Managing change the right way

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A productive business environment is constantly evolving to suit its needs. No matter the type or size of your organisation, it’s a given that it will undergo change.

But managing change effectively is harder than it seems and the skills and strategies needed often aren’t considered properly until it’s too late.

This can result in anything from inefficiencies and duplicated efforts to lost business opportunities and revenue. Conversely, companies that are able to manage change effectively can lessen uncertainty among employees about the change and its impacts, reduce the potential for a negative impact on productivity, and engage or re-engage the company’s workforce.

Most changes in business fail for three reasons:

  • Employee resistance
  • Miscommunication 
  • Failure to prepare properly

If you want to implement change in your business effectively, what’s needed is systemic, proactive approach. This incorporates three parts: implementing change in phases, overcoming resistance and engaging employees.

  1. Implementing change in phases

A phased approach to change can help make sure that the transition to a new system or process is as smooth and problem-free as possible. This can be done by thinking of the change in three parts:

  • Preparation: take steps such as defining your change management strategy, developing your change management team, and outlining key roles.
  • Management: create and execute change management plans that include communications, operations and resistance management.
  • Reinforcement: collect and analyse feedback and then implementing corrective actions where needed.
  1. Overcoming resistance

A natural reaction to widespread change is any situation is often resistance. The key is preparing for and managing it. You can do this in four ways:

  • Before you implement any changes, make sure you clearly communicate what they are and the impacts they will have on your employees
  • Provide help in understanding the changes to your employees, including offering an explanation for the decisions and explaining how the changes may affect them directly
  • Make sure managers have support in the form of training and information in order to answer any employee questions
  • Appoint certain staff members in the change management team to spread a positive message about the changes and get a sense of employee reaction to it
  1. Engaging employees

Employees who are engaged in the change are more likely to put in the effort necessary to help implement the change and ensure a positive outcome for the organization. Help create high levels of employee engagement during your change process with strategies such as assigning and clarifying roles and responsibilities and understanding different employees’ motivational factors.

Remember change has its challenges but can be key to success if managed properly. For assistance with changes to your business please call Preston HR on 4052 0709.