Change is the only constant factor in life. Many companies have come to this realisation and know that to succeed and stay competitive, they need to adapt and transition into new processes. These could be in form of a shift in the medium of communication, organisational structure, rules and regulations, or economic trends.
Change in business simply refers to a set of actions or plans taken to achieve a new set of goals. However, the process involved in ensuring that the change takes place is known as change management.
Many companies have made several attempts to bring change on board with the hope of staying competitive but the global research and advisory firm Gartner reports that just 50% of change initiatives have been successful. This is mainly attributed to the way companies go about the change in terms of planning and execution.
Having a clear-cut change management strategy not only simplifies the process of initiating change but also contributes to the success rate of the execution of the change.
Change Management Strategies
These strategies can be subdivided into three main categories.
1 - Strategies for preparing change
Whether the intention for change is to hire a new employee, adjust the organisational culture or even update software/technology, it is necessary to prepare for the change. Below are some of the strategies for preparing for the change.
a. Plan the change: some companies embark on a change journey without proper planning that considers the effect of the change from start to finish. Planning begins with understanding the reason for the change. It entails the goals and objectives for the change. Questions such as “Why should we change this particular process?”, “What are the potential benefits of this transition?” should be considered by the change manager or initiator.
b. Consider those involved in change and how they will be involved: before embarking on an improvement process, it is important to leave no stone unturned. Engage with everyone the change will affect.
c. Communicate the change: not only is it important to carry people along but ensure that they understand, believe and support the change. This can be achieved through communication. Therefore, communication is a paramount component for evaluating, developing, executing, completing and delivering change.
2 - Strategies for executing change
a. Start from the top: leaders or change managers need to understand they have a responsibility to be actively involved in the change initiative. By exhibiting transparency and listening to their employees’ concerns, leaders or change managers must encourage employees to be open-minded to the change.
b. Align the change with the mission statement and the organisational culture: It is easier for employees to be actively engaged in the change when they understand that it is indeed part of the company’s culture, which they were attracted to in the first place.
c. Pay attention to change resistors: regardless of whether a change is positive or negative, there will always exist some individuals who are naturally opposed to any form of change. To manage this, change managers or initiators should endeavor to answer questions from employees, who are not fully convinced, by using language they understand and highlight the benefits that could be gained from the proposed change.
3 - Strategies for sustaining change
a. Adopt a change management model: change management models increase the chances of a successful change initiative. There are many change management models such as Lewin’s Change Management model, Kotter’s model theory, the ADKAR model and the Bridge transition model.
b. Review and monitor the performance of change initiatives: constantly reviewing and monitoring the performance of a change initiative helps to track areas for improvement.
In summary, change is critical to the success and continuity of a business and when well implemented, both the company and its employees will reap the benefits.
If you or your business is ready for change, our change management solutions will be tailored to help you do so smoothly. Please email us www.ovacgroup,com for a free consultation.