Rapid technological change, globalization, 24/7 work practices and turbulent economic times mean that your organization can’t afford to rest on its laurels: change is necessary not just for growth, but to remain competitive and ultimately for survival.
Unfortunately, it’s estimated around 70 per cent of all change management projects fail. This can be because of lack of communication, lack of buy in from staff, poorly executed plans, not enough money being invested in the change, and poor leadership.
To avoid becoming a statistic, there are measures you can take with your organizational change program to ensure it is successful.
Your CEO and other senior managers and leaders within your company need to be on board with the change management project and to advocate for it to employees at every opportunity. If the people at the top don’t believe in it, how can you expect everyone else to come along for the journey?
Will the changes that you are proposing significantly add to the workloads of your employees? Are your front-line staff telling you about factors that could affect the success of your project, but you’re ignoring them? You need to thoroughly research the viability of your change, including consultation with your stakeholders, to put realistic and achievable measures in place that will help you bring about change.
Your goals should all be “SMART” – that is Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Time sensitive.
Quite simply, if you don’t let people know what’s going on, they’re going to be in the dark about your change management program. You should have a comprehensive communications strategy that sets out what you are going to tell your employees, who will tell them, how often you will tell them and which communication channels you will use to deliver the information.
Don’t be afraid to use multiple communication channels to ensure that you get your message across to staff. Thinking outside the box and using an innovative internal communications solution such as DeskAlerts can help cut through and ensure your important information reaches your staff members.
Be prepared for resistance
Humans are creatures of habit and often don’t like change. So it’s only natural that during any kind of chance management project you can expect to meet with some level of resistance among your employees.
To effectively handle resistance you need to create an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their opposition to chance, which you can then use as an opportunity to create discussions and meaningful dialogues on the change process.
Train and support your people
It’s not realistic to expect that your employees will just take new information on board and start doing everything differently. You need to provide proper training to embed your changes, and then provide ongoing support to those employees who may be struggling to adapt to the change.