Running a successful business requires acumen, leadership and most important of all the need for constant improvement. In today’s economy the only constant thing is change. Change not only on a personal level but also spanning throughout the organization.
Companies today spend large amounts of money to bring about different changes/improvements in existing processes. They constantly strive to achieve better results. But with change comes a lot of complication, thus giving rise to the whole subject of change management.
Change management today is a very common phrase in corporate lingo. It is considered as a summation of activities encompassing anything to do with organizational change. Also it defines the pathway to move from an existing way of working to a newer, more efficient one.
But before brining about any change we need to first start by recognizing the root cause, i.e. What problem do we want to solve?
Begin by asking, What do you want to improve? This will formulate your problem identification. Increase productivity, improve employee relations, develop leadership programs etc. are some things which you may need to improve.
Once you have realized the problem, the path ahead becomes more focused. Employees also find it easier to correlate when they know what is expected out of them.
Once you have recognized the problem, ask yourself Why is this a problem? Or Why do you want to improve in this field? Generally, organizational changes are aimed to improve the overall bottom line of the business. Since these processes require large investment there is nothing wrong with expecting a little bit of green at the end.
So, if you want to increase productivity – define what increased productivity will do for you (increase revenue). If you want to develop leadership – define how those new leaders will help you (introduce new ideas and get more business). Employees respond better when they are able to feel the tangible impact of what they are working on.
Post your What and Why comes the tricky part, the HOW??
This phase deals with how you want to bring about the planned change in your organization. While shattering old ways and establishing new ones, the company needs to make sure that the employees are informed about the new change well in advance. Provision of proper training is also a must.
You definitely don’t want your employees to feel rushed into something new. This may lead to a lack of interest and ultimately render the whole process futile. Layout a plan for implementation and roll out the whole thing in phases. Also keep a checklist and monitor progress on each stage in order to achieve the most optimum results.
While managing organizational change a common problem presents itself in the form of employee friction. This generally happens when the changes does not benefit the employees.. In the case of technological advancement, most employees become insecure about there employment status. Hence they try to hinder the implementation process.
Another problem is resistance to change – A lot of times older employees are set in their accustomed methods of working and hence discourage any new improvements. Companies face such problems when they bring in new software. ERP system implementation across the world faces this problem. Employees do not want to and are often too lazy to learn a new process. So they end up resisting it.
As a manager, it is very important to keep in mind all the mentioned, aspects while carrying out organizational change. Keep an open mind and be open to dialogue. Convey to the work force that the change is for their good and show them the benefits. Gradually over time, everyone will get on board thus making the process fruitful.
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