You already know that time management is essential to the productivity of your employees and the success of your company, but you might not think of its role in your change process outside of how it affects your employees’ ability to work. In truth, knowing how to properly manage the timing for your change process can make or break its success, which will ultimately make or break the success of the changes you are making and whether your company moves forward.
Here’s a closer look at why developing a proper strategy for managing your time is so important to your change process and your future success:
Proper Time Must be Given at the Beginning to Research the Right Change Model and to Anticipate and Plan for Any Problems
No matter how much you believe in the changes you are going to make, and no matter how ready you think you are for them, you need to spend a lot of time doing your research before you jump in to the project.
Proper time management is needed to prepare for your change model to be implemented successfully.
Specifically, you need to leave enough time at the beginning of the process to research the change models that are available so you can be sure you are choosing the right one. You may find that an existing model won’t work for your needs and you have to develop your own model.
You also need to leave enough time at the beginning of your process to think through the potential issues with your change plan (or with the changes themselves) and to develop strategies for dealing with them.
Rushing through a change process is a sure recipe for failure. You are sure to overlook important details and to make the wrong decisions. Give yourself enough time at the start of the process to ensure that you have the proper foundation for successful change.
Employees Need Enough Time to Understand and Accept the Changes that are Coming
Your employees can be your most important allies in your change management process – or they can be your biggest obstacles. If you try to rush through the change process, you likely will not have given your employees enough time to understand the need for the changes or to accept them, and they will be more likely to resist and undermine the process.
Good time management requires that you anticipate all such issues and that you allow time for dealing with them. That means you need to include enough time at the beginning of your change process to educate your employees and to win their buy in for the changes.
You should not consider this education and marketing work with your employees to be separate from your change process. Rather, you should consider it an integral and ongoing part of the process.
The work cannot begin until you have won over your employees, and it may take longer for some to come around than others. Leave yourself plenty of time at the start, but also know that you will continue to have to educate and persuade throughout the process and that you should allow time for that, as well.
Adequate Time Must be Provided to Train Employees and Allow them to Adjust to New Processes
Changes to your organization will always mean a change in the way employees have to do things, whether that means learning new customer service processes or learning how to use new software or equipment. It will take time for employees to learn these new skills and to adjust to incorporating them in their every day routine, and you must include timing for that in your change model.
Leave as much time to train your employees as you would for training new employees. Know that it will take them more time to learn something if it is very different, such as a new piece of equipment or software.
Ideally, you would have a training team in place and would schedule the training in groups. Your timeline would then include phases for employees getting used to the changes and incorporating them over time.
Know that you will likely need to offer additional training or support as employees get the hang of the new process or tools and work through their issues. Incorporate all that in your time management plan. Otherwise, your timeline will be derailed, and you’ll make the process much harder by adding stress and frustration for everyone.
You Need Enough Time to Market the Changes to Your Customers or Clients
Customers don’t always need to know what’s going on behind the scenes, such as when you get a new operating system or new computers across the board. But sometimes, they do.
If your changes are going to impact service to customers, they need to know about it so they aren’t inconvenienced by the wait times or the spotty coverage. Otherwise, you’ll have a customer service nightmare on your hands.
Conversely, if your changes are going to significantly benefit customers or improve service to them, you should also take time to let them know about it. Otherwise, you would be depriving yourself of some great marketing that can boost your sales and improve customer loyalty.
Include planning a marketing campaign and implementing it in your time management plan. That may involve an email campaign, social media posts, ads, and more. Think through everything that you want to do and include it in your timeline.
Problems Will Arise, and You Need Time to Troubleshoot Them
Don’t let your best laid plans crumble from unexpected problems. Plan ahead to deal with the problems that you know will inevitably arise.
A big part of time management is allowing for flexibility for the things you don’t plan. If you don’t anticipate this need, you will waste a lot of time. If you somehow manage to get through your change process without a single issue, the worst that will happen is that you finish ahead of plan.
Leave yourself time for troubleshooting things like problems with the equipment, glitches with the software, or setbacks caused by employees being sick or waylaid by personal issues. Think of it like planning your commute with traffic in mind. It’s better to give yourself more time if there is an accident or other problems.
Using Change Management Software to Oversee the Process and Manage the Time
Time management is just one part of the overall change management process. To be successful with that process, you need tools and software that can help you manage not just one part of it, but all of it. WalkMe is the software solution that can do just that.
WalkMe helps companies and their leaders drive smooth and successful change management.The platform helps you execute your change strategy and n reach your goals.
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.