Change management entails thoughtful planning and careful implementation, and above all, consultation with and strategic involvement of the people affected by the oncoming changes. These three requirements effectively combined are what determine if the change that is being introduced is going gain popularity amongst the organization’s key stakeholders. This article will present 5 tips for change management success.
1. Get your employees involved
Employee involvement and buy-in is critical to ensuring changes made in your company are successful. When you invite members of your staff to actively participate in a typical change process, it increases the likelihood that everyone in your organization will accept the changes being introduced. By soliciting for feedback, you are demonstrating that you value employee input and you want to accommodate everyone in the change. One chief benefit of all-round involvement is that it encourages key stakeholders to embrace change, in spite of the nitty-gritty it entails, because they feel like they own it. Although pushing change from the top expecting it to cascade through the organizations structure may seem cool, a little known culture left to chance and instinct will likely dig in its heels.
2. Get your timing right
Timing is the single most important component to smooth adoption of the change you are selling. By getting your timing right you can build the required momentum to get all key stakeholders, the boardroom and senior management excited about your proposal. Try not to effect change when the organization is under immense pressure. Likewise, it would be unwise to advocate for change management during a time of the year that is extremely busy. Simply put, selling change requires one to have the ability to seamlessly market it while minimizing disruption. Be mindful that if your timing is wrong, you pressure for change might fail to get the moment it requires to become an eventual success.
3. Monitor the impact of the change
It is imperative to monitor the actions within the change management plan, continuously assessing the level of progress made and if necessary redrafting parts of the plan accordingly. There are three key elements to effectively monitoring the impact of the change project namely:
Measuring benefits – measuring the fruits realized thus far against the outcomes identified at the beginning of the change process.
Identifying flaws, gaps and resistance – if some of the expected changes are yet to be realized this may be because of flaws in the actions undertaken or gaps within the organization. Identification of such gaps and flaws enables you to come up with corrective actions to actualize the change.
Reinforcement – Having achieved great milestones of change, it’s not uncommon for organizations to shift back to behaving along the past lines. Frequent monitoring helps you to keep everyone on the right track of change.
4. Adopt a unique approach
When it comes to change of management, one size never fits all. To capture your organization’s unique needs you need to know your options and be in a position to configure them to fir your needs. Therefore to successfully deploy a change management formula, you need to first understand how it fits your company. What are your current needs? What goals do you anticipate to achieve with this change? How much time and resources will this project take to fully implement? What level of resources is your organization capable of dedicating toward the successful completion of the change management platform? By aligning your approach with your company’s unique needs, you have a system that suits the long-term objectives of your organization.
5. Expect Resistance
Don’t be fooled into thinking everyone in your organization will embrace the change. Whether it is changes in processes, personnel or management, you can expect some people to resist. Resistance to change is best viewed as a normal reaction. Even the most supportive, cooperative employees may experience resistance. The ideal thing is to introduce change believing that all your colleagues want to cooperate and that they’ll fully support the changes with time. One suitable way to reduce natural resistance to change is to always involve your employees who will be asked to embrace the change (as discussed in tip one above).
If you take the initiative to introduce change in an environment that is employee-oriented and full of trust, you have a huge advantage. You must however understand that even in the most supportive environment, there are always some minor teething problems to be expected.