There are a number of imperatives in a company’s environment that influence the need to change. This includes economic, social, technological and regulatory factors. Agile organizations drive successful change management initiatives in the face of the constantly evolving customer preferences and needs. Change management initiatives are necessary for businesses to stay relevant, to grow or even to survive.
According to one Study, the success rate of major change initiatives stands at 54 percent. The costs of a failure in change management exercises are not just financial, they also lead to low employee morale, diminished or wasted resources and lost opportunities.
Here are 5 steps in change management that organizations need to reflect on:
Articulate the nature of change: Managing change initiatives are not always organization-wide initiatives, they may also be restricted to a specific team or a function too. One of the first steps in driving change initiatives is to clarify what the nature of change is. Is the change initiative primarily technological? Or is it to do with behavior? Does it require technology-based support? Is it a simple change or a radical one? These questions not only help clarify the nature of the change, they also enable leaders to identify the necessary stakeholders and the structures and processes required to manage it.
Map the change to goals of the company: With any change management initiative, it is important to assess whether or not it would work within the company’s own context. Would a technology-based mobile application drive work when the average demographic of the company is above 45? What are some values and cultural attributes of the company that relates to the change management outcome? How is it going to enhance the goals and strategic roadmap of the company in the upcoming years?
Create a framework for change: To effect sustainable and lasting change, it is important to create a framework that accounts for the skills, process and systems and the structure for the implementation of change. In terms of the kind of skills that are required, the framework should include both, leadership and tactical support.
Identify people champions and leaders: Every successful change management initiative has a team of core members who are involved in driving change. Apart from this core team, it is important to identify and reward employees who display the right behaviors. This step also ensures that organizations check the information flow.
Support: Lasting change management initiatives are usually long drawn processes and require consistent and regular monitoring. It is, therefore, crucial that the support the initiative with adequate support, whether this is technology related support or through external vendors to manage communication, design, and implementation of the program. Expert views on what works for the demographic, industry relevant insights can enable a lasting change management program.