Change, growth, scale – these words have become defining characteristics of a modern economy obsessed with change. Technology has changed the way we work and the way we think about work. It has propelled companies to grow faster than ever before. However, the fast pace of technological progress has also left a graveyard of companies in its wake that could not keep up.
Unsurprisingly, for fear of being left behind, most modern enterprises are obsessed with change and progress. No doubt, in 2018, executives are aware that constant change is fundamental to success –hence ‘change management’ is not such a foreign concept anymore. But there can be several obstacles in the way of the changes you’d like to implement.
IBM’s survey found that change management executives listed “people factors” as the biggest barriers to success. Top of their list was changing mindsets and attitudes – 58%, followed by Corporate Culture – 49%. Lack of senior management support was also given as a reason by 32% of respondents. These findings could easily explain why 48% of strategic initiatives fail.
No Change = No Competition
But change management can also help your business ensure that it remains competitive and survive in its industry. However, implementing change throughout a large organization can be extremely challenging. Not everyone may be on board with your ideas and vision and this is why it’s important to define what changes you’re introducing and communicate them effectively. Nevertheless, in today’s modern economy your business is like a shark: it will die if it stands still.
What is change management and why has it become so important?
There are various definitions of change management but it’s often described as a ‘structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams and organizations from a current state to a desired future state’. Examples of this would include downsizing, expanding the business or embracing new technology.
Whatever you choose to do, the process involves having to make employees understand why there is a need for this change and why it will benefit the organization (and them) now and in the future. It may mean having to make assurances, promises, and informing all staff of the changes.
Changes may be strategic, tactical, or could involve introducing new leadership or technology. It’s important to evaluate and monitor how this will impact on your people, processes and performance. Make sure that employees are not impacted too negatively because this could result in them not coping in the workplace or having a negative perception of the change management that’s about to be introduced. Worse still, they could leave the business and set your plans back even further.
This is why it is essential to have change management methodologies in place. That’s not to say that the methodology used for one company would work in another. You or the people that manage the business, need to adopt an approach that will suit your company and employee’s needs. Find your own way, and follow through on it.
Which organizations need change management?
Most organizations would benefit from change management but it’s mostly organizations within traditional industries that have cultures that are already well established that would benefit from it. If you talk about change management, there may be some negative connotations associated with the term. Perhaps employee Joan has heard this term at her previous company and this then resulted in jobs being axed.
Even if employees are not going to lose their jobs from your change management process you may find yourself having to deal with some resistance from them. This is why it’s important to communicate how all the changes will be conducted.
When you don’t communicate properly, you are faced with the challenges as shown in the graph above. However, with proper communication, you will greatly improve efficiency, compliance, and customer satisfaction, plus you will experience less turnover – and all of this is because you properly communicated with your employees. Communication isn’t a one time task you check off at the end of the day, it is an on-going task that you must perform on a regular basis otherwise the consequences will outweigh the benefits at every turn.
If done correctly, change management would benefit both the employer and the employee. Employees could benefit from increased involvement from management and other employees. It could boost morale, reduce stress (maybe even workload if things become more automated) and more control. But if they don’t know that this will be a possibility – what would then motivate them to help you make those changes?
There are also plenty of benefits for the business if change management is implemented correctly. There could be an improvement on productivity and quality of work, better collaboration and communication.
However, you can only reap such benefits if you have adequate leaders in place. It’s not enough that they just go through the motions or delegate the change management to some people in the organization and communicate to only a few.
Communicating the changes
One of the ways to implement changes effectively within a business is to communicate properly with all involved. Keeping everyone informed, particularly if the change management process is a complex one, can be very challenging but could mean the difference between success and failure. There are a lot of ways that you can keep your employees informed of the process but some forms of communication, such as newsletters, only result in the messages being conveyed in one direction. Ideally what you want is for your employees to respond and share their ideas and concerns with you.
One way to do this is through the use of an internal communications app. Choosing the right internal communications app is a decision that can have positive outcomes across the entire business. An internal communications app, also known as an intranet app, is a platform that your employees and contractors can make use of to talk, share and communicate with each other. It would effectively replace traditional channels like emails, phone calls and text messages. Prior to internal communications apps, employees and contractors would liaise via email or over the phone. But this wasn’t sustainable because the average worker receives around 121 work-related emails.
The Cost of Ineffective Internal Communication – An infographic by the team at SnapComms
Emails can easily be forgotten about and can cause distractions. Your instructions and communication about the changes can, as a result, get lost among all the other messages. But the beauty about communications apps is that they allow you to simplify and centralize your business’ internal communications. That means it will give all employees that are involved access to the required information and the next steps that will be taken. An internal communications app helps you to simplify and centralize your company’s internal communications so that way you can avoid all the clutter of email or phone calls.
The app can be used as a tool in the change management process. When your employees and contractors use the app you can be sure that they’re fully engaging with the change management process. What’s more, if embracing technology is part of your methodology then it can form a part of your process.
Implementing change is also about giving employees tools they can enjoy using and giving them the ability to concentrate their attention to this vital time within your business. Making use of an app to concentrate the conversation is one of the many ways you can make the process simpler and ensure that everyone is on board with the changes you’re making.
Connecteam's communications app is for you
Connecteam’s all-in-one mobile app offers multiple effective communication tools for businesses and teams in one place, like group or private chat, employee directory, immediate updates, surveys, a suggestion box and social posts. Engage, reach everyone and send updates in seconds – find out how Connecteam can drive your communication forward.Learn more now