What are the biggest change management success factors?
Below, we’ll look at a few key tips that can help you create change programs that drive real results.
What Are the Most Important Change Management Success Factors?
The following tips are crucial for any company that wants to successfully implement change.
1. Executive Buy-In
Buy-in is critical, but you actually need more than that.
To actually have a solid impact, your executive sponsorship must be active, visible, and engaged.
Make it a point to obtain this support as early as possible – studies have shown that executive support is the most important change management success factor.
2. Employee Support
Employee support is another critical component of success.
Since people are the heart of an organization, they drive change. Without them on your side, a change program cannot do well.
A few ways to obtain support include:
- Emphasizing the benefits of change for employees
- Two-way communication
- Inviting participation – and accepting feedback
There are many techniques to explore, and they are all worth studying.
After all, with employee support, your change program will stand a much better chance of success.
And, more importantly, employees will be happier and more engaged.
3. Change Champions
Change champions – or advocates – are your frontline change activists.
They proactively support change within targeted business areas.
Having change champions helps you because they can assist with:
- Training and onboarding
- Promoting your change program
- Monitoring progress
Among other things.
4. Precise, Measurable Goals
Measurable goals are critical for tracking progress and holding people accountable.
These goals should be specific and quantitative – and they should also include deadlines.
Naturally, your change management goals should also be achievable. If they are not, then adjust them as necessary to make them more realistic.
These goals can also be used to gain insight, prove progress to business leaders, and help you learn what needs fixing.
Adaptability is essential in today’s fast-paced world.
The more adaptable and flexible you are, the better your program will be able to adapt to changes.
If your program cannot react well to changes, then it will be less able to deal with external events.
For instance, changes in customer demands or the marketplace could impact your change strategy.
This is why it’s critical to have a change process for your own change initiative.
6. Comprehensive Training
Employee training has a direct impact on employee productivity, frustration, and satisfaction.
For these reasons, it directly impacts the success of a change program.
The best training is:
- Online and offline
- Modern and digital
- Enacted before and after the change program
Effective training can also positively impact employee longevity – the more an employee can develop his or her career, the more loyal they will be.
7. A Fun and Engaging Communications Plan
Change doesn’t have to be boring.
In fact, it shouldn’t be.
The more fun and engaging you can make change, the more engaged and productive employees will be.
Therefore, make it a point to include fun – or at least interesting – change management exercises.
These can include team building exercises, games, social events, up-beat training sessions, and more.
Be creative and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
8. An Innovation Hub
Innovation is a central theme of today’s change programs.
These innovations often stem from digital technology. And they can drive entire organizations and industries to transform.
Companies that understand the value of digital transformation, in fact, are also making it a point to establish digital innovation hubs within their organizations.
Consider making innovation a permanent business function, such as a cross-functional team or an entire department.
Doing so will help companies stay competitive in today’s innovative, disruptive economy.
9. A Digital Component
Digital is not an option these days – it is a must.
Though it is not necessary to turn every company into a technology company, digital savvy is essential.
For organizations, this means:
- Adopting digital technology
- Using adaptable, modern-day business models
- Keeping up with the changing demands of their customers
For change professionals, it also means implementing digital software.
Not because it is trendy, but because it can lighten workloads and improve results.
10. Strategy for Sustaining Change
Your change program is not complete … even after it is finished.
That is to say, unless you reinforce change, it won’t stick.
Reinforcement is the final stage of a change program, and this is where many companies fall flat.
To reinforce change after the program’s completion:
- Continue measuring key metrics, such as productivity, change engagement, and other relevant engagement metrics
- Keep your communications plan in action, reinforcing your core messages and your change story
- Conduct post-program reviews and evaluations
As you keep gathering data, respond to any weaknesses.
If key indicators start slipping, it may be necessary to take more steps to keep employees on the right track.
Change management is certainly not easy.
There are many barriers to success, from employee resistance to obsolete technology.
And while the change manager’s job is not easy, successful change is possible.
Following the steps outlined here can help change managers improve their results, cut costs, and create a more satisfying workplace.
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.