One of the biggest challenges facing all businesses today is change. And not just today, it will be the biggest challenge tomorrow and the day after. Change relentlessly confronts and challenges your business’ ability to create value for customers and to remain relevant. You can almost be certain that your business will change more in the next three years than it did the last five.
Since it’s inevitable, it is imperative that managers learn how to engage their teams and guide the business through change. It’s a constant work-in-progress that rewards those who embrace it and swallows those who don’t. Needless to say, the essence of any long-running successful business is managers that know how to lead, manage and sell change effectively.
Here are some top tips to help you effectively manage change in your organisation:
- Involve your employees in the decision. Imposing change upon your people is the surest way to fail. According to studies, the main reason why people resist change is because they were excluded from the process. Allowing your employees to be part of the change initiative will ensure that there is no aggressive resistance from them.
- Convince your employees that change is necessary. With time people settle into routines. So before you force them out of their “comfort zone”, you’ll need to convince them that the change is necessary. You will need to demonstrate to your employees the advantages of the changes you are proposing.
- Start at the top. As charity begins at home, so must change start at the top. The leaders themselves need to embrace the new approaches so as to challenge and motivate the rest.
- Implement the Change in Phases. Where possible, change is best administered in bite sized chunks. Move too fast and the employees will definitely resist it. Break down the process into phases that can be implemented one at a time and reviewed along the way.
- Customise your approach. When it comes to the approach to change management, one size does not fit all. Every change effort is always unique and will require a custom approach that specifically targets the people it will affect most.
- Focus on the individual. Organisations don’t change, it is the individuals within the organisations that change. Focusing on the individual as the centrepiece of change will enhance your chances of success.
- Prepare for the unexpected. You can almost be certain that your change programme will not go according to plan. The environment keeps shifting and people’s actions and reactions are unpredictable. Keep monitoring the change process so as to identify hitches well before they get out of hand.
- Adapt the culture. Assess the cultural landscape within your organisation to identify behaviours, beliefs and perceptions that will affect the change initiative. Once identified, you’ll need to address those that will have a negative impact on change.
- Make change stick. People will go back to their former ways as soon as they get the chance to. Get rid of all the old systems to ensure there is no way of going back.
- Get help. Get help from someone who has done it before or someone you respect who can give a fresh perspective. If the change is too big, you might need to call in an external change management consultant with the expertise and experience to handle change management successfully.
At CDL Insight, we have the expertise, processes and tools to help you manage change successfully in your organisation. Give us a call, we are happy to help.