4 Simple Steps for Effective Change Management

4 Simple Steps for Effective Change Management
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Change comes in all shapes and sizes. It fluctuates massively, but if there’s one commonality it’s the need for modern change management.

The discipline has grown with the times. Change was once introduced sparingly, where companies would roll with the same procedures for some time.

Now, with digital innovation being so prominent throughout industry, organizations are forced into developing faster than they ever have before.

Fail to change and you risk getting left in the dirt of competitors. Companies must regularly seek new ways to incorporate emerging technology.

These can enhance productivity, boosting business operations while enhancing the value provided for customers.

Change now occurs at a rate which is difficult for companies to register. From this desperation, and the countless initiatives that have failed, an entire field was created.

Change management involves the policies and procedures implemented to provide structure and order. When introduced with reckless abandon, without management, change can be chaotic and disruptive.

Instead, when properly managed companies are more likely to reach their objectives and ultimately transcend operations.

Acknowledging the need to change is a big step towards advancement, one which will shake the core of your organization.

But with an optimistic approach and continuous improvement philosophy, you’ll be positioned to make a huge difference.

It’s important to secure the commitment of your team, who should be proactively involved throughout proceedings.

Change should be viewed as a process, and by embracing the principles of effective change management you’ll reduce resistance and drive greater performance.

This can be the difference between improvement and backfire. But what exactly are the principles of effective change management?

These will understandably differ depending on your unique circumstances, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow common standards as a guideline.

Tailor your approach by extracting the advice which is most relevant to your situation.

Here are some top principles of effective change management:

Shift the Status Quo

Getting your team to embrace a directional shift has a lot to do with talking about what would happen if the status quo stayed the same.

Referencing the current status quo as unsustainable is enough to shock your team into trying something new. Though shock value isn’t always advised, it doesn’t hurt to speak about how the current way of doing things isn’t working.

You can even offer projections on where the company would be if it didn’t change. When staff realize the importance of changing to stay relevant, they’ll question their job security if they don’t embrace change.

You can enhance their perception of change further by enabling staff to master some great tools and techniques.

Sometimes only you and a few others will understand the importance of change. In this case, you must stress the importance of evolution in your rapidly-growing market.

You can back your points up with facts and arguments, which will make your case even stronger.

A Compelling Future

Your change initiative should be introduced with a promise for a brighter future. When staff are involved in your vision from early on, they’ll feel a part of something, and understand why they should behave favorably.

With your team on side, staff will be united, and most importantly motivated to reach common goals. They’ll be even more incentivized when you paint a sparkling picture of the future.

infographic-what-keeps-employee-motivated

Source image: Pinterest

Staff who observe a clear vision for the future will appreciate change more, especially when they have confidence in a mission that’s been clearly thought out.

Give people a reason to want to change, because this brings integrity into the equation. They can visualise a common path to success, and be excited about their proactive involvement in innovation.

Change Coalition

So you’ve laid the groundwork for change, meaning you’ve hopefully created a team of willing change champions.

Next you’ll need to establish a coalition of employees, comprising the most adamant supporters of your change procedures. They can vocalize their support to other staff, with a passion that’s infectious.

To enhance this passion and facilitate better team bonding, unite your team with fun games and activities!

There might be some disagreements along the way, but embrace differences and work together to find common resolutions. Your ability to overcome obstacles will define the character of your operations.

Incorporate staff feedback where possible, because they’ll offer valuable insight that you were perhaps oblivious too. Your job is to win over your coalition, who can consequently win over the rest of the organization.

It helps when your team is made up of key influencers and thought-leaders, especially if they’re people who have a strong influence over other staff.

Commitment

Making the case for change will certainly get the ball rolling, but successful change that sticks will need organization-wide support.

Once you’ve presented the case, it is left in the hands of staff. Whether they welcome change with open arms is up to them, but once you’ve secured their commitment you could be onto a real winner.

Offer opportunities for staff to proactively get involved in the change process. Staff will be motivated if you celebrate small wins with them.

This will reinforce behavior which aligns with your change goals, while keeping your team on track. With regular success indicators, staff will be primed to keep things moving in the right direction.

Securing commitment is about getting in the trenches and listening to frontline staff. They know their job better than you, so they’ll have valuable input you can integrate in your change strategy.

By offering personal ownership, your team will remain meaningfully involved, and they’ll be a strong force behind change.

Christopher Smith
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.
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