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By: Amrit Morsara

In this age of disruption, organizations are experiencing change at an exponential rate. Often organizational changes are reflective of internal and external forces, as the landscape of the industry changes or new regulations are enforced. This results in change being inevitable if an organization wants to remain in business.

To implement change, organizations need to involve employees within the organization to fully realize the benefits. It is the responsibility of the leaders to ensure they do the following

1)Identify the need for change and communicate it throughout the organization as early as possible.

The leader of the company should communicate the first message of change to illustrate the importance of it to the business. In addition, once managers receive more information regarding the change they should discuss how their teams will be affected and how the organization will prepare them for the change. On a minimum, communication needs to occur five to seven times to ensure employees understand why change is happening and are aware of the changes being implemented.

2)Involve employees in the decision-making process and do not force change upon them.

Executives need to share their vision for the change and gather employee feedback. Individuals need to feel the problem before they are convinced there needs to be change.  It is important to schedule discussions that allow employees to ask questions where immediate feedback is provided. If the answer is unknown, notify the employee that you will find an answer and get back to them. By providing your employees with a voice it helps create buy-in for the transition phase.

3)Directly address individuals that are change resistant.

Neglecting individuals that are resisting change can be detrimental as their concerns and perspectives can spread. The manager needs to meet directly with the employee to identify issues of concern. By addressing the issues directly it helps to identify the underlying concerns. These concerns can be addressed by the manager as they coach their team through change. This allows employees to feel as if they are part of the change and not the physical change itself. Employees will need to be reminded that it is the process that requires fixing, not them!

4)Make training your employees a top priority.

Organizations need to train their employees for the future skills required to perform their jobs. Often the resistance to change is a reaction to being fearful of the unknown. Training will help shift employee mindset and better prepare them for change. The time and money invested in training will quickly be recouped through an increase in profits and service quality. It will also signal to the employees, the importance of the change and the important role they play within it.

When people within the organization are engaged in the change, the success rate of organizational change is exceptional. When change is not managed effectively it can be detrimental to your organization. Some of the risks are; decrease in productivity, negative impact on your level of service and morale for future change deteriorating.

You need to decide whether you are going to invest money upfront to implement change effectively or spend money on damage control once the change has been implemented and the results are not realized.

Interested in working with a Change Management Professional? Get more information about Propel’s Change Management Services.