Sometimes it’s tough to be receptive to change, especially when you grow comfortable with the status quo.
With organization change management, staff can more easily adapt to change, with pre-planned strategies that are flexible to changing circumstances.
Whether it’s our fundamental attitude to change, or poorly planned organization change management, initiatives fail more often than not.
This can cause companies different problems, especially in a world where markets, technologies, and customer preferences are constantly shifting.
Crucial mistakes can negatively influence internal operations, so it’s your responsibility as a leader to help your team navigate through changes.
This is no easy task, and they’ll be many stumbling blocks along the way.
By communicating effectively and embracing a positive mental outlook, you’ll be halfway there, but it’s crucial you can minimize mistakes.
To give you a better chance to succeed, it’s important to identify common errors before they occur, so you can reduce their negative impact.
To help you avoid, or at the very least deal with errors, here are the biggest mistakes change leaders face:
Failure to Develop a Clear Communication Plan
Change often fails because it isn’t communicated properly. When staff are left in the dark about what’s happening, they can resent change when it’s sprung upon them.
This makes them less likely to embrace change, and follow the objectives you’ve planned.
Transparent communication is important before, during, and after the change process has occurred.
This will create a more accepting workforce, which can be achieved through an effective communication plan.
Not Incorporating Feedback In your Organization Change Management
It’s crucial you incorporate regular, up-to-date feedback as part of your change strategy.
When you involve staff, they’ll be more motivated to embrace change, and can contribute valuable input which improves the quality of your procedures.
When observing the real-time effects of change, you should be open to adjust your plan based on how it’s received, utilizing an adaptive approach to achieve desired results.
Measure the effects of change, and make adjustments based on your team’s reaction. Incorporating feedback in this way will maximize results.
Ignoring the Cause of Resistance
Employees can resist change because it’s human nature to do so, but that shouldn’t be used as an excuse. What’s more common is staff not buying into seemingly bad ideas.
A more likely cause for resistance is a negative perception of change, or a lack of information leading staff to thinking change is unwise.
It’s essential you work out why change is being resisted on an organizational level, and address the root cause.
By learning the true causes, you can implement corrective action and reduce the negative impact of resistance.
No one likes being told what to do, especially if they’re approached in a condescending way.
Staff need to feel valued, but a common mistake is for change to be introduced as a demand.
Your organization change management strategy should preference change as an educational process.
This gives staff an opportunity to gently adapt, rather than being thrown in at the deep end and forced to respond.
Harsh decisions are less encouraging, and though they can become part of the institutional culture, they breed reluctance.
Training and education are the best ways to enact positive change.
When influential members of staff fail to endorse change, it becomes more difficult to accept.
Inconsistent executive sponsorship is a common mistake, which unfolds as follows: Executives begin with enthusiastic support, and are very vocally active.
Staff jump on board initially, but leaders become inactive. Staff are left with a conflicted message about whether they should support initiatives, and this fuels more resistance.
Leaders must be consistent about their approach to change, because clear advocacy will set a good example for staff. Change must be embraced from the top down, and be visible throughout the organization.
Organization change management is often addressed from a simplistic perspective.
Leader’s perspectives are rooted in their own development, while failing to acknowledge change from different points of view.
When leaders fail to acknowledge the complexity of change, its impact can do more harm than good.
What’s most important is for leaders to observe how change will impact different departments, understanding nothing is easy.
Expecting Immediate Acceptance
People react to change in phases. You can’t expect to spring a change on staff and it be immediately accepted.
Some staff will adjust quicker than others, and you should create a realistic timeline for change acceptance.
Support your team through the process, and comfort them during times of resistance. If they’re set to lose something, offer reassurance, and field their questions with appropriate solutions.
It can take employees time to get their head around change, but once they’ve fully accepted it, change has a better chance of becoming embedded in organizational culture.
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.