Rosapeak Advisors

Why is change necessary?

The world regularly changes. To remain competitive, your organization will sometimes need to change with it. Implementing change in your business allows you to streamline processes, accomplish more with less work, save money and provide for the ever-changing needs of your customers and clients. It also allows your business to grow and continue to stay up to date with an increasingly technological environment.
How to manage change

Understanding effective change management is a key factor in the success of implementing new processes and policies. It allows for the prediction of risks, offers solutions to them and helps you meet your intended goals. Though each transitional process is different in details and scope, below are common steps you can take to manage change effectively in your business.

1. Make a plan

Like many processes, achieving your goal to manage change effectively becomes easier when you know both what your intended end goal is and what steps you must take to achieve it. Begin by researching methods other businesses have used for successful change management and determining which, if any, best meets the demands of both your business structure and desired endpoint.

Explain in detail each step that must be taken to reach that point in the most effective way possible. Knowing the specifics of what changes your organization needs to make not only allows you to see what the future of your project looks like, it also helps you set realistic budgets and timetables. Your plan also serves as a reference document for you and your managers whenever there are questions about details or next steps. This allows for a smooth, unhindered implementation of change and helps you remain in control while managing it.

2. Start at the top

Before change can occur, it needs to be understood intimately and embraced by your executives and anyone else who makes day-to-day decisions. Your executives also set the tone of the change process. Inspiring a passion for change within them can extend to those they train and with whom they interact, allowing positivity to cascade from one tier down to the next.

Ensuring your executives understand the coming change also allows them to answer questions and
solve any of the day-to-day problems that occur and helps keep your transition on track for success.

3. Be clear about your goals

Though some may be resistant to change, much of that resistance stems from not knowing what to expect. Clearly stating your goals at the outset assures your team that they can know what is coming and how it might affect them.

Having a clear goal gives your employees something specific to work towards and helps them become valuable resources in achieving it. The better they understand where the company is going, the better they can do what is necessary to get there.

For instance, if your ultimate goal is to reduce spending for the year, it’s helpful to be specific about where those reductions will be. Perhaps you’re implementing a new recycling program or a green initiative to reduce the amount of printer paper used. When your employees know the specifics of that plan, there are fewer concerns about what’s getting reduced, and they can take active steps to help you achieve your desired outcome.

4. Define the risks

Knowing what risks are inherent in the transition process gives you time to figure out potential solutions before a problem ever occurs. Outlining the risks also lets your team know that you understand what the risks in undertaking this change are and are taking the necessary steps to mitigate their effects or avoid them entirely.

Foreknowledge of potential risks has the added advantage of lowering the chances of you and your employees being surprised when a problem arises, allowing work to continue productively.

5. Show empathy

Some employees may need help embracing change. A good way to inspire an eagerness for new processes and policies is to show you understand what they’re going through. Lead by example. Let them see the ways the change is affecting you and the methods you are using to deal with it. Inspire
your executives and managers to do the same. Train your managers how to deal with the effects of change in your employees on an individual level so that each member of your team feels valued and seen.

Helping your team accept the new processes and their roles within them in a human way aids in building company unity and teamwork, strengthening your company’s foundation during your transition.

6. Give your employees a voice

Your employees will have opinions about the coming changes to your business. Build this into your process by giving them outlets where their voice can be heard.

Your employees are intimately familiar with the day-to-day operations of your business. As such, their insights can be incredibly valuable. Holding town hall meetings and other venues for them to voice concerns lets them alert you to current problems within the process and helps you predict future ones. These meetings also serve as a method of crowdsourcing possible solutions to any of these concerns from a varied array of ideas and thought processes.

7. Implement the ideas that work

After you’ve sourced solutions from your employees, implement the ones that work best. Involving your employees into the workings of the transition process lets them know that the company is not only listening to their concerns but actively working to solving them. Using their own suggested solutions shows them that their voice is valued by a company that cares about them.

8. Develop an effective training program

The best way to ensure your coming changes are implemented effectively is by educating your employees on their role within these new methods. This starts with making sure your managers fully understand the new processes and are adept at communicating them to those working below them. Roll out the training program early enough that your employees understand what is expected of them well before the changes take place. An early rollout also aids in determining if any part of the training needs tweaking to more effectively impart the new processes to everyone on your team.

9. Track and evaluate the change

Keep track of the effects the transition process has on your business. Stay specific and detailed so you can better understand what parts are working and which aren’t. This way, you can make adjustments when needed to ensure the transition continues smoothly. Your detailed tracking also serves as data to track whether these changes are having the desired effect on your business and, if not, offers time before the project finishes to develop solutions.

10. Be patient

Change doesn’t happen immediately. Maintaining patience and remaining calm during this period of change lets you keep a clear head when decisions need to be made.

Keeping calm helps set the tone for the rest of your team during the process. It boosts morale in the
workplace and helps the implementation of changes run smoothly towards your goals.

11. Celebrate your employees

When the project is over and you’ve successfully achieved your goals, include your team in the celebration. Let them know this is the success of all involved. Make sure to celebrate the hard work of your employees and offer your thanks, whether through rewards, parties or other bonuses, so that they know their contributions are appreciated. Letting your employees celebrate their accomplishments also helps ensure their willingness to work hard on any future organizational change endeavours your business may need to undertake.