Successful change management is not easily achieved and there is a lot to be factored in order to be successful. With company board members and shareholders often focused on the actual bottom line, change management should start and end with the numbers. Paying more attention to the main objective, and not to the individuals responsible for achieving those goals, usually leads to disgruntled employees, slow to adopt new procedures, resistance to the changes, and the results which fail to hit the mark.
Nevertheless, it is very possible to navigate and chart even drastic organizational changes and succeed, both from a human resource perspective and in a financial sense. In that regard, for a successful change management, the following tips can be useful to you.
Tips on Successful Change Management
1. Involve employees in the process of organizational change
The most important factor to consider for successful change is involving your staff members from the beginning of the project. In this case, the approach of top-down does not work. The top management can sometimes become secretive and insular about changes, particularly those related to the restructuring or layoffs. Springing major organizational changes on your team members, especially at the last hour may result in resentment, anger, even strikes and violence. It is therefore critical and necessary to involve your employees as soon as you set the goals to be achieved.
2. Make effective delegation
When you think of involving your staff members in the change, make sure you give them tasks, which contribute to the target of that change. As a manager, you should avoid shouldering the whole burden just by yourself alone. Instead, allow your employees to share responsibility and ownership for the smooth transition and this way, they will definitely feel more secure and in control. In short, you need to inspire them to think like real entrepreneurs. Encouraging employees and spreading the workload to solve certain issues in the creative manner that makes them feel integral to the company’s future.
Communication is also one of the best tools for a successful change management. However, you cannot over-communicate when speaking about change. Therefore, try to communicate in a wide range of media to easily accommodate different learning styles of people. Know what people need to know and make a big announcement about it. When answering question, try to be simple, clear and answer them up front to help team members navigate the change.
4. Address feelings
Another important thing you should do for change management to be successful is to make sure you consider the emotions and concerns of your employees when establishing any organizational change. In fact, bad feelings can cause low morale and this can paralyze their performance as well.
5. Always follow through, but don’t forget to be flexible
Make sure that the change is properly implemented and completed by remaining firm in your set goals. For instance, if some parts of your project or plan are left uncompleted, and then it means that the rest of the organizational changes might be avoided, leaving the staff members less committed to the process. In addition, make sure to remain very flexible when implementing the changes.
6. Be aware of the ripple effects
Most companies operate as multilayered and interwoven systems. Just a little change can ripple out and affects something completely different. Keenly look out the entire organization and then consider looking out even farther. You can request for the contribution of other people and try to understand how change is going to influence processes and the procedure things should be done. Change management and risk management go hand in hand, and so there is the importance of understanding the full effect as much as possible.
7. Build a common organizational change language and tools
When every individual in the company understands how change is implemented and communicated across the organization, they would not see changes to be so disruptive. Employees should want to know what is exactly being changed and how it affects them. They also want to know what they are expected to do, and whom they will ask for guidance or for clarification on certain issues arising with the implementation of those changes. With the use of common change process and language across the company (for example Six Sigma), can really help in reducing anxiety among employees and at the same time making change a bit normal.
8. Emphasize the organizational values
Framing change in light of the organizational values is yet another way of a successful change management. Always remind everyone involved in the change about the mission, culture and values of your company. Share your vision of how the organizational change will benefit them and the company itself. When change is in line with the shared values, even the most difficult changes will feel right and this will help to have a sense of community and purpose.
For instance, if your organization priorities values and growth excellence, moving from a system of internal to an external talent acquisition in order to manage the demands of creating new locations will also feel right to staff members. However, this also implies that people presently serving as the internal recruiters will be reassigned or be out of their jobs. In this case, the change will be aligning with the prioritized organizational growth and as an advanced way of ensuring excellence. The shared organizational values bond individuals together, ensuring mutual relationship and understanding for the benefits of the company.
9. Stay positive and focus ahead
One thing you must be sure of is that any change in the organization must affect everyone from top management right down to the employees. It is therefore important to demonstrate enthusiasm either for the changes themselves or for those who implement them. By doing this, you will definitely motivate everyone to remain focused and dedicated in a positive manner.
The attribute of a successful change management is to place value on the numbers and on the individuals who make the numbers happen. Consider their experience, ideas, knowledge, thoughts and even emotions to ensure an effective transition.
Lastly, organizational change is always constant and inevitable. It is not an event, but a real process. Therefore, for a successful change management, you must consider some of the above-discussed tips.
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.