Tips for Managing Change within an Organization

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Managing change within an organization can be a difficult task. You have to convince employees that change is necessary and the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks. It’s also hard to manage change when you have members who are resistant to change or don’t want change at all. In this blog post, we provide 10 tips for managing change so it goes smoothly!

What is organizational change?

It’s not uncommon for companies to implement organizational change to change their business strategy or improve work processes. Organizational change is change within an organization. It can be changed to the company’s mission statement, change of job roles/titles, or change in daily work processes.

Examples of organizational change include:

  • Implementing a new business strategy that requires employees with different skill sets so they are able to complete their jobs more efficiently and effectively
  • A department change in the structure of a company
  • A change to work processes that result in better delivery times and financial benefits for the organization.

In order to successfully manage change within an organization, you have to take into consideration employees’ feelings when change is occurring. If they feel out of control or don’t understand why change is necessary, employees will resist change. And, change doesn’t always mean employees will have to do more work either. In some cases, they may even be able to complete their existing tasks more efficiently!

You should also take into consideration how change can affect employee morale and productivity within the organization. Employees who feel positive about change are going to see benefits from change. On the other hand, employees who are hesitant or don’t want change will have a harder time adapting to change and may even cause problems within the organization if the change isn’t managed effectively.

Understanding organizational change management

Organizational change management is an important process that your company will likely go through at some point. It’s not always easy to understand how it works or what you can do to ease the transition, but there are several things you can keep in mind while change is occurring within your organization.

Manage Expectations:

When discussing organizational change management with employees and customers, be clear about what to expect.

Involve People:

Your employees and customers will play a big role in the change process, so they must be involved every step of the way.

Offer Support:

When people are going through organizational changes within your company, be sure to offer them support throughout the transition period. Whether you do this through communication, training or a combination of both is up to you.

Reward Employees:

When the organizational change management process is complete and your company moves forward with its new mission, vision, and values, be sure to reward employees for their contributions. This will help them feel that they’ve been recognized for all of their hard work during the transition period.

Evaluate Effectiveness:

When organizational change management has been completed, it’s important to take the time and evaluate whether or not your organization is better off than before. If so, you should celebrate! If not, be sure to find out why things didn’t go as planned so that you can determine what changes should be made in the future.

Implement Changes:

If you determine that your company is not better off than before and changes need to be made, do so quickly and efficiently while there’s still time for adjustment.

Continue to Evolve:

Finally, a successful organizational change management process will never stop. There’s always room for improvement and your company should continue moving forward as an ever-evolving entity that’s constantly striving towards success.

What are the benefits of change?

Implementing change in your organization can lead to an increase in productivity, better communication and teamwork among employees, and improved customer satisfaction.

How do you effectively manage change within an organization? *Have a plan for change management that is well-thought-out and everyone understands it.

  • Have change champions on your team who encourage change within their department or project teams.
  • Get employees involved in the change process through collaboration, communication, and transparency. For example, you can ask for employee feedback about what they would like to change/implement with the company.

Why do organizations change?

transformation efforts
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There are many reasons you could find the need for organizational change. One change that can occur is when there is new leadership or a change in the business owner. This could result in a change to many different areas of the company’s operations.

Another reason for change within an organization would be to change to its industry. Technology often advances rapidly which creates new opportunities and threats for businesses operating within these industries. This too can change the business operations.

Another change that could occur is when there are specific changes to a company’s culture or values, which may require some changes in how it does things. Finally, other reasons for organizational change can be due to changing demographics within an industry which again requires adjustments in the organization’s approach and practices.

Poor performance

Your company could be experiencing poor performance for several reasons. This could be due to change within your industry, poor management or leadership of the organization or it can even be because they are simply not meeting their objectives and goals that have been set for them by upper management.

Whatever the reason is you need to address these problems for your business to move forward successfully.

Changes in technology

As technology changes occasionally your company will need to make changes to how it does things to keep up with the change. It is important for any organization today to be able to change and adapt as quickly as necessary because of changes due to technology.

A great example would be if your company uses software that no longer has support or updates then you will find yourself unable to make use of new features that your competitors can. This change can then give them a competitive advantage over you and it would be impossible for you to catch up unless there was a change within your company.

Another example could be that the business owner decides they want their app updated or redesigned because of changes in design trends, this too would require change within your organization.

The changing global economy

Whether you are a domestic company or an international business global economics could impact your company. If your business operates in a global market then change is inevitable.

Changes could include changes due to fluctuating exchange rates or even if there are new regulations placed on you by the government within another country that has an impact on where your customers source their goods from, this too would require change within your organization.

These are all changes that can occur within an organization and change is inevitable in today’s market. It’s important to be able to change with it and make the necessary changes for your company to continue operating efficiently, successfully and have a more profitable future.

Clearly define your strategy

Defining your change strategy will help you achieve change within an organization successfully.

First, identify the change that needs to be made and define your change initiative’s scope of work. Then determine how change initiatives are prioritized against one another so they can be executed in a timely manner without conflicting with each other. Finally, prioritize key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure change within an organization, tying each change initiative back to its key deliverables.

  • Identify the change that needs to be made
  • Define your change initiative’s scope of work
  • Prioritize change initiatives against one another so they can be executed promptly without conflicting with each other
  • Prioritize key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure change within an organization, tying each change initiative back to its key deliverables.

If you effectively define your strategy the transition will smoother and more efficient.

Put your team first

effective organizational change management

Having a team-first mentality is crucial when change is introduced within an organization. In order to facilitate change successfully, employees must be able to adapt and accept change as a necessary part of the business world.

In many cases, change can have negative effects on group dynamics which may lead to feelings of being excluded from decision-making processes or not having time dedicated to work because they are constantly focused on change.

To avoid this, it’s important to ensure that employees feel like they are a part of the change and valued members of the organization who will be able to contribute towards change as well as reap its benefits.

Teams must focus on change together so everyone can see how their work connects with others within the company and change can be successfully implemented.

Change is never easy, but change within an organization should be embraced because it allows employees to learn new skills which they can take on to their next job or use for personal development.

When change is managed effectively, everyone wins.

  • Team Approach Towards Change Management
  • Create A Supportive Environment For Change
  • Encourage Feedback And Communication About The Changes
  • Focus On How Employees Can Contribute To the change and What They Will Gain From It 
  • Manage change within an organization
  • Teams must focus on change together
  • Change is never easy, but change within an organization should be embraced because it allows employees to learn new skills which they can take on to their next job or use for personal development.
  • When change is managed effectively, everyone wins.

When you involve your team in change management, they feel like they are a part of the change and not just being told what to do. Make sure your team understands why change is necessary so that everyone feels comfortable with making the change happen successfully.

Acknowledge that change isn’t easy for anyone but it will be easier if you work together as a team.

Help your employees understand change by encouraging feedback and communication about the change so they feel like they are part of the process.

Focus on how each employee can contribute to change as well as what they will be able to gain from it, rather than just focusing on negative aspects of change management.

Use a change management model

There are several change management models that change managers can use to help guide their change management efforts. The first is the Kotter model, which recommends that change initiatives be planned and executed by a team of people with strong leadership skills who also have sufficient time and resources available. The change leader needs to start small and then scale up as success builds upon itself; once momentum starts building change leaders should be prepared to change strategies when necessary.

The second is the BURN model (an acronym for: Behavior, Understanding, Relationship, and Network) developed by David Gleicher in his book “Mastering Change.” The idea behind this change management model is that change can happen on four levels: individual behavior, understanding of why a change is needed, change in relationships between people, and change in the network of connections.

The third model is called the Change Readiness Assessment (CRA) developed by John Kotter and Dan Cohen which provides an instrument for assessing readiness to initiate change within a particular organization or department. This change management method helps change managers identify where they need to focus change management efforts.

The fourth change management model is called the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Change Agents” developed by Randall S. Peterson and Nelson E. Hill in their book “Building a Magnetic Culture” which uses a change agent as a change leader to help an organization successfully navigate through change initiatives from start to finish.

Constant communication with your team

organizational structure

When making the transition communication is key. Your employees will have questions, concerns and generally be very anxious. You need to make sure that you are communicating with them regularly.

Make the change known early on

Often change is inevitable however it should not come as a surprise to your team. This can lead to resentment amongst staff members who feel like they were left in the dark. Keeping change under wraps, at least for some time can also lead to employees feeling like they were blindsided and taken advantage of.

Create an action plan with your team

When change is inevitable it should be something that everyone on the team has contributed to in some way or another before it even begins taking place. If change is something that you have just decided on or delegated then it will not sit well with your team.

Put change into effect gradually

When change happens suddenly and intensely, the employees in charge of managing change might be overwhelmed by how to deal with such a significant shift all at once. When change occurs slowly it gives them time to adapt and manage change more successfully.

Communicate regularly with your team members throughout the transition process

It is important that you keep communication open throughout the process and not just before or after it begins taking place. When communicating regularly, employees will feel like they are still an integral part of the company which can help to curb feelings of resentment and betrayal.

Make change within your organization an ongoing process, not a one-time event

If change is something that takes place once in a while it will make the transition more manageable for employees who are already on board with the change. If a change becomes routine then people can get used to managing change successfully without having too much anxiety over when or how the change will take place.

Provide change guidelines for employees who are experiencing change within the organization

It is important to provide your team members with change guidelines so that they can understand what to expect when change begins taking place in an organization. This way, people know how their roles might shift and if there could be a possibility of layoffs or changing of job titles.

Proactive leadership

As a leader taking a proactive approach to organizational change can help to change the perspective that change is a bad thing. For change within an organization to be successful, it needs to have buy-in from everyone involved and when leaders take charge of initiating change in a positive way, it can make employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves which helps them embrace change more willingly.

The leaders in the company will determine whether the changes are smooth or not. The process will be smoother if the leaders are proactive about change, show an optimistic attitude towards change and give clear direction to employees during change. It is important that you guide them so that they can understand what to expect when changes begin taking place in their organization. This way people know what change will look like and how it might affect their role in the organization.

Make change exciting

change effort

Major changes within a company do not have to be a scary thing. Employees and management should look upon change as a new opportunity to grow and succeed. Employees may become disgruntled about change if they feel like it is forced on them, or that their job responsibilities will not change despite the company’s efforts regarding the change. If managers can encourage employees by providing opportunities for growth within the workplace, then there is a greater chance that change will be seen as exciting rather than scary.

Employees may also feel less intimidated by change if they are allowed to voice their concerns about how it can affect them in different ways. If change does not have an impact on employees, then there is no reason for them to fear what change entails because it will not change the way they work or live.

Change within a company can be scary if employees and management are apprehensive about what change means for them, but change also provides an opportunity to grow and learn new things that will make companies more successful in their respective fields of expertise. Managers need to understand the change in a different way, one that does not make their employees feel like change is only there to affect them. Change should be seen as an opportunity for growth and learning new things!

Watch for momentum changes

Your companies momentum can drastically affect change management within your organization. Make sure to maintain change efforts when momentum is high, but decrease the changing focus when the team starts losing steam. This ensures that change management will be focused on at all times and change initiatives aren’t dropped due to a lack of interest or energy from stakeholders.

  • Keep track of progress with status reports.

Keeping organizational change management efforts on track is a great way to keep change momentum going. Status reports are one of the best ways to stay in touch with your change team and helps you monitor progress, which can often result in a better outcome for change initiatives within an organization.

  • Set up different groups based on need/interest level.

Some change initiatives might have a much larger impact on certain groups within your organization, so separate change management plans should be developed for these individuals to ensure they are well informed and still feel included in the process.

  • Involve change team members from all levels of the company…

Involving change initiative teams consisting of employees from different departments ensures change management efforts are well informed and change initiatives aren’t misunderstood by key stakeholders within your organization.

  • …But don’t overdo it!

Having too many change teams can result in change initiative fatigue, which could hinder change momentum for the good of your company. Keeping change team sizes small (and only involving employees who truly care) can go a long way in change management.

  • Communicate change initiatives with all stakeholders, but don’t overwhelm them!

Change efforts can quickly derail if not communicated properly or to the right people within your organization. Make sure change professionals are set up as change liaisons and that they have an organized plan for communicating change information throughout their department/company.

  • Don’t forget change management best practices!

No matter what changes you’re trying to implement within your organization, change management best practices should always be followed when implementing change initiatives – otherwise, these change efforts could go nowhere fast.

Effectively manage resistance

new employees

Encountering resistance when making a major organizational change is common. It’s important to encourage and support people who don’t fully embrace the change, offering them a role in its implementation while considering their needs during the change process.

  • Make sure you have bought everyone on board with your ideas
  • Ensure that each person feels they are being listened to when it comes to concerns over the change
  • Avoid making promises you can’t keep, this will only lead to resentment against your ideas and make it harder for them to accept later on
  • Recognize that resistance is normal, even amongst those who are supportive of changes. It isn’t always easy or comfortable to change long-held ways of doing things.
  • Make sure that you are prepared to support the change process even when it is uncomfortable. This means being ready for resistance, and not expecting everyone to agree with your ideas right away
  • Ensure that if someone resists an idea they have a chance to express their concerns in public or private
  • Be careful about how much information you share with someone who is resisting, you don’t want to give them too much ammunition against the change
  • If possible try and find out why they are resistant so that you can address their concerns. This will help get buy-in for your ideas more quickly.
  • Learn how to handle criticism of an idea or change during conversations by remaining calm and open to the other person’s concerns.
  • Find a way for them to participate in helping implement change so they feel like their voice is being heard
  • Make sure you are giving everyone an equal chance to give feedback, don’t just talk with your allies while neglecting others who might be impacted by this change

When a change is complex and difficult to understand, it’s more likely that people will resist. If the project is explained in terms everyone can easily relate to, resistance may be reduced. In situations where you have limited time or resources for training, having information sessions with short presentations followed by group discussions helps ensure all employees are up to speed and understand why the change is happening.

Implement training

When your team and employees are properly trained on the new approach, they will be better equipped to change their mindset and carry out tasks in a manner that is congruent with your company’s goals.

  • Be sure training includes current employees as well as any new hires who are required to take on additional roles during this organizational shift.
  • Train all levels of leadership within your organization so they can help facilitate the transition.
  • Include training on any new technology, equipment, or other resources that will be used during this process.

Being able to manage change within an organization is key for success in today’s business world. It requires a lot of work and effort but it should lead to positive growth both personally and professionally as well as within the organization.

  • It is important to be able to manage change in a manner that will help everyone involved succeed and work together toward common goals.
  • Take steps such as implementing training, communicating with employees frequently, and encouraging feedback from all levels of leadership throughout this process to ensure success for both your company and its team members.
  • If you have any questions or concerns related to change management, reach out to your local organizational consultant for help.

Training is a vital part of change within an organization. Communicate frequently with employees to maintain open lines of communication during this change process. Encourage feedback from all levels of leadership throughout the change process for better success in reaching organizational goals.

Conclusion

project objectives

Organizational change can be tricky to implement, but if managed well it can have a lasting positive effect on the organization. The change management process doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming as long as you are prepared for what needs to happen before, during, and after the organizational change takes place.

Tips for managing organizational changes: 

  • Create clear objectives that guide the change process
  • Be clear about who will be impacted by organizational changes and how they will be impacted.
  • Conduct frequent communication to keep everyone up-to-date on what is happening with the change process. This includes sharing a timeline of events, communicating specific tasks that need to get done, explaining why certain decisions were made, and share any information that may be helpful for people to know.
  • Offer support and resources to employees who are impacted by organizational changes (ex: training, coaching)
  • Be open about the change process with shareholders and other stakeholders
  • Ensure change is managed in a way that doesn’t have a negative impact on customers or clients
  • Know when to stop and celebrate your efforts

Manage organizational change within an organization well by creating a clear objective for the change, communicating often with employees about what is going on so they feel included in the process, offering support and resources during organizational changes that need to happen, being open with other stakeholders who have been impacted by the change, and knowing when to stop so you don’t burn yourself out.

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