Change is hard for everyone to accept, whether it is in their personal lives or at work. So when it comes time to implement the necessary changes in your organization, you need a quality change model that can help you explain what’s going to happen to your employees and to get them to feel excited about and dedicated to those changes.
Many models have been proposed for implementing change, including notable examples like the McKinsey 7s model and the Satir change management model. You may be confused about which is the right choice for your organization and the types of changes you are planning to make.
The reality is that none of the current models may be right for you, and you may need to create a hybrid between several models. The best way to know what kind of change model you need is to ask yourself the following questions:
1. What are Your Goals for the Changes You Want to Make?
Before you identify the changes you want to make, you should identify goals you want to reach. Do you want to increase sales? Expand your audience reach? You cannot implement a system of change without knowing the ultimate goal for that change.
Your goals also need to be specific. You can’t settle for a simple goal like “improve service.” You need to know to what end – to improve your reputation in the community? To increase sales? If you want to do something like increase sales, you need to identify by how much and in what time frame.
Your goals should be as specific as possible, and they should have mechanisms for measuring them. The changes you implement should be designed at every step of the way to meet those goals.
The model you choose for implementing change should include components that allow you to monitor your goal progress and to measure your success. If the system does not already have such components, you may be able to add them.
2. How Many New Things are Being Introduced with the Changes?
Change can be about attitudes and approaches, or it can involve new infrastructure and technology. Employees are going to struggle when they have to change anything about their routine, and if you add a lot of new software or equipment for them to learn, they are going to struggle even more.
You need to think through how many new things are going to be introduced to your employees to know what kind of change model you need to be successful. The more new things your employees have to learn, the more time you will need to implement the change process and the more oversight you will need at each step of the process.
Provide plenty of support for your employees to help them adapt to the changes and feel confident in their use of the new tools and equipment. Train early adopters so they can provide support and training for their peers. You can even provide a salary raise or other bonus for these early adopters to incentivize their help.
Think about the changes from the perspective of your employees to have a realistic understanding of how the new processes will affect them. If you are asking your employees to take on a lot and to learn a lot of new skills, you’ll need to choose a change management model that will support and empower them through it.
The same is true if you are adding a lot of new employees or managers with your changes. Shifting the hierarchical structure can shake things up significantly, and if you don’t have an appropriate model for introducing those changes, you are setting yourself up for failure.
3. How Comprehensive is the Scope of Proposed Changes?
Are you planning to tweak the way you produce products so that you do it faster and save a bit of money? Or are you planning to completely slash a product line and radically shift the focus of what you sell, requiring employees to almost relearn their jobs?
The scope of your changes makes a big impact on what kind of change model you need. The more expansive the scope of your proposed changes, the more detailed your change management model needs to be.
Make sure that you are either using an existing model that will adequately reflect and manage the scope of the changes being implemented, or work with change management experts to create a model specifically for your company and your needs. If your model does not adequately reflect the scope of the changes you plan to implement, the model will fail – and the changes like will, too.
4. Where Are Your Employees in the Process?
You will never be successful with the changes you want to implement if your employees are not on board with them. But accepting change is a process for everyone, and not all of your employees will be on the same page when you develop your change model. You need to consider where they are in the process when you choose the right model.
Do your employees already recognize the need for change? It may be that you are planning to implement changes to address problems that your employees have already raised.
Do your employees accept that change is coming, or are they fighting it? Overcoming their resistance will have to be a part of the process if they are still strongly against what’s coming.
An honest assessment of where your employees are at will help you develop the right model for change. If your employees need more coaxing, that should be factored into the process and the timeline. Trying to rush them through the change will only undermine the process.
Ideally, you would prepare your employees for the coming change long before you need to implement it. One way to do so is to establish a culture of open communication that keeps employees in-the-know and fosters trust.
However, if you don’t already have that open dialogue established, you’ll have to work harder to bring your employees around and convince them of the necessity of the change. You’ll also have to put the time into building their trust. Without it, you will doom yourself to fail.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Established Models – Create the Change Model You Need
There are a lot more ways to determine the right model for implementing the changes you want to make in your organization. You should rely on your experience and intuition to know what’s needed, and you should research successful strategies and adopt the elements that will be most beneficial to your company.
It is important that you think through the answers to all of these questions so you can create a comprehensive strategy for implementing your changes. Then you can choose a change management software to help you oversee the change process.
WalkMe is a software solution to help you create and manage the right change model for your company. With it, you can oversee every step of the process and track your successes. You’ll be able to manage personnel, new tools and equipment, timelines, and more.
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.