When successful, there are countless benefits to managed change:
- Benefits for the organization
- Benefits for employees
- Benefits for specific teams and departments
These advantages come in many forms – from improved work processes to enhanced employee experiences.
Below, we will look at 15 reasons why change management is so necessary for today’s fast-paced workplace.
Why Is Change Management Important? Top 15 Reasons
Here are 15 top reasons why every business should invest in change management:
1. Improved business processes
Improving business processes is a never-ending journey.
Change management is specifically designed to evaluate, redesign, and implement new business processes.
The ROI of an improved process, of course, will depend on the type of process undergoing renovation.
As we will see, though, this is only one of the many benefits of change management.
2. Better workflows
There are countless ways to optimize employee workflows, through:
- Better tools and technology
- Training and skills development
- Redesigning work processes
3. Decreased project overhead
Unmanaged change projects can easily exceed budget constraints.
Effective change management, however, can help reduce overhead through:
- Decreasing employee resistance.
- Predicting and preventing problems.
- Mobilizing employees and obtaining support.
4. Improvements to company culture
Corporate culture has far-reaching effects on every aspect of a business, including:
- The employee experience
- Customer experiences
- Innovation and product development
- Employee productivity and output
To name just a few.
5. A more attractive and fulfilling workplace
Another common “side effect” of change projects is the improvement of the workplace itself.
Research from Google found that this was the largest derived benefit among its survey participants.
In that study, the top two reasons for embarking on change included efficiency (42%) and cost-savings (39%).
However, the biggest derived benefit turned out to be “a more attractive and fulfilling workplace” at 47%.
6. Happier workers
Workplace happiness should be a top priority for any company.
Happier workers, after all, are:
- More engaged
- More productive
- More innovative
- More supportive of change efforts
These positive effects, in turn, improve retention and decrease turnover.
7. A greater ability to overcome obstacles to change
Barriers to change can come in many forms – employee resistance, lack of executive support, budget constraints, technology constraints, and so on.
Sophisticated, well-executed change management addresses these issues head-on.
There are many methods that can be used to overcome such barriers, including:
- Effective communication strategies
- Change frameworks
- Choosing the right tools for the job
To name a few.
There is no single strategy for surmounting such obstacles.
Instead, change managers must design a strategy that meets the organization’s specific needs – which is exactly why change management is so important.
8. Better employee experiences
Today, the employee experience is more important than ever.
Better experiences improve many of the metrics mentioned above – engagement, productivity, and performance, for example.
Another benefit to consider is the company’s reputation.
They can more readily attract top talent, as well as improve relationships with partners and customers.
Change projects should align their aims with the entire organization.
Effective change practitioners make it a point to obtain support from:
- Top-level business leaders
- Middle managers
- Frontline employees
- Partners and vendors
And other stakeholders.
Aligning everyone’s interests helps to increase project outcomes on many fronts – from costs to outcomes.
10. Risk mitigation
Change, of course, comes with risk.
Failure to account for that risk can produce poor outcomes – or even cause a project to fail completely.
Change managers mitigate risk through, for example:
- Risk assessments
- Predictive modeling
- Strategic risk mitigation plans
- Responding to problems as they occur
As with any other business endeavor, it is essential to make calculated, informed decisions around risk.
11. Career development
Career development has become a major trend in recent years.
There are several reasons for this:
- The changing nature of work
- Digital transformation
- Increased need for digital skills
Because the workplace is changing, workers recognize the need to stay competitive and relevant.
Career development has become a big focus for many HR departments and change management professionals.
12. Training, reskilling, and upskilling
Aside from long-term career development, there is also a huge need for short-term skills training.
A digital adoption program, for example, involves:
- Software implementation
- User onboarding
- Training and education
By improving training, change managers can decrease time-to-competency and learning timelines.
The result: improved engagement, decreased frustration, and improved productivity.
13. Organizational agility
To stay competitive, organizations themselves must become more agile.
That is, organizations need adaptability, responsiveness, and speed.
This need has driven many organizations to adopt new business models and mindsets, such as:
- Zero-based mindets
And other change-friendly business approaches.
14. Greater openness to change and innovation
Dedicated change managers can influence the way a company approaches change.
More traditional businesses are often afraid of change.
And this makes sense – all change carries risk.
However, this mindset can keep an organization stagnant, suppress innovation, and reduce a company’s competitive advantage.
Change management can help instill a mindset that is open to:
- New ideas
- Organizational change
- Innovative approaches to business, product development, and more
Being open to change helps all stakeholders stay adaptable, resilient, and competitive, even in the face of disruptive transformations.
15. Integration of change management and organizational strategy
Organizational strategy, to be effective, must embrace and integrate change management.
This is especially true in the digital age.
After all, disruption, transformation, and change are the norm.
Rather than treating change initiatives as isolated projects, successful companies integrate change into their top-level strategy.
Such strategic integration is paramount for any business that wants to evolve, compete, and thrive in the coming years.