Change – it happens whether you want it or not. As we operate in an increasingly fast-paced, volatile and complex world, organisations face more change than ever before. And being able to quickly adapt to continuous transition is more crucial than it has ever been.
While difficult, change is one of the only certainties in life and managing it today is a necessary skill for both managers and employees.
Enter the need for change management.
What is Change Management?
Change management is a process to help ease transitions within an organisation. More specifically, it’s a formal way of communicating with employees why and how the change is happening, and how it will ultimately benefit them.
Whether you’re implementing new technology, reinventing your business model or even downsizing, it helps employees understand, commit to and accept the changes happening within the business.
Keeping employees informed and engaged from the very beginning helps ease the transition, makes change happen faster and saves your organisation time and money.
The Majority of Change Projects Fail. Why?
Most people don’t like change. In fact, they fear it. As creatures of habit, we’re afraid of the unknown, and change delivers something different, new and ultimately uncertain.
Even though change management has been around for more than half a century, studies show up to 70 per cent of all changes in organisations fail. And according to research from IBM, the biggest obstacle to implementing change is people.
Nearly 60 per cent of 1,500 change management executives from 15 countries said “changing mindsets and attitudes” was the biggest challenge to implementing change in an enterprise, followed by corporate culture at 49 per cent. These challenges were identified as more important than shortage of resources, “highlighting that these problems are seen as inherently more difficult to solve even if given sufficient resources”, the study noted.
When dealing with change, your employees must be a priority. By giving them the preparation, support and skills they need, you can avoid failure and all the wasted money and effort that goes with it.
10 Tips to Manage Change
- Describe why the change is needed and explain your vision and the expected outcome of the change.
- Show how the change will benefit employees.
- Involve your employees in the steps needed to achieve the change.
- Ensure communication is consistent and regular. Be open to answering questions and addressing concerns.
- Deal with concerns, but ensure change continues to move forward.
- Offer additional support through the transition.
- Encourage feedback. Show that employees’ input and suggestions are valuable.
- Reward positive behavior which supports the change.
- Highlight positive change results to the team.
- Allow time for change to be consistent.
By involving people at all levels – whether you’ve just signed off on a merger or installed a new CEO – you can help ensure your organisation isn’t a part of that alarming 70 per cent failure statistic.
So, how ready for change are you?