Well, in our fast changing world it is difficult to do business without any changes. Moreover, at the end, it may harm your business if you fanatically stick to the roots. It doesn’t matter so much if it is a small or big change. What really matters is how this change will be managed, in other words, a successful change management is very important.
But the truth of our life is that people rarely welcome changes. Most of us tend to be adverse to change preferring to stay in the safe, stable side. That’s why don’t be surprised if many if not most of your employees will be skeptical and resistant to anything that threatens their status quo at their working place. And sometimes they have all right to be skeptical about the changes because doing things differently doesn’t always mean doing things better in the long term.
Have you ever seen the following graph describing employees’ motivation / performance over time? See how dramatically their motivation and performance can change from stage to stage – from the lowest to the highest point:
Taking all that in consideration, you should introduce changes and lead transformation carefully, sensitively and collaboratively. To succeed in change management, follow these 3 stages.
Stage 1: Communicate the rationale behind the need to change
What is in your mind is not always clear for your partners and employees. That’s why the first stage of introducing any change should be the explanation why it is important for the change to occur and what will be the benefits of doing this change. This should be handled carefully and communicated to all parties that will be affected by this change. Also give people the chance to voice their concerns and contribute their thoughts, opinions and views. Sometimes brainstorming and bottom-up initiatives can be very useful for the overall success of the business.
Don’t ignore this stage! Otherwise you have all the chances to damage the change process even before it has been properly started.
Stage 2: Implement the change in phases
Most change processes can be broken down into phases. This gives you an opportunity to review the change process along the way.
So if it is possible, organize a pilot group of employees to test the change before it is fully embedded. This will help you ensure that more people “buy in” to what is happening and why. Moreover, monitoring the change process in a pilot group will give you a clear understanding if you need to adjust the change process, what goes well and what not.
Stage 3: Evaluate, review and report on change
You should monitor the entire change process carefully. Doing so you will be able to measure the process’ impact and evaluate its success. Also people who are involved in the change process should be kept informed about how things are progressing and the results that are occurring.
Showing your employees the positive results of the change process will increase their motivation level and give them a good impulse to work harder. Good reporting on the change will also show which actions are still required. All that will help you meet the program’s objectives and at the end make so desired improvements!