Global trade has increased the need for companies to rapidly grow and change quickly. For companies to keep their doors open for a long time, they must be able to evolve with the massive organizational changes. While technology provides us a way to accomplish many of the changes, the human element is what many companies are missing. Being able to quickly and effectively manage change for your team and staff is critical.
Change management is defined as the management of change and development within a business or a similar organization. Change management focuses on the reallocation of resources — both human and system — to make the adjustments necessary to thrive.
What should you do to effectively plan for change in your organization?
Create a Plan
Planning is the first and one of the most critical steps for making any type of change. In your planning you will:
- Identify goals.
- Document tasks that need to be completed.
- Determine what resources you need.
- Determine who will be impacted by the change (both from an inconvenience standpoint as well as from a benefit).
- Decide on the climate you want to bring (and focus on how you can do that and what help you need).
‘Transparent’ is a buzz word these days. But it doesn’t negate its importance to business and change management. During different stages, you may not be able to communicate all aspects. However, share as much as possible with your team and your employees. Be honest and address issues directly. Providing details and being as upfront as possible will help maintain buy-in and make employees feel like they are involved in the change (vs. the change happening to them).
Communication is key. As we mentioned in being transparent, it’s important to keep everyone in the loop. Communication is key to this. Determine the best way and best medium to communicate to the different key stakeholders.
Map It Out
Roadmaps are a great way to communicate your vision and path. This will help your staff understand where you are, where you want to go, and how you plan to get there. Roadmaps help communicate and demonstrate the thought process and strategy behind changes and allow them a chance to really buy into the new direction.
Get your employees involved and keep them involved. Can they participate in key decisions? What types of execution can you get from all levels? This should be at the forefront of your strategy to make sure you have full buy-in. Organizations can benefit from technology to help stay in communication with employees and to encourage participation.
Change is hard and complicated. With more moving parts, it’s important to be able to anticipate obstacles. The better you can anticipate, the quicker you are to be able to make changes and pivot as needed. Remember you are looking for long term change, so think strategically. Because change typically includes all resources (technology, systems, and people), you will need to understand human nature. People are often wary of change and hesitant to adopt new habits.
Monitor Your Progress
Once you have made the major change, get ready for monitoring. Why monitor? To see how well you’ve done and to tweak and make changes as needed to make it better. Use your business analytics to identify key metrics. Monitor these metrics to continuously improve and make a seemingly small change very impactful.
Your leaders are critical in every step of this process. Leaders that demonstrate transparent communication, sincerity, open-minded and flexible mentality, and the desire to improve are better able to lead their team through all types of change.