February 11, 2022 | 6-minute read (1040 words)
Adapting to changes in technology, clients and market conditions, not to mention the pandemic, has taken on a new urgency for businesses today. Companies can use a structured approach called change management to help navigate organizational transition, but many business owners aren’t sure where to start.
Two typical scenarios in which a company might decide to use change management are a team reorganization and new leader. Here, we’ll delve into what change management is, how to create a change management strategy and how it can help your business.
What does change management involve?
Change management is a systematic approach to managing transitions in an organization by introducing new procedures, tools and technology. Every change management program aims to help firms accept and adapt to transition, and it is particularly effective in larger, more complex companies where more strategic preparation is needed.
According to Rachel Breitbach, change management and agility practice lead at advisory firm Farwell, "change management helps you look at the impacts to people – how they're going to react to the barriers to adopting that change – and help them, ultimately, to be able to adapt and move forward.”
Two forms of change can occur within an organization: gradual and revolutionary. It is important to be able to distinguish between them:
1. You make gradual changes to enhance existing processes, such as rules, employee responsibilities and compliance standards.
2. You make revolutionary changes to help a firm accomplish long-term goals. Because revolutionary change requires influencing corporate culture and employee behavior, it takes time to implement.
Business choose between two main methods of change management:
1. Flowcharts or process maps - These tools can assist you in visualizing and mapping out processes inside the company. Any planned changes can be added to the flowchart or map for future reference.
2. ADKAR analysis - The awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement model is a coaching method that ensures transition is supported by the workers participating in the change management process. It contains a list of objectives that every team leader should consider, including:
• Informing staff about the changes you are adopting, and why.
• Creating a desire in your staff to support the change to perform their part naturally, rather than being forced to.
• Ensure that personnel boost their capacity to adapt to change through training.
• Incentives and rewards for staff should be used as reinforcement.
How to begin implementing a change management strategy
A change management strategy specifies the steps management should take to handle change. The strategy should help the business manage change that involves the entire organization and entails a set of behaviors, tools and techniques to achieve your change goals.
Every change strategy is unique to its home company's practices, goals, vision and nature. The five steps listed below will guide you to build a change management approach.
1. Examine and plan your objectives: Perform a critical analysis of your business operations and performance goals to ensure that the change will help you to meet your business objectives, as follows:
• Determine what needs to be changed, why it needs to be changed and what will be enhanced due to the change.
• Clearly explain the change you intend to implement and connect it with your company's goals.
• Outline gaps in performance, knowledge and skills that your online training program should fill.
2. Assign responsibilities and support: In this phase, you identify personnel who can carry out your change plan and communicate the change to others, as follows:
• Once you have determined what you want to do, form a team to carry out the change and incorporate it into your company's culture. Then offer a timetable for implementation.
• Your team should assess the impact of the change at various organizational levels.
• Your team should then assess the impact of the change on each business unit.
3. Create a communication and implementation plan: Your staff must understand why the change is being implemented and how it will make them more productive or make their tasks simpler. Managers can assist you in developing a framework for change and successfully dealing with opposition inside the business by doing the following:
• Determining the most effective communication channel for your staff, including how you will convey the change and handle feedback.
• Explaining why you are working on the change endeavor in detail. As a result, you can keep everyone up to date on completion dates.
• Providing a support system to assist employees in achieving the behavioral and technical competency required to achieve targeted business objectives.
4. Providing relevant training: A successful corporate transformation necessitates an efficient online training program for any new application or process changes resulting from implementing new procedures or technical systems, such as software. Create the training program as follows:
• Determine the best approach for delivering your change management training.
• Teach your staff the skills and information they will need to perform efficiently and adjust to the suggested changes in the organization.
• Training, workshops and reference materials should be documented and kept on file for future use. Respond to workers' questions and concerns when the change is implemented.
5. Evaluate and improve continually: A strategy should be implemented to assess the impact of the modifications and suggest areas for improvement. Introduce a continual monitoring system to guarantee that the change is having its intended outcome. It should:
• Keep track of every facet of the organization's change.
• Assess the efficacy of your change management plan and document any lessons learned.
• Have a provision for a training needs evaluation to find training strategy gaps.
How can change management benefit businesses?
Change management models have been developed via extensive research and direct experience. From deploying new technology to a reorganization, the ultimate goal of change management is to mitigate the adverse consequences of change while allowing the business to thrive.
Every major business change will require a deliberate approach to change management, as the company’s success may ride on its ability to make the transition. Outsourcing or hiring a change management expert can help ensure the required planning and steps have been taken before implementing the change. The benefit is you get more time and resources to prepare. Alternatively, you could designate an employee to be in charge of the change management initiative.