Living through a global pandemic is certainly not easy. The COVID-19 outbreak is a constant reminder that there are things that are way beyond our control.
The virus has dramatically changed the way the world does business. Reorganizing supply chains, making tough financial decisions and setting up remote operations are just some of the change management examples undertaken by companies across the world.
It hasn't been easy for the companies to get all their employees on board or to help them adjust to the sweeping operational and financial changes.
Fortunately, most of them have been able to fall back on change management techniques. So, what is change management and how does it help?
Introduction To Change Management
Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with a change in organizational goals, company values, processes or technologies. A strong change management approach focuses on helping employees embrace and adopt change in their day-to-day lives and safeguards the financial security of the organization. Change management has become a crucial driver of success for many companies.
Research shows that only 38% of people like to get out of their comfort zones. When presented with the idea of change, they respond positively to it, seeing it as a way to enhance their productivity. The remaining 62%, however, view change with feelings of fear and discomfort. This is why every organization and its employees need a well-informed introduction to change management.
The Change Management Approach
Change management requires employees to follow a particular sequence for every initiative.
The change management approach largely comprises three crucial steps:
- Prepare: Employees need to be equipped to embrace and strategize for change.
- Manage: Employees should be given the right to position and execute multiple change management plans.
- Reinforce: The organization should have mechanisms like training programs in place to firm up the changes and track progress.
Change Management Examples
There are three kinds of change management.
Here are a few examples to help you understand each type better:
Developmental change management examples include establishing new business strategies and revising previously-established organization procedures.
Transitional change management examples include mergers, acquisitions, and moving away from current states of problem-solving.
Transformational change management examples include changes that alter the core values, modes of operation, and workplace culture.
The Need For Change Management
Effective change management matters because it increases the likelihood of business success. However, changes can be costly and time-consuming. Poorly managed changes can undo both small-scale and large-scale efforts. Organizations should focus on making their change management approach easy to adapt. Organizations must help employees completely adjust to the changes as they’re the backbone of the business.
While change management is primarily a process, it’s also a competency that can be developed over time. Harappa Education’s Embracing Change course is designed to teach you about change management and show you how to respond to changes better and overcome challenges positively. The 3Ps (Personalization, Pervasiveness and Permanence) of Resilience Model will teach you how to avoid common reactions to setbacks and changes while the 3As (Accept, Assess and Act) of Setbacks framework will show you how to successfully deal with setbacks.
The Importance Of Change Management
Now that we’ve established the need for change management, let's look at the importance of change management.
Some change management examples that highlight its importance in organizations are:
Inform and engage employees
One of the primary steps of change management is engaging people in the process of change. By informing employees about the motivation behind the change initiatives, you engage them in the process. If your co-workers are aware and involved in the process, communicating changes and strategizing plans of action becomes easier. Getting everybody on the same page helps to lay the groundwork for future success.
Convert ideas to action
Organizational changes in agile workplaces happen more often than expected. New ideas, plans or strategies are part and parcel of organizations with different functional teams. To convert these ideas into actionable items, it helps to have change management methodologies in place. Working with people who deliver new capabilities drives positive force into an organization.
Improve cross-functional work
Every organization has different teams working on similar projects at the same time. Teamwork is essential to achieve shared goals and larger objectives. Effective change management enables cross-functional changes. Every functional unit is able to align the overall business strategy better and resolve issues more efficiently. Moreover, good change management encourages communication between teams.
Enhance employee productivity and performance
Successful change management enhances the performance and productivity of employees. When an organization undergoes changes, it allows a new-found space for creativity and innovation. Adopting new ways of working boosts motivation, thereby increasing productivity. Therefore, change management places organizations in healthier environments and encourages people to perform better.
Prepare for transitions
The change management approach prepares you for transitions and transformations in an organization. Organizational success depends a lot on how people adopt and adapt to changes. Change management models are designed to ease both external and internal changes. For example, if a new Artificial Intelligence software is installed to improve human resource services in a company, good change management eases that transition. You’re better prepared to use the software to your advantage.
If change management is effectively implemented in an organization, it helps to make smart choices and intelligent decisions. Positive changes help reduce waste, which in turn, helps reduce costs. Changes equip you to decrease risks, increase productivity, and work towards improving the overall profitability of an organization.
Decrease resistance to new initiatives
Effective change management helps decrease resistance to new initiatives. As we’ve already established, most people don’t like to leave their comfort zone. Some even find it difficult to overcome their reactions to change. But if employees are helped to settle into new ways of working and shown how it benefits them, their resistance to change reduces. Organizations must be transparent and keep their doors open. They should keep their employees informed at every step.
Adapt to changes in trends and technology
Since the beginning of time, organizations have been influenced by external factors. Globalization, rapid technological advancements, and changing market trends play a vital role in organizational change. Ignoring such external factors is harmful for any business. One must stay updated, prepared, and embrace these changes as and when they come. The global pandemic has set a very good example of why we must embrace the change management approach.
A year ago, nobody knew what was about to hit the world. The pandemic changed everybody’s lives overnight but people across the world have shown resilience. We continue to work towards new solutions every day to make life easier in a COVID-19 world.
From business leaders to social media influencers, everybody has reorganized and re-energized themselves. Popular brands are using smart marketing tactics to spread awareness about the importance of social distancing. Educational institutes have taken to online teaching to keep school and college education going. Small and medium businesses have started producing and manufacturing masks to meet ever-growing consumer demand. These are real-life examples of efficient and effective change management.
As they say, the only constant in life is change. Changes will come and go but you’re here to stay. Change management is necessary not only for your professional life but also for your personal development. The more you learn to adjust to change, the broader your comfort zone gets. Change, be it at home or work, can add much-needed excitement and make career goals more interesting.
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