Not counting the forced business disruptions brought on by the impact of the current global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not unusual for businesses to undergo a constant cycle of change to improve its sustainability in the marketplace. How the business identifies, plans for, and adapts to these changes or transformations are the keys to its successes. These are all elements of change management, which has become an organization “buzz phrase” practice today.
Whether a business is implementing the latest technology solution, new policies and procedures, or switching to a new virtual work environment, change needs to be managed to be successful. It’s human nature to resist change. Often, it’s our fear of the unknown or perhaps how the change will impact us.
No one wants change for change’s sake. The intentionality needed to embed change starts with understanding why you’re doing it and what it will mean for your organization. Employees, from leadership and all the way down the ladder, need to understand, support, and work collectively toward the change. This method improves the acceptance of change since the change is happening “with” them and not “to” them.
What is Change Management?
Change management is the process of systematically managing how well employees accept and adopt organizational changes. There are five things you can do to ensure the successful implementation of change.
- Sponsorship – Ensure leadership buy-in and alignment across the organization. Employees will develop a comfort level when they see management supporting the change process.
- Communicating the Change – Being proactive from the get-go in communications can minimize resistance. Tailored and consistent messaging to different stakeholder audiences can make employees feel like they are part of the process.
- Training – Change often requires a change in behavior, which requires training. Identifying early-on what each employee user-groups need to learn will provide a head start to the development of applicable training curriculum and materials.
- Follow-up – Solicit employee feedback to promote future change and improvement. The Japanese term “Kaizen” means change for the better. Kaizen is a philosophy some organizations use to improve standardize work by empowering employees to identify problems.
- Managing Transformation – Analyze and document your new business processes to develop streamlined and repeatable processes for your employees to follow. This exercise also creates a standardized mechanism to be better prepared to implement future changes.
Preparing your organization now to embrace these change management principles will help mitigate the risk of failure to adopt forthcoming business disruptions or intentional transformation initiatives. While business forecasters never saw the economic impact of today’s ongoing pandemic coming, those who were prepared for change were better equipped to weather this storm and future ones.
netlogx is a highly awarded, two-decade-old, women-owned consulting services company. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, we help our clients nationwide manage change by solving complex business problems. Our commitment and experience to project management disciplines and Lean Six Sigma principles have created high value for clients resulting in successful operational and cost efficiency improvements. Organizational Change Management and Business Process Reengineering are two of our six areas of expertise.