Sometimes, change is for the better.
But only if you do it right.
Introducing new processes and software systems into your business or organisation can either be highly disruptive or an impeccably smooth transition, it all depends on if you get your change management practices right.
It’s important that you don’t take change management lightly and that you cover all of your bases during the process.
What is change management?
As the name suggests, change management is the process and techniques used to manage people during a change to achieve the desired business outcome. This process will incorporate tools that employees and others within the company can use to make the transition as successful as possible.
Whether you’re implementing new software systems, like a customer relationship tool for your sales team or an expense management software that allows for data entry and tracking of any costs, how you go about change management processes can make all the difference.
If you’re unsure if your team will need to execute a change management strategy, ask these three questions:
- Will the work content of individual jobs change?
- Will the role of individual employees change?
- Will the organisation itself change?
If you answered yes, then change management is necessary and you’ll need to carry out a series of steps or activities that move the change from inception to reality.
How to get change management right
How much change management your team will need to implement will depend on the levels of disruption created in an employee’s day-to-day tasks. Whether it’s a significant change to various teams or something that only a handful of people will have to encounter, there are steps you can take to do it right.
First, it’s imperative that you utilise internal communication and clearly express the reasons for the change and what these changes will improve. Whether it’s an increase in revenue or attempting a new business strategy, make sure all of the employees affected understand why the change is happening.
Next, identify who will be the “ambassadors” of the change. These people will be the go-to employees within your company that will be directly involved in the change activities. This could include anything from testing the new process or software, problem-solving any pain points that may arise, or being the general go-to person for questions throughout the process.
Once this is established, plan for how and when the changes will be communicated. Will this be best introduced during a Monday morning meeting? What about mid-week or before lunch on a Friday? When you’ve established when you then need to decide on how. Maybe an email is the best approach, or perhaps you’ll want to schedule a meeting with a rounded out PowerPoint presentation. It’s going to depend on your team and what changes you’re looking to get your employees to accept.
When the new process or software system is rolled out, the next necessary step in change management is to make sure those directly involved in the change have all of the necessary training and tools they’ll need to ensure a smooth rollout. If needed, take the time to schedule training workshops to ensure everyone involved has a complete understanding of the new process or software. When you take the time to initiate thorough training, your team can be better prepared for any issues that may arise when the change is still new.
There’s no denying that change management can be difficult, especially when you consider that most people don’t inherently like change or adjust to it well.
When you involve the right people early on, implement the process in a thought-out manner, and adjust for improvement, you have a better chance of successfully rolling out a change. Even so, some employees will lead the way during the process, while others still may struggle. When you recognise and prepare for both instances, you’ll have more success with the change adoption both in the present and for any potential changes in the future.