Change management - What is it and why do you need it?

Darryl Bachmeier
Aug 21, 2019

Organizations are constantly evolving with the change of process and technology. The dynamism of business processes is constantly pushing them to adapt to new scenarios and environments. Something as recent as Covid-19 forced many businesses to adopt changes that would’ve otherwise not been implemented.

The process of bringing changes and ensuring the changes have a desired result and impact is termed as change management. Change management is an intricate part of any business considering it is the only means of assessing whether the implemented changes are having the desired change or not.

By nature, people are resistant to changes. We love to stay and operate in an environment and process that is familiar to us. Bringing about changes to any existing system that is in effect for a long time might have a negative impact on the employees and the overall output of the organization. so how do you effectively make changes?

That is where change management comes in. change management is not just the process of making changes, rather its scope reaches far beyond the traditional implications. It essentially helps to ensure that the changes that are being implemented do not harm the employees, that the employees can familiarise themselves with the change keeping the KPI up, and ultimately measuring the positive output gained from the process.

So what is the principle of change management? What are the key steps to be considered? Let’s find out –

Understanding the change

One of the key aspects to be ensured before implementing any change mechanism is whether the management and the employees are understanding the changes to be made. This is where organizational communication comes into play. You need to realize what you want to achieve through this change. Whether the change is positively impacting your workforce. Will it help in the overall growth of the organization and so on.

Planning the change

Understanding the change alone isn’t enough to drive change management. Effective management requires planning as well. the planning will include what are the dos and don’ts in the change management process.

The planning process should include the financing source for the change. In addition to that, you need to consider whether your workforce is in line with your change management goals. It is very important to include the workforce in every step of the planning since they will be the essential driving force of the change. Lastly, you need to consider the impact of your change, as we have mentioned before, the outcome of the process is very important since a lot of effort and investments are involved in the process.

Implementing the change

So you have successfully understood and planned the change, congratulations. But the job is only half done. Implementing the plan is probably the most important aspect of the entire change management process.

To implement any change management plan, it is needed to analyze the current state of the organization at first. SWOT analysis can be a good tool in this regard, management needs to be clear about where they want to see the organization, what key steps of the process should be implemented first, how to bypass resistance to change, etc.

Communicating the change

The success of any change management process entirely depends upon the communication of the change. It’s one of the make or break factors of any change management plan. If you consider making any change, it is required to properly communicate the change to your stakeholders, workforce, and members of the management team.

This not only helps to make the employees better understand the changes that you’re trying to make but also streamlines them with the entire organizational process. This helps to visualize the mission and goals of the organization and work accordingly for its development.

As a business, there are a number of organizational best practices that you should follow while implementing change management. Some of them include -

  • Being clear about the goals.
  • Inspiring employees to embrace change
  • Outlining new KPI to measure change.
  • Provide space for personal growth.
  • Appropriate training opportunity to cope with change.

These are some of the best practices you should follow in order to properly induce the change.

Models for Change Management

It is clear by now that change management is no easy task. Thankfully, there are a number of established models that outlines how the change management process should be.

The ADKAR Model

ADKAR stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. This is a goal-driven change management model. Each aspect of this model determines how they are performing against the achievable goal of the change management process. this can be useful for small scale change management where the goal needs to be visualized at the earliest.

Lewin’s Change Management Model

Perhaps the most celebrated and widely accepted model in this list would be that of Lewin’s change management model. This model basically conducts change in three phases unfreeze, change, and refreeze. The unfreezing stage is basically where the employees and the workforce gets prepared for the change. This is the stage where the change gets communicated and the goals visualized. The next phase is the actual change implementation phase. In this phase, the employees will get used to the changes and start delivering on the goals. The last phase is freezing in the changing environment. This phase ensures that the employees continue to deliver on the changing process.

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