What is Change Management?
Change management is the procedures put in place within an organization to manage various forms of change. If that sounds like a mouthful let's see if there is a simpler explanation. Take a company that needs to make a change, there are specific issues that have to be addressed if the changes are going to be successful, therefore the business needs a clear-cut method for putting the changes into place.
If you need to effect change in your business, you must first understand the common barriers. Change management means overcoming the common barriers without losing key members of your staff. The main problem companies encounter is an inherent resistance to change.
Resistance to change is a huge problem in the business world, and unfortunately, many management teams never figure out the best way to overcome it. Too often leaders in a company will simply steamroll over the employees resulting in lost production, excessive quits and quarreling amongst staff. When you understand that, a lot of the problem is fear of losing personal relationships rather than the actual technical changes. Asking employees to participate actively in the changes is one way to address this issue.
As you prepare your company to go to the next level, it is important that you research the current state of your business compared to where you want to go. This will give you an overview of the distance between the two points and an idea of the steps you must take to achieve growth, productivity or other corporate goals.
Once you have a tentative plan for moving forward it is time to begin implementing change management. Communication with your staff will be key to overcoming barriers and making a smooth transition. Discuss the plans and why they are important to the continued success of the company. When people understand that their continued employment is contingent upon the success of the company, which also means change is inevitable they are more inclined to get on board. In the best case scenario you could even get everyone excited about the changes.
Education and Retraining
Your change management may require the implementation of education or retraining. The difficult part is creating a seamless training or skills upgrade situation for your employees. Preparation and scheduling will be key to this section of changes; you may consider hiring a professional training firm.
Change management is a big deal for businesses of all sizes, and learning to implement it is critical for continued success. Remember your employees during the process and do your best to address their fears, this is best done through open communication about what you are doing, why it is necessary and how it benefits everyone involved. Once change is in the works, it is also important to continue monitoring the procedures and fine-tuning when necessary.