Organisational change continues to be difficult for many businesses as we adapt to sudden shifts in our industry, new business models that may be required and even external factors including pandemics such as COVID-19.
What is Change Management?
Change management is a structured approach that helps businesses be prepared, equipped and support individuals to adapt change that delivers a positive outcome for the business and its people.
A change could be a simple process within your business that needs adjusting or it could be a major change in policy or strategy that’s required to further leverage your business potential within your industry and even grow.
This structured approach focuses on the wider impact change may have for your people and how they, as individuals and even teams, transition from the current situation to a new one.
How do we continue to adapt to change and make sure that we’re keeping our people informed?
With digital technologies and the changing nature of the workforce creating new opportunities and challenges for businesses each and every day we need to make sure that we are building a foundation that incorporates change in a positive way and continues to involve people at every level across the business.
As human beings we are generally averse to change especially if it may be misaligned to our own beliefs or actions or thrown upon us without any understanding of why this change may be required.
For any business to adapt to change it’s important that people understand why it’s happening and leaders don’t assume that this transformation is clear to the whole business. Clear communication is a fundamental avenue that leaders need to develop to help all employees understand where the company is headed, why it is changing, and why this change is important.
What are some of the warning signs when it comes to change management?
— Are any of your employees on edge?
— Does your leadership team focus on adverse outcomes or problems?
— Are your employees unclear about expectations?
— Are your employees working on multiple projects but don’t know which ones are priorities?
— Is there a lack of planning that require urgent results?
— Do you not have an approved change plan?
— Has the change happened without any monitoring?
— Has the change been implemented with no change policy and procedures?
Who is responsible for change and how should it be incorporated into your business?
For change management to be successful it is the responsibility of the leadership team to engage, inspire and support employees to adopt the change and the individual employees’ responsibility to change their behaviour to start a new way of working.
Here are five key steps to consider when incorporating change into your business:
Success – Best chance of success when everyone with authority and influence is engaged.
Adapt – Always assess and adapt. Assess what is working and adjust next steps.
Execute – Leadership team should NEVER delegate execution.
Delivering change is running business
Don’t rely on past work, assumptions
Pre-work to determine legitimate case for change
All – More efficient to bring people along with you on the journey. Lead with process and make sure all of it is in place such as training, incentives, procedures and processes.
New – Define essential behaviours that are vital. Leadership team must visibly model new behaviours. Behaviours shift when procedures change and incentives are in place.