages.

4. Help your employees adapt to the change through effective training

Questions to ask:

  • What skills and behaviors are needed to meet business goals?
  • Which methods of training delivery will be the best for our situation?

After you have communicated the change, it is essential that you inform your staff that they will have access to training (informal, structured, or both) so that they can learn the knowledge and skills that are needed to operate with efficiency while the change is implemented. You can make the training more effective by incorporating micro-learning online modules, on-the-job mentoring and coaching, and face-to-face training sessions.

5. Create a support structure

Questions to ask:

  • Which area requires the most support?
  • Which kinds of support will be the most effective?

Change is difficult for almost everybody. To be able to cope up with change, your employees will need a proper support structure so that you can provide emotional assistance to them. It will also enable you to help them adjust practically to the change and develop the skills and behaviors that are required to achieve the desired business goals. Sometimes, change can bring restructures or redundancies. This means that you can help your staff navigate through the changing situation by offering support such as counseling services, mentorship or an open-door policy with your management to get answers to queries soon.

Measuring the process of change

Questions to ask:

  • Was the change helpful in the achievement of the business goals?
  • How successful was the change management process?
  • What could we have done differently?

Your company should have a structure in place so that you can measure the impact of the changes throughout the change management process. This will help you continuously create reinforcement opportunities to develop proficiencies. Your change management process should also be evaluated for effectiveness. Learn from any mistakes and document what you have learned.

Providing Support and Building the Right Attitudes

 

 

In addition to these steps, you can support others, adapt and create the right attitudes by investing time and effort into simple activities like:

  • Taking time to listen and watch to identify the concerns of your employees.
  • Showing your concern by letting your employees communicate to you and the management about their problems and taking steps to solve them.
  • Try to improve the situation in whichever ways possible but don’t promise to do something that would be impossible for you to deliver.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and encourage your employees to come up with fresh ideas, solutions, and cost savings.
  • Seeking opportunity will help create a positive mindset because it will let everybody focus on what can be done rather than on what is out of their control.
  • Prepare and train them to transition smoothly into new roles.

 

It is hard to predict exactly what will happen when you roll out the change in your company, but the tips mentioned above will surely help you manage it well, saving you time as well as money. Also, these assessment tools [Managing Change Assessment (Individual) and Managing Change Assessment (360 Degree)] can function as a great resource to equip you with the knowledge and skills about the competencies to manage change well.

 

 

References

D. Love, P., Li, H., Irani, Z., & D. Holt, G. (2000). Re‐thinking TQM: toward a framework for facilitating learning and change in construction organizations. The TQM Magazine. doi: 10.1108/09544780010318361

Gill, R. (2002). Change management–or change leadership? Journal of Change Management, 3(4), 307-318. doi: 10.1080/714023845

Morgan, D., & Zeffane, R. (2003). Employee involvement, organizational change and trust in management. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 14(1), 55-75. doi: 10.1080/09585190210158510

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