Change Management Principles: 8 Tips for Success
Over the last decade or so, change management has become a permanent fixture. Why? There are a few key reasons. Technological innovations have altered how business models get constructed. Investment and capital flows have become harder to predict. This is why change management has never been more important to the success of a company.
Recent studies conclude that only half of companies are successful with changes. This should be an alarming statistic for any executive or manager. Poor change efforts lead to all sorts of bad results. Money gets wasted. Employees get confused or upset. Resources get squandered. Morale becomes reduced. To prevent these outcomes, ensure that your company considers the following eight principles:
1) Ensure your company has the right culture.
In business, culture is everything. It’s only a matter of time before a company with a poor work culture goes under. But there’s a big problem. Change leaders often neglect to improve or fix company culture. This is somewhat understandable. After all, what’s more important than focusing on your bottomline? It’s also likely that change managers see their company’s culture as being in the past. It’s easy to assume that change will happen on its own. But it almost never does. It takes a lot of action and dedication.
As a change manager, you’ve got to study your company’s current culture:
-How employees act.
-How they think.
-What seems to get the best results?
-What are the main goals and objectives?
-What’s the plan for the future.
All the above should get analyzed in great detail. It doesn’t have to seem complicated. A change manager has two major culture-related tasks. Build on organizational strengths. Cut out organizational weaknesses.
2) Make changes at the top first.
Don’t go too far with this and neglect your lower-level employees. But great change management starts at the top. This means that upper management should hold regular meetings and discuss potential initiatives. Holding an open dialogue will allow for everyone’s ideas to get heard. The CEO can determine which ideas are beneficial and which should not get pursued. Coming to a mutual agreement is very crucial. Otherwise, organizational chaos will ensue.
Organizational redesigns don’t have to be a pain. They’re easier when executives and managers get excited about making changes. And they should be. Better changes may lead to increased revenue for each of them to bring home. It may be best for each executive to make his or her own presentation about change initiatives. Next, the best ideas from each presentation can get combined into a cohesive outline. That outline will contain specific goals and objectives that need to become achieved. Estimated timeframes should get placed next to each goal.
3) Take all aspects of your organization into consideration.
Many executives make the mistake of putting change-initiatives in place too fast. As a result, certain aspects of the company become ignored or forgotten. This creates a lot of headaches and hardships in the future. You’ve got to consider how change will affect each employee’s job. This applies from the CEO all the way down to the janitor. It’s easy to understand why certain aspects or roles are often left out of change management plans.
Executives often think the changes will be better when fewer employees become involved. Sure, this might save you time in the short-term. But it’s going to do a lot of harm in the long-term. This means you can’t be lazy and take the easy way out. You’ve got to work hard to make predictions about how change will affect your company’s future. The more accurate the predictions, the fewer obstacles your company will encounter. But you can’t stop at predicting how your employees will become affected. There’s also another sector of people that you need to consider. Your customers.
4) Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
We get it. You’re passionate about your company’s future. And you should be. But you cannot let your emotions override logic and reason. For example, say executives at your company vote to fire twenty percent of the workforce. This means you will lose a few of your favorite staff members. It’s easy to feel angry or resentful when changes like this occur. You liked those employees and felt they did great work for you. But sometimes you’ve got to roll with the changes. Twenty percent in savings might be what it takes to keep your company afloat. The more you apply logic and reason , the better your company’s future will be.
5) Value actions more than words.
Your company’s executives have held regular meetings. A change management proposal has gotten written. Every aspect in it’s voted into existence. The new goals, objectives, and strategies have gotten emailed to all employees. Everything’s good to go for the future, right? Wrong.
Plans and proposals are only words on pieces of paper. They mean nothing unless people take action. And that needs to be every employee in your company. From the CEO all the way down to the janitor. It’s easy to assume that your employees will alter their behavior as soon as they know changes have gotten made. But very few do. Why? Because it’s human nature for people to get used to patterns. After all, we are all creatures of habit. That’s why managers and supervisors must work together. To do what? To teach employees new habits and strategies. Otherwise, your change-strategies will be nothing more than words on a computer screen. This means you need to use managers who excel at communicating. Companies cannot be successful without clear communication. There are no exceptions to this notion. (You can read more on this in the next section.)
Managers can begin the process by meeting one-on-one with their subordinates. The managers can walk each person through the new steps that he or she will be taking. But again, words aren’t enough. Managers have to lead the way through their actions. This will paint a clear picture for what employees need to be doing. When positive actions are taking place at the top, they trickle down the totem pole toward the bottom.
6) Communication is key.
It’s safe to assume some of your employees won’t understand what to do once changes take place. Try to be patient with them and understand that they became used to doing their jobs a certain way. But most important of all, make sure that there is clear communication taking place. Always keep the following mantra in mind. Strong changes need strong communication. Managers need to be aware of this more than anybody else. After all, it’s a manager’s job to make sure that workers are doing what they need to do.
Say you notice that a manager struggles to communicate. That person should undergo communication training as soon as possible. This is why holding meetings is so important. It keeps communication running throughout the organization. But don’t think that team meetings are good enough. One-on-one meetings are, in some ways, more important. They allow an employee to go over all his or her concerns in a private setting. Both team meetings and one-on-one meetings should take place on a consistent basis.
7) Encourage leadership.
Like communication, leadership is essential. It matters for both the short-term and long-term success of a company. Change management will fail unless strong leadership is in place. This doesn’t apply to only the CEO or Owner. Every employee should focus on becoming a better leader. Otherwise, the company will risk change turning into chaos. While change management is being planned, leaders in your company should get identified. Why? Because they will be key players in ensuring that changes will get put in place in the correct manner. Do some analysis. Study who leads and who is too passive. Determine who employees turn to for guidance. Use that information you’ve compiled to create a brand-new organizational chart. That chart will be the foundation of your company’s new structure of leadership.
8) Continue to make adjustments once changes are in place.
Many companies make the mistake of assuming that their new changes are bulletproof. Well, guess what? That never happens. Upper management is going to have to continue to make changes. For how long? It depends. But it’s usually far after change management is in place. That’s the way business works. This means that assessments on all aspects of your company should occur on a regular basis. This is the only way to maintain stability. Some of your new changes are going to work great. Others are going to fail. Don’t overreact when the latter occurs. Be patient and logical. Meet with other managers or higher-ups and discuss what you’ve assessed.
To ensure your company gets positioned for success, keep these 8 principles in mind. They will assist the leaders in your organization in creating successful change. It’s going to take a lot of work and effort, but that’s okay. You’ve got to stay patient and not let your emotions get the best of you. Over time, your company’s infrastructure will improve. There will be a greater possibility to experience increased production and revenue. For more business advice, please browse the articles on BillionsInTheBank.com. We’re committed to helping your company reach its full potential.