‘This is how we’ve always done it’ – it’s the deadliest phrase in business, but why? So, here’s why change management matters.
Businesses must be reactive to the ever changing environment that they’re in, otherwise they will fall behind competition and fail to achieve objectives and goals. Organisational change is essential in order for businesses to move forward, but how that change is managed is critical to the success of those businesses.
A recent CIPD Factsheet said, ‘It’s important that the way change is managed is considered carefully. Whilst each change situation will be unique, there are a number of common themes that will help ensure the change process stands the greatest chance of success’
But what exactly is that common theme?
Employees are the key to the success of every change you make within your organisation.
If employees are not thoroughly on-board with a change then that change cannot achieve it’s full potential. Ensuring your employees are fully behind any changes your company may make is no easy task, but there are a number of steps you can take towards fully involving your employees during a change period.
#1 Identify the ‘why’
Reasons for change can vary, but all have the same objective: improvement. Ask the questions, why exactly are you choosing to make this change? What are you looking to improve, and how will that benefit your business and your employees? Once you know the exact reason for this change, it will be so much easier for your employees to embrace it.
#2 Predict the roadblocks
Every change brings with it resistance. The key is to minimise that resistance by thinking ahead and predicting which obstacles you will have to overcome during the change period. Think of each area of your business, what effects the change will have on individuals and how these could be perceived negatively.
Once you have a clear understanding of why you have decided to implement the change and how it will effect all areas of your business, it will be time to plan. Using the information you will have already gathered, plan out a strategic plan to implement the change, keeping in mind those roadblocks and how you plan to overcome them.
#4 Communicate, inspire understanding and involve you employees
During a period of change, employees look for clarity and honesty. Giving this to your employees will make the transition period smoother. Inform your employees of an upcoming change as soon as you possibly can. Tell your employees the reasons for the change, how you plan to execute the change and how they themselves will benefit. Some employees will actively help to implement the change. Even if others don’t, showing clarity and communicating that information will inspire an understanding of the upcoming change.
#5 Execute as intended
Sticking to your plan when executing the change is the most important part of change management. Standing by your strategy and communicating updates to your employees will help both parties track progress of the change and inspire confidence within your organisation. Employees will feel more involved in the change if they’re made aware of gradual changes.
The best possible measure of how well a change has been executed is to ask your employees. If a change has been executed well there will be an uplift in employee morale and even productivity. Employees will also be more engaged with company values and visions.
To find out how the Employee Engage App can help you engage and communicate with your workforce during a period of change, get in touch.