Industries evolve all the time. Local and global economies progress, technologies advance, and business environments develop. With this constant state of flux, organizations must continuously adapt to remain competitive. It means that your workplace should improve its systems, strategies, and processes, which is the essence of organizational change.
What is Organizational Change?
Organizational change is the movement of a business from one state to another. The process may include altering the company’s culture, structure, policies, procedures, technology, or strategy. Depending on your goals, the change can be radical and swift (transformational) or incremental and slow (adaptive).
Regardless of the type of organizational change, effective people management is the key for this process to be successful. You can utilize your team to take charge of this movement or work with a business outsourcing if you lack the workforce.
Benefits of Organizational Change
There are significant advantages to organizational change. However, several business owners, employees, and managers may be hesitant in welcoming this development, as familiarity is comfortable and not easy to give up. To help you open up to this change, here are some positive effects to look forward to when implementing change within your organization:
- Skill growth – Staff can develop new skills or get a chance to show off their other specialties.
- New business opportunities – Having new or improved strategies can help your business get involved with other companies, leading to new contacts and sales growth.
- Innovation – Stagnant work environments block creativity and new ideas. Through organizational change, your company will be able to keep up with developing times.
7 Tips on Managing Change In the Workplace
If organizational change is implemented poorly, your team and goals can easily suffer. It would be best to have an effective plan to manage organizational change to ensure that your employees transition smoothly and leaders are met with respect. Here are seven strategies on how you can win organizational change management:
- Change or create new performance goals
It would help if you first finalized the strategic vision for this change. Then, make sure that everyone understands the concept and situation.
Once the vision is settled, outline performance goals. The goals should be a good mix of achievable and aspirational to help things become better while motivating employees. Your team should see their role in this change and what it means for them, their coworkers, the department, and the entire organization once the goals are achieved.
- Understand the process of change
Organizational change isn’t a one-time initiative. There are several stages or steps to carry it out successfully:
- Preparation – Helping everyone understand the transition by outlining the vision and creating a plan
- Implementation – Executing changes that are compatible with the company vision
- Follow-through – Making sure the changes remain in the company’s practices and culture
- Create a plan
Once you’ve defined your goals and the changes you want to implement, it’s time to create a detailed plan. Your organizational change plan should include how your mission, objectives, and markets will change. Likewise, you have to identify how the impending change will affect different business aspects and impact your employees, customers, stakeholders, and suppliers.
Having a roadmap will also make monitoring your team’s progress easier. You can see if specific goals or milestones are met within targeted timeframes.
- Appreciate the old
As your company faces a new direction, you must make time to recognize previous work, policies, strategies, and programs that your employees worked hard on. It would be best to emphasize the importance and meaning of these old projects. Dismissing their past efforts while taking on new initiatives may reduce morale.
- Be ready for new challenges
No matter how hard you prepare, you may still encounter curveballs during the transition. So, rather than expecting everything to pan out smoothly, it would be better to anticipate and prepare for roadblocks. Discuss potential challenges with your team. Which departments or what business aspects will get affected if these problems occur? How can you address these obstacles and prevent them from negatively impacting your goal?
- Communicate and listen
According to Forbes, 45% of employees prefer to remain in the status quo rather than change the current workplace dynamic. It can mean that some people on your team are resistive or hesitant about your organizational change plans.
In the beginning, it’s important to fully articulate what’s going to happen and provide updates to your team. By doing this, you’ll be able to answer their questions, mitigate rumors, and give reassurance. Encourage employees to voice out their emotions, questions, feelings, and ideas.
When they approach you, you should actively listen, validate, and address their concerns. Having open communication between management and employees can contribute to the success of your plan, as everyone will be effectively working toward the same goal.
- Work with influence leaders
Every workplace has employees who have earned the respect of their coworkers, have been with the company for quite some time (allowing them to provide perspective), and are influential. Once you’ve identified the key players, talk to them and get them on board with the plan.
Working with them allows you to understand better how the rest of the team perceives the change. Moreover, key players can bring up recurring issues and become advocates for the company’s organizational transformation. Workplace influence leaders can help with team communication and confidence during the change process.
Navigate Change Successfully
Managing organizational change isn’t easy; it requires heavy planning and strategizing. A hostile workplace won’t only affect one person but everybody involved with your company, from employees and customers to stakeholders and suppliers.
The team assigned to manage this change must have several years of hands-on experience or be very organized with the whole process the company looks to achieve. For smaller businesses, organizational change can be a daunting task. So, it’s best to outsource a team of leaders who can help manage this change expertly, ensuring that the transition is smooth and your employees are understood.
With sensible reasons and a well-thought-out plan, change is good. It allows your company to grow and your employees to flourish. Organizational change fosters innovation, pushing your company to stay above the competition.
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