Change management refers to specific strategies or a set of systematic methods of managing change either as an individual or as an organization. Change management involves either adapting to change, bringing change under control or implementing change. These are the three parts to managing change or the proactive methods of change management. In an organisation, change management goes beyond firing employees or recruiting new ones or implementing new procedures. It involves building a culture that keeps an organisation moving on the pathway of success all the time. The world is now a global village and technological innovations keep improving by the day so that change management is very important to the wellbeing of every individual or organisation. The idea of effective change management is to enable successful adaptation to any new trends with the aim of achieving a better result.
Steps to Managing Change in an Organisation
In change management, no single strategy fits all organisations. However, there is a set of methodologies, techniques and tools that could be used in a number of ways to manage change. Some of these guiding principles are as follows:
- Manage the human side of change pragmatically. Any worthwhile system of change will surely throw up people issues. For example, in an organisation, scope of jobs may be altered, new leaders may be appointed, new capabilities and skills may be created, and all these may make some employees to develop cold feet because of uncertainty and, hence, show resistant to the change process. Therefore, to reduce the people issues, start at the top by persuading the leaders at the top to embrace the new approaches. That way, those behind can be motivated and challenged to follow the new guidelines.
- Use the tool of communication to effectively state the need for a change.
- Identify leaders in every layer of your workforce and involve them in the change management movement.
- In organisations with a large number of employees, it is necessary to make leaders of every layer to buy into the new procedures as joint owners of the transformation process.
- Keep communicating the new direction or program and why it is necessary until it inspires every stakeholder to work towards the attainment of the new order.
- In as much as you are interested in implementing the needed change, always be prepared for the unexpected either by way of stiff resistance or an unfavourable shift in external factors.
- Where possible, single out individuals crucial to making the new direction a success and speak to them individually on what is expected of them and the benefits if the program succeeds and the consequences if it fails. Seek out individuals that needs to catch the new vision personally irrespective of level and speak to them. Often, people will respond positively if they are held in confidence about how important they are to the change expected.