One of the key measurements of success in business is growth. Businesses that are not growing and evolving are not likely to survive in the long term. As a company grows and evolves, there are necessary changes that will need to be implemented. Having an effective change management strategy is therefore key to business success.
Good managers and leaders are able to set the tone for change within an organisation, allaying any fears or negative outlooks from employees and implementing positive organisational change for the benefit of the business. You can learn more about the traits of a good manager in the PDF attachment to this post.
Marcel Kooter is connected to a management consultancy based in Windsor – Telos Partners – as an Associate. Telos Partners focuses on addressing strategic and organisational change to create sustainable success for its ambitious clients.
To effectively manage change within an organisation, there are several key aspects to the strategies that can be employed.
Transparency and Truth-Telling
An effective organisational change management strategy will be as transparent as possible, and employees will be told as much of the truth as possible. There may well be certain aspects that cannot be openly discussed due to confidentiality clauses or agreements, but even where all the details cannot be shared immediately, a good manager will share as much as possible at every stage.
Staff will feel more comfortable with and open to change if the methods and impacts of that change are explained to them from the beginning. Not all changes are positive, of course, but even in cases where changes are likely to have a negative impact on some or all employees, sugar-coating things doesn’t help in the long term.
While an optimistic outlook is good, being dishonest about aspects of change such as downsizing, or promising outcomes that are unrealistic, easily leads to mistrust among employees.
Planning and Communication
Having a detailed plan in place before making any announcements about proposed changes ensures that everything is documented and any concerns that employees may have can be addressed honestly and promptly. A good plan will include a fully developed timeline, information about any tasks that need to be completed, an outline of any new responsibilities that may be introduced and who they affect, and any other relevant details about the changes.
Communication is key – employees are more likely to accept change if they feel like they understand it, which includes opening up opportunities for them to ask questions or raise concerns.
In the infographic attachment you can see four effective strategies for change management.
Training and Employee Participation
The more involved employees feel like they are in evolving the business, the more likely they are to be on board with change. Obviously, it is not usually practical to allow employees to implement change themselves but creating opportunities for idea-sharing and feedback can help to ensure everyone feels like they are on the same page.
One of the biggest fears of change is the fear of the unknown, so it’s important to put effective training procedures in place, particularly where the change involves new processes or new technologies. Employees should be made aware that full training will be given at the time the change is first announced, to prevent people from feeling apprehensive about being left behind.
As far as possible, do not rush transitions; a slow rollout helps management stay on top of things and employees feel comfortable with the changes being made.
Some of the key benefits of providing training for employees can be seen in the embedded short video.