Every organization goes through change in order to improve. When an organization goes through transition, a change management plan can help make the transition smoother for management and employees. However, around 70 percent of transition initiatives do not succeed because employees are filled with negativity and management becomes unproductive. An experienced consultant in change management can make a difference.
Here are six strategic steps from change management consultants in helping your organization go through a more successful transition.
Define the change clearly and ensure it is consistent with business goals.
This is a vital step before you implement any proposed changes. You must review the proposals to confirm that they are in line with your organization’s performance goals and objectives. The change must move your business in the right direction and not deviate from your financial and strategic plan, while still staying the course with your ethical principles. The review will help you figure out if the change is worth the resources and effort that your business is investing. Here are questions to ask:
– What exactly does our business need to do differently?
– Why is the change necessary?
Document the impact and the business units that will be affected by this.
When you have figured out what you need to change and the reason behind it, the next step is to determine which areas in your business will be affected by the change. Evaluate each business unit, apply the change scenario, and see how it affects the unit and the employees working in the unit. This will help you design a plan of training and support for your employees to help them get ready for the change. Questions to ask:
– What impact does the change bring?
– Which employees will feel the biggest effect of the change?
– How will these employees receive the change?
Come up with a strategy of effective communication.
Everyone in your business will eventually be on this journey of change, but the first two steps help you identify employees who are impacted immediately by the change, and who must know about this. Figure out how you will deliver the message that will help them understand the business necessity of this change without a lot of resistance. Your strategy should include a schedule of how you will roll out this message in stages, the key points of the change, and what communication channels you will use in the message delivery. Questions to ask:
– How will we inform our employees of the change?
– How will we manage employee feedback?
Provide training that is relevant and effective.
Once the message is delivered to your employees, you need to assure them that they will receive training to help them gain the knowledge and skills needed to work with these changes. This training can be offered via online modules, in-person sessions onsite, or one-to-one mentoring and coaching. This will help them feel more confident about how they will be able to work with the change. Questions to ask:
– What do our employees need in terms of knowledge and skills to help them achieve expected results?
– What method of training will be most efficient and effective?
Put a support structure in place.
Change can be difficult for many people at various levels. Put in place a structure that will support them to adjust to these changes in a practical sense and emotionally. They need to feel that management is fully supporting them as they navigate through changing the way they work. Change often brings a sense of inadequacy and insecurity in some employees who have done things a certain way for many years. Make counseling services available. Adapt an open-door policy with management where employees can ask questions when they come up. Questions to ask:
– Who needs the most support?
– What kinds of support are most effective?
Monitor the process and impact of the change.
During this process of change management, implement a structure where you can measure how the change is impacting business operations and to make sure that opportunities for employees to improve their proficiencies continue to be reinforced. Evaluate your plan of change management and measure its effectiveness. Document what worked, what did not work, and lessons learned. Questions to ask:
– Did the change help us achieve our business goals?
– Did the plan of change management succeed in facilitating the transition?
– What improvements can we make to the process?