Dealing with Change Management in Today’s Workplace
Managing change has become an essential part of leadership and employee job responsibilities. It is a natural process and has become a constant in many of our lives. Change, whether it be through technology, processes, people, ideas or methods, often times affects the way we perform daily tasks and manage our lives.
Dealing with inevitable change in an organization typically requires transitioning into a new business discipline and driving bottom-line results through changes in systems and behaviors. Change is usually intended to be seen as a good thing. However, the reaction to change is unpredictable and can sometimes be irrational. Change can be managed, if the correct action steps are followed.
Below, are several steps which can assist you in streamlining change in your organization:
- Preparing for Change – Define your change strategy by asking yourself, what is being changed? Who will serve as a high-level sponsor? What will happen if we do/do not do this? Build the team through commitment, contribution and communication.
- Identifying “What’s In It For Me” (“WIFM”) – For change to be successful, people must desire to support and participate in change. Simply building awareness does not generate desire. Identify ways to empower others through explaining the nature of the change and how an employee’s personal situation may be impacted for the better. Help support this initiative through obtaining executive sponsorship, gaining the commitment of management and supervisor coaching and having readily available access to business information.
- Understanding Change – Change is constant and will always occur, and understanding its components on an individual level can help relate it to an organizational level. Its effect on the individual is of great importance as it will filter through and influence all levels of the organization. It’s important to understand the external and internal influences on change, i.e., politics, culture, economy, employees, organization policies and structure, as well as common reactions to change such as: denial; acceptance; resistance; indifference and anger.
- Leading and Managing the Change – Every change begins with a leadership decision. Making the decision to institute change is not always easy. Preparing ahead of time, planning well, and being surrounded by a good team will make the decision much easier. Lead the change with a positive frame of mind, act as a reassuring force and plan for the known. Be willing to delegate to your team by understanding their strengths and weaknesses. In addition, keep the lines of communication open and learn how to cope with pushback.
- Gaining Support – It is vital to ensure all stakeholders and employees are on board with change. To ensure support is obtained, data should be gathered to identify and analyze the pros and cons of the change, what is going right or wrong and addressing all opposing viewpoints. Concerns and issues should also be addressed through employee engagement, ensuring managers and supervisors are equipped with the tools they need to be successful throughout the transition and contacting those who are not yet on board. Support can also be obtained through the use of evaluations, e.g., feedback forms, in-house questionnaires and/or by emails or focus groups.
- Making it All Worthwhile - Once a change initiative is underway, it is critical to sustain the change with reinforcement. Leading status meetings focused on objectives and encouraging participation with a goal to aim for consensus, is important. Additionally, it’s important to celebrate success and share results and benefits of the change through one-on-one conversations, public recognition and/or group celebrations.
For more tips on how to address change management transition strategies in your organization, please contact Creative Business Solutions at 785-233-7860. In addition to change management transitions, we would be pleased to assist you with ancillary issues, such as staff transition and organizational development, as well as any other HR matter your business organization may need guidance with.
Source: Creative Business Solutions, “Change Management” (2017).