The process of organizational change can be natural, or it can be intentional, directed, and managed.
From a business perspective, of course, these are the most profitable changes.
Managed organizational changes are:
- More effective and efficient
- More profitable
To reduce errors, waste, and failures, every business should focus on accelerating, managing, and optimizing their organizational change projects.
Below, we will look at a 4 key cornerstones of effective change management.
4 Keys to Designing a Fast, Efficient Process of Organizational Change
Designing organizational change is no simple feat.
And it is even more difficult to design change that is fast, effective, and efficient.
But with the right preparation and execution, it is definitely possible.
Build your change program on these 4 pillars for best results:
1. Start with People
Effective change is driven by people – not forced upon them.
Here are some key steps that can help you earn workers’ support naturally:
- Begin with the individual. Organizational change starts with the individual worker, employee, user, manager, and so on. Earning their support should be a key focus of your efforts.
- Build the right culture. Align your business culture with your organization’s mission and aim. A business that aims to deliver a cutting-edge customer experience, for instance, will need a culture that is digitally literate, open to change, and customer-centered.
- Develop skills. Workers need the right skills to be productive. Any process of organizational change should develop skills and abilities.
- Design employee experiences that engage. Employee experiences impact engagement, productivity, satisfaction, among other employee metrics. Better experiences will help your organizational changes get better results – so improving the employee experience should be viewed as an investment, not an expense.
Organizational changes that are centered around humans deliver better results, earn more support, and suffer from fewer setbacks.
Human-centered design, in short, shouldn’t be an afterthought – it should lie at the very heart of your approach.
2. Improve Processes
Processes that worked decades ago won’t work in today’s digital environment.
Change management processes, systems, and mechanisms can always be improved.
Today’s change managers should build systems that are:
- Agile – Build processes around collaboration, communication, users, and results.
- Fast – Speed helps you innovate, create, and deliver products and services more quickly than your competitors.
- Data-driven – Use data to gain insights, make better decisions, learn, and improve.
- Human-centric – User feedback and data can help your programs stay relevant and human-driven.
The right processes and procedures can make a significant difference in project outcomes.
As we’ll see below, continual improvement should be another key principle of your change processes.
3. Adopt the Right Tools
The digital age is upon us.
With the right tools, you can make significant gains across many dimensions.
Better project outcomes, more efficient processes, more productive employees – these are just a few benefits you can expect if you have good digital tools.
Some of the most valuable tools for organizational change managers include:
- Project management tools. There are countless project management tools on the market – Jira, Zoho, Wrike, and Freedcamp, just to name a few. Today, such tools have become absolutely essential for staying organized and on track.
- Learning management systems. Learning management systems combine content management with educational software. These platforms help educators organize course content, communicate with students, track attendance, administer grades, and so on.
- Human resources software. Human resources streamline every HR function imaginable, including payroll, attendance, orientation, recruitment, and more. Many of these features, such as employee survey tools and automated communication features, can prove very valuable during organizational changes.
- Digital adoption platforms. Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) go several steps beyond learning management systems. They automate employee training by offering in-app guidance, tutorials, and interactions. Compared to traditional training solutions, DAPs deliver a much better return on investment.
Tools such as these can offer significant benefits to your business.
However, it is important to note that merely purchasing a tool is not enough – you need to fully adopt a tool.
All of your digital transformation efforts should incorporate effective digital adoption strategies.
The right digital adoption approach, therefore, is just as critical as choosing the right software.
4. Learn and Adapt
Finally, never stop evolving.
To stay relevant, adopt a kaizen-style mindset – that is, never stop improving.
Here are a few ways to do that:
- Collect feedback. Collecting feedback from employees, users, and customers is one of the best ways to learn from people.
- Analyze data. Another is through data analysis – such as software usage, employee engagement statistics, and so on.
- Identify areas for improvement. Use the information you’ve collected to identify weak points, growth opportunities, and areas that need improvement.
- Test solutions. Test new solutions continually and gradually, without overextending or over-investing.
Treat kaizen – or continual improvement – as a principle.
If you do, then your change management processes will never stop evolving.
In the long run, this principle will help you design faster, more efficient organizational change projects.
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.