Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future – John F. Kennedy
Keeping up with the latest social media and technological tools has become essential to establish and maintain a competitive advantage. Even though almost everyone realizes the importance of evolving with globalization and the increased use of technology, it may still be hard for you to convince others to harness the power of change management.
Technology changes every six months and this means that change will be constant. Keeping employee morale at a high, minimizing resistance and being able to constantly evolve are essential to keeping your company afloat. As Chrissy Scivicque from Forbes.com states: “comfort can be more emotional than rational. Remember that you’re endlessly adaptable and that growth almost always comes with discomfort.”
Below are 5 effective ways that you can sell change management to company stakeholders.
1. Change Framing
The concept of change may be perceived as unstable and elicit feelings of uncertainty in employers and employees. Industry analyst powerhouse Gartner states “Gain board-level support and involve the full spectrum of department representatives to gather requirements”. It is necessary to convince your team that change can be maintained and is beneficial for the company. You must ensure that you understand the changes required and explain this change in positive terms. As noted in this article on Techrepublic.com, employees are more likely to be successful if they are engaged in a positive fashion. Persuade your team of the benefits that can be acquired by explaining the reasoning with detail and answer questions with confidence and ease.
2. Timing is Everything
“If the delivery of the change process does not include a clear understanding of the implementation mechanism, a communications plan, a marketing effort, incentives for change and a project focus, then the effort is likely to fail”. – Gartner
Introduce change at the time when it is most likely to be favorably received. Broach the topic when employee morale is high and stress the time-sensitive nature of the desired change. Instill a sense of urgency to adopt change management to ensure that your team recognizes that there is a need, and without it, it can be significantly detrimental to your company.
3. Get the Wheels in Motion
A motivated workforce will be more likely to embrace change management. Empower employees to act on the change as soon as possible and reward short term wins in order to celebrate changes and apply positive reinforcement.
If your team has a positive attitude in general, you’ll deal with minimal resistance towards change. Furthermore, according to Kotter’s Change Model, consolidating and anchoring change by portraying clear links to “performance, profit and customer satisfaction,” will ensure you are effective in selling change management to your company.
4. Implementing a Second Process Change — Project Management Changes
It will be highly beneficial for you to implement project management alongside change management, as they are two complementary processes. Organization and structure works well to maintain a sense of stability, which is crucial when change threatens to disrupt this balance. However, project management provides the tools to ensure that it is developed and delivered effectively, by identifying concerns and facilitating activities to ensure that these concerns are met. Feedback is then necessary and can further solidify change management with the aid of project management, by assessing whether goals are being met or not.
5. Reminding Naysayers of Consequences of Doing Nothing
Although it is difficult to change what many have become accustomed to, it will allow your company to develop and grow and this should be a selling point. As O.C. Tanner explains, “Businesses thrive when they embrace change”. Continue to remind your employees and stakeholders why change is necessary and the potential consequences of remaining static. This is paramount to effectively selling change management.