When it comes to managing change efficiently, understanding the various stages is paramount to optimising productivity. Initially, it’s about keeping on track and ensuring that each stage has full buy-in and collaboration. The one thing that can make or break organisational change’s success is communication. Taking a few moments to consider the correct positioning of the new information will not only help the transition and integration process, it will also encourage the team to challenge their own performance.
1 – Know the fear
When change comes, it often arrives with fear. Most employees, especially long-term staff, will not like change. It will challenge their sense of safety. Getting ahead of ‘the fear’ will create the foundation for your people to embrace the difficulties and search for the opportunity. An initial overview of what is being considered either by a blanket email and/or face-to-face with department heads will prevent rumours and confusion, and can pre-empt any possible objections.
- It gives others time to consider and put forward suggestions for change
- It allows you to clearly present the opportunities the new direction could offer
- It sets in place a precedent for open discussion and invites thoughts and feedback
- It encourages others to be involved and present new perspectives
2 – Understand the anger
‘Why is the company doing this?’ will be the anticipated reaction. You can minimise emotional backlash by launching small team discussion groups once the decision has been made to proceed. These meetings should be run by the department heads with a clear agenda who, amongst other things, could look at;
- Possible start dates and proposing key delegations.
- Asking for the best ways to implement.
- Allowing others to freely voice concerns and give feedback.
The priority at this stage is to create buy-in and help others to see what the vision of change could mean to them (you can learn how by attending our change management training course London). Look at the roles and responsibilities and how change will affect them, including;
- Time frames and schedules, partitioned by review points and milestones
- Risks and priorities to consider
- Health and safety (where applicable)
- Affects on clients and suppliers
- Additional training needs
3 – Implementation
Uncomfortable, unsure and awkward are often present as change begins to hit. Sitting down 1-2-1 with department heads to set and agree objectives and WHY, will eliminate a lot this confusion.
These 1-2-1’s should be encouraged by the department heads with their key staff to allow for transparency and individual delegation. This also enables team members to grow within their roles.
The key staff can also use their 1-2-1 with the team to;
- Set objectives and time frames
- Allow open discussion on concerns and solutions
- Present clear targets for what change means individually
- Look at company targets
- To build support mechanisms
4 – The comfort zone
Change has been rolled out and teams are starting to find their feet. 1-2-1 reviews should be in place. As people begin to get comfortable, productivity and efficiency may very well become key to evaluating the ultimate success of the process.
As the implementation level continues, individuals are far more likely to try new ideas, new training and take greater responsibility. Don’t be too quick to disregard the opportunity that change presents. Evolution and growth are powerful forces. Change can offer you the opportunity to direct these forces into continually improving performance, without boundaries. You can also learn how to in our change management course London.
So, what is the one thing that you’ve seen, read about or personally experienced that stood out as a superb method for managing and implementing change?
If you need more ideas, take a look at our Managing Change infographic: