Every business comes to a point where change is necessary. It might be something as minor as swapping from one invoice management software to another or changing one element of your manufacturing process. It could be something huge – a merger or an acquisition, or a whole new organizational and hierarchy structure. Whatever changes need to be made, no matter how big or small, they need to be handled with care.
McKinsey and Company found that 73% of employees affected by change reported moderate to high levels of stress. It is little wonder that so many people are resistant to changes being made, even if they seem relatively inconsequential. Many businesses turn to change management services when making big changes so that they know that they get it right. Here, we look at some best practices for making any change big or small in your business.
1. Ensure that you define and communicate clear goals
Every change action plan should have a well-defined context, with clear goals. Even though SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals are harder to specify for implementing change, businesses should seek to maintain as specific goals as feasible.
Employees and business leaders will have something to refer to when assessing their efforts if this has been done.
2. Be clear and transparent
More than a third of employees believe their employer is not always open and honest. Employers must be honest and transparent in order to successfully implement transitions. Because most employees are uncomfortable with change, being transparent at every stage of the change implementation aids in the development of trust and connection with employees.
3. Ensure you give th training your employees need
Reassure your employees, offer new training courses, and give them the time they need to adjust to new processes. Compassion and understanding and affirmation speed up the process and make future organizational changes easier.
4. Welcome discussion and communication
Employee relations play a significant role in encouraging dialogues before, during, and after changes are made. Start a dialogue with your workers to find out how they feel about the new initiatives. Recognize that genuine communication is a two-way street.
5. Listen to your workforce
You should not be the only one speaking when it comes to driving dialogue. Pay attention to what your employees have to say. Enable them to lead the discussion, during which staff can ask questions, comment, and offer constructive suggestions.
6. Make sure senior management is on board
Excellent change management improves the business outcomes of change initiatives, but it is still often hard to get everyone in the top echelons of the company on board. Why is that? Companies should work on demonstrating the return on investment of change management and communicating it to senior management and executives in order to get them on board and embrace change.
7. Empower your workforce
Enable your leaders and employees to participate in the change process by allowing them to make their own decisions and implement new ideas. If your staff do not feel empowered, their commitment will suffer, and they will be opposed to change.