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
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.
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
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
organisation 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 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.
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.