Why is change management is important?
In the world of business, organizations must undergo transitions and changes at some point in their lifespan to remain competitive and keep up with new technologies. This is of particular importance when an organization is rolling out large-scale changes that will impact many facets of the organization. Change can come in all kinds of different forms, for example: merging with another company, hiring new talent, expanding operations within a department, as well as integrating new technologies. These kinds of changes are inevitable in business and can allow a company to grow and thrive.
However, as with any change, there are always going to be things that must be adapted to, and it isn’t always easy for those currently existing and working within the business. Change that is supposed to be massively beneficial to a business can be frustrating to employees, and this can negatively impact the company as a whole. For those overseeing change within a company, it is massively important to find an effective way to move through the change without negatively impacting employees as well as your productivity, this is where having an effective change management plan becomes of utmost importance.
Organizational change management, or simply, change management, refers to the steps and processes an organization undergoes to changes that are made in a way that is beneficial and adopted. When done correctly, employees within all levels of the business have a sufficient understanding of the reason for the changes, know how the changes will be brought about, and will we kept up to speed with any new tools or training needed to successfully do their work to a high standard. Change management is essential to the successful growth of a company, helping ensure that employees can fully understand and adhere to change within the company and benefit from it as a result. Note, if this process is outside of the skill-set of management involved, it is highly recommended to team with a change management consulting firm to facilitate this process.
This article will go into some of the key reasons why implementing change management is important within businesses and a worthwhile investment.
- Change management takes into account the impacts on different teams
When changes are being made within an organization, the impact on teams will be different across the entire company, and some employees and their work will be affected more than others. It is important to address the needs of each team or department and recognize how they will be affected by the change so that disruption will be minimal; in the context of change management consulting, competent professionals that can navigate and anticipate these challenges effectively may then apply structure and tools to ensure that the effects of the change are accounted for and mitigated accordingly. As part of the process of creating a change management plan, the involved team takes into account the readiness of management, teams, stakeholders, and employees that will be impacted and may then develop a communication plan accordingly. This then sets out appropriate timing to all levels depending on how ready each level is for the impending changes.
- The business world demands consistent change. The business world changes fast, and demand for change and growth is only accelerating with time. Some companies are facing demand to make more ongoing, consistent changes throughout the year while others require much larger changes on a less frequent basis. Through utilizing an effective change management plan, all changes that are being made by a company may be managed effectively and strategically. The benefits of this are manyfold; once an effective means of rolling out changes has been established and employees are on board and accustomed to changes, there may be less resistance to change adoption and greater success.
- It can help achieve success on ongoing projects. Simultaneous projects with overlapping timelines with shared resources in different departments can create a complex situation. The projects that are being worked on at the same time as major changes are being implemented can be negatively affected as time and resources are happening are the most likely to be impacted by the change. This is in part due to employees being unsure of protocol or new responsibilities during these periods, meaning that projects may be completed to a lower standard and deadlines may be missed. However, this is only the case if effective change management isn’t applied. Through utilizing a change management plan, projects are far more likely to be successful, as members of the organization will have much greater knowledge and understanding of how to adapt and continue to be productive.
- Achieve lasting results. One of the challenges companies face when implementing change is when steps are made and implemented but nothing sticks and the organization reverts to previous methods and patterns. This is common in companies where change is implemented with a goal in mind, but not enough is done to show employees why it’s beneficial to them or the company, in these cases generally the “why” of the change is not accepted or communicated clearly. When guided by competent professionals in change management consulting, members of the organization are kept up to speed with the vision and steps required to achieve the desired future state of the organization. Understanding the why and the how of change helps individuals gain a better understanding of the benefits. By doing this the change initiatives are more likely to deliver lasting results.
- Getting teams aligned toward a common vision. Change initiatives will typically be met with some resistance since comfort and familiarity are generally preferred; members of an organization may initially resist or express concern since change may require experiencing the unknown, learning new skills, and having fear or frustration if they feel left behind. At Zolicity, this is mitigated by establishing a clear vision for the change and ensuring that the vision and its importance are understood at all levels of the organization.
- Increased productivity. Implementing new technologies, business practices, reducing redundancies, and providing improved learning and training can facilitate increased productivity on a large scale. Furthermore, teams are more likely to be productive when they have a big-picture idea of what is going on and can see how they will benefit from large-scale change initiatives, and this can be done through implementing an effective change management plan.
- Reducing costs in the long term. Implementing change can be expensive, especially on a large scale with organizations having multiple interconnected departments, but it is an investment in long-term success that can be crucial for staying current in a competitive marketplace. Some other costs and challenges involved are with productivity and rises in inefficiency when employees are struggling to keep up or feel that they have fallen behind in periods of transition. When a change management plan includes clear directed communication, employees are more likely to understand the intended vision and be better able to adjust and adapt.
- Brings about changes in a more anticipated and efficient manner. Binging about organizational change can be a long, complex process, particularly if not planned out and managed effectively. When using strategically mapped-out change management plans and industry best practices, the timelines can be better understood and adhered to. Accountability is better defined and having milestones set out for each team or department ensures that progress is consistently being made, especially when compared to attempting a large change without a clear directive, which may fail or require reworking and may cost an organization a significant amount of time and resources. At Zolicity, our change management consultants understand how important the planning phase is to the likelihood of successful implementation.
Change management is what facilitates employee productivity and morale as an organization implements and adjusts to complex changes. Embracing a change management plan and adapting to new methods of business, taking on new responsibilities, and learning new skills/methods enables organizations to grow and progress.
Zolicity specializes in change management consulting in a broad range of industries. To learn more about our services and what we do, visit our website.