Change is everywhere we look. Human beings change all the time, and this is one of just a few things that’s guaranteed in our lives. But how exactly is change managed?
Not only do we change, but our environments constantly change too. The way these two elements interact is how businesses evolve, to meet the ever-increasing demands of customers.
These have been propelled by technological advancements, alongside our desire to innovate and evolve. Though changes are usually introduced with positive intentions, they can fall flat when not managed properly.
This is a common business failure, where poor change management can be the difference between success and failure. But what exactly is organizational change management? Before we get to the advantages of a change management plan, let’s first look at an organization change definition:
Organization Change Definition
Before you learn how to manage change, you should first establish an organization change definition. This understanding will form the basis for future development.
Organizational change is a mandatory concept in a progressive business world, which involves the strategies, methods, and structures needed to reshape your organization.
This involves assessing change from both a structural and behavioral vantage point, while ensuring change is compatible with company culture.
The best organization change definition will draw aspects of psychology, political science, sociology, economics, and management. It is a diverse field where you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach, but you can implement a steady strategy which is subject to constant modifications.
Now we’ve established an organization change definition, let’s look at how a change management plan will benefit your business:
The Benefits of an Organizational Change Management Plan
One of the biggest mountains to climb is getting people on board. This is half the battle when attempting transitions, and your strategy will be motivated by the people involved in the process. It’s your team who will ultimately drive change, so their needs should be considered as a top priority.
Here are some great motivations for embracing a change management plan:
Align Current Resources
Change is often associated with an overhaul of resources, but it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, if you can align change with your current infrastructure, it will be more beneficial and you’ll save considerably on cost.
You can approach this by integrating current resources with your future vision, which serves the purpose of maximizing what you have and what you’re investing in. With the right change strategy in place, you can align your existing resources with your new tools and resources, thus making the entire process more efficient.
Motivation is everything when it comes to change. You can have the best initiative in the world, but if it isn’t well-received by staff it’s basically worthless.
With a change management plan, there will be numerous opportunities to promote change from the top-down. You can never over-communicate its importance, so with effective dialogue you can sing the praises of change from the rooftops.
This will encourage staff to embrace change with open arms, especially when they realize there’s something in it for them. To increase motivation further, you’d be wise to incorporate staff feedback too.
This will secure buy-in, and give staff an incentive to work in the best interests of the change initiative.
By recognizing those who succeed, you’ll encourage the positive behavior you’re seeking to repeat.
Maintain Daily Duties
Change can be a disruptive force, but when properly managed this is less of an issue. If you’re concerned about harming your current operations, you can execute an effective plan to prevent total chaos.
Though some sacrifices will be necessary, they shouldn’t be to the detriment of performance. It’s natural for productivity to drop slightly, especially during the acceptance stage of change.
However, what’s important is people can continue performing their day-to-day roles effectively, without negatively influencing productivity too much.
With a change management plan, you can accommodate people in a fairly straightforward fashion. To keep staff engaged, why not try one of these activities?
Change is naturally risky, especially when you’re dealing with elements of the unknown. With a progressive change management strategy, you can mitigate risks by implementing measures in the best interest of your company.
These should consider staff wellbeing at every layer, since it’s people who will ultimately drive success. Reduce the risk of an unsuccessful attempt at change with a properly devised plan, while usefully reducing the time it takes to change.
Evaluate Employee Concerns
Employees will be naturally concerned when change is proposed, because change is often behaviorally linked with dismissal. To overcome this negative association, a change management plan will reassure staff everything will be OK.
It will promote the positive influence of change, and how it’s necessary to help the business thrive. To effectively execute communication, you should create a two-way dialogue where staff have an opportunity to contribute their own suggestions.
This will align their interests with change initiatives, and help achieve sponsorship organization-wide.
If you want to become a change champion, why not master these great tools and techniques.
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.