Regardless of industry, it is absolutely critical for businesses to become more agile in order to be successful in today’s market. Since quick change is critical, leaders of organizations wanting to make a change must be able to manage it effectively. Proper organizational change management (OCM) helps avoid employee resistance and tension that disrupts company productivity. Leaders must also understand often, it is not the change that makes the employees uncomfortable, it is that the leaders in the organization are not communicating with transparency to help ease the anxiety that the employees might be experiencing.

The main takeaway that I have learned as I’ve progressed through my professional career is that you need both hard and soft skills to effectively manage people through a significant change. It’s obviously important for leaders to be motivated and keep monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) throughout the process. However, it’s just as important for the leaders to be able to understand human psychology to implement the change and help support the change for their employee base.

Organizations usually come out of an OCM project realizing that OCM is much more complex than simply pushing new initiatives throughout the organization. Another key for success is motivating the team to not only tolerate the change but to want the change. Communicating often and effectively with employees will inform them why the change is being made and how it will ultimately benefit not only the organization but them as well.

When employees know about a change, they have an opportunity to ask questions and to understand it better. This helps to remove uncertainty from the process and will ultimately produce huge paybacks in getting an employee base to be receptive to change—creating a smooth, quick transition that will save the organization time, money, and frustration.

OCM done the right way, has the potential to help establish a new culture for the organization moving forward—if there are open channels of communication throughout the company. This can increase trust that the employees have in each other, the firm, its leaders, and any future changes that the organization would want to implement.