Today’s work culture requires companies to continuously innovate. These changes must be managed if they’re to be implemented successfully, to ease what can otherwise seem like a drastic transition.
We’re creatures of habit, and if something threatens our comfort zone we’re bound to reject it. We’re wired that way, and by appreciating human nature you can introduce measures to facilitate seamless change.
When there is something new on the horizon at work, there’s usually a considerable flow of information and various new technologies to master. This is where tools and techniques can be advantageous.
It’s the potency of your training methods which equip staff with the skills they need to be successful going forward. But can you imagine introducing the unknown without training?
Not only would chaos ensue, but change would fall flat on its face amidst a disillusioned and dumbfounded team.
Well, change management can be perceived as a philosophy which equates to new job training.
Managing the people side of change is crucially important in today’s day and age. Now there is less focus on technical implications and more on the human element.
Ultimately, it is the attitude of your team which determines the success of change.
Are staff willing to embrace change as part of a continuous improvement philosophy?
Are they excited by the prospect of change rather than feeling scared?
This leads to the bigger question, how do you go about managing change? Well, using a change management model is a great place to start.
There are many fantastic pieces of literature to explore, and from these established theories you can extract the information you need on your quest to change.
Accommodating staff need’s is crucial. Leaders will know what’s necessary to adapt to ever-evolving market demands, but do their team?
Aligning expectations doesn’t have to be a dull procedure. In fact, you can incorporate some fun activities to get your team excited.
Change can be disruptive, but when managed properly you can retain the sanity of staff and make their lives easier. This will adjust your staff’s perception of change, so they view it as a positive rather than a hindrance.
So which change management model should you use? Draw inspiration from the two fantastic models outlined below and you’ll be at ease with change.
Lewin’s Change Management Model
This popular change management model was developed in the 1950s. Despite its age, the theory is still highly relevant today.
It uses ice as a metaphor for change, and the theory’s flexible nature means it can be adjusted accordingly. The stages are as follows:
The predisposition to change involves an acknowledgement change is necessary. This generates an opportunity for preparation, where you can challenge your company’s cultural values.
This is the most difficult stage, especially when you consider the backlash of stubborn employees who are understandably hesitant to embrace something new.
Managing the ensuing uncertainty isn’t easy, but challenging the status quo will shape the progressive character of your company.
When employees begin to realize why change is necessary for growth, and how they can benefit from it, you’ll be making real progress.
The acceptance of change will help employees acclimate, while sharpening their problem solving skills.
Throughout the nitty gritty of change, you should provide support. Advanced communication is desirable, and you can guide your staff through the storm with a reassuring voice.
The final stage is arguably the most fruitful. Observing the stability of change will make the difficult times seem worthwhile. Your company will understand how to operate going forward, and new business processes will be embraced and fully understood.
With full acceptance and implementation of new duties, you will have freezed the new status quo. They’ll be supported organization-wide, and your practice will have visibly changed.
This goal focused model will help you achieve cumulative goals on route to bigger objectives. This is crucial when change is on the horizon, so you can closely monitor progress, incentivize your team, and observe measurable progression.
When your business changes in harmony with employees, successful change will be imminent.
Here are the critical steps involved in this change management model:
A – Awareness
As a business leader, you establish the necessity of change. You realize its importance, and have a clear responsibility to increase the awareness of your team.
D – Desire
An awareness for change is one thing, but can you and your team proactively participate? With a desire to change leaders will endorse change from the top down.
If they’re keen champions of change, their sponsorship will be infectious, and your team’s desire to change will increase.
K – Knowledge
Having the idea is one thing, but having the infrastructure and information you need for implementation is another. Stakeholders should know how to change, and appreciate what change will look like.
Desirable skills and behaviors should be secured and promoted organization-wide.
A – Ability
Change should be embraced at the root of company culture. Your organization should have the ability to regularly implement change.
R – Reinforcement
Change should be embraced on a daily basis. It should be positively reinforced with incentives, and established until it becomes the new status quo. Once change has become the norm, your initiative is a success.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.