Change in the workplace isn’t easy. It’s difficult on employees, and it often impacts the overall productivity of your company. In fact, 60 to 70 percent of change management initiatives fail.
So, you might be thinking: Why even bother with change at all? But, you don’t have to feel this way.
Some of the reasons why change management has a low success rate include:
- Lack of communication prior to the transition
- Not enough preparation before moving forward
Find out how to avoid these pitfalls in your approach to change management.
1. Start With Strategy
The last thing your team wants is an arbitrary change strategy that isn’t fleshed out. Successful change management requires a strategic approach. Ask yourself:
- Is this change necessary?
- How could leadership make change easier on the team?
- What preparation should be done?
- Have we invested in change management training?
- What concerns are employees likely to raise, and how do we fix them up front?
- Is this a change that some employees may leave the company over?
All of these are valid questions to consider before jumping into any change initiative. Prior to rollout, gather your leadership team and analyze the proposed transition from every angle, giving each member of the team a chance to voice their opinions. Change management shouldn’t start when the change begins; it should start well in advance.
2. Do Your Prep Work
After you’ve strategized, get to work. Have your managers undergo change management training to prepare them for the transition to come. Then, identify everything that should be done before a change is implemented. If you’re significantly altering processes, for instance, an effective change manager should create an outline or handbook before rolling them out.
Don’t just do the bare minimum for preparation. Go above and beyond. If you want to maintain or increase productivity with your proposed change, the only way to accomplish that is by doing as much legwork as possible before the transition starts.
3. Get Everyone On The Same Page
When it comes to change management, communication effectiveness is crucial. All of your team members should know about and understand the change before it begins. Leading your employees blindly into change negatively affects employee happiness and retention.
For maximum communication effectiveness, provide your employees with insight into:
- The Purpose – Why is this change necessary? How should your team expect this change to improve the company?
- The Plan – What is the step-by-step plan for implementing this change?
- The Procedure – How does this change impact the day-to-day work of your employees? If they know ahead of time that this transition might be a little painful, they’ll be better prepared to deal with it.
Communication effectiveness has a major impact on every change. Understand that change affects all employees, and they have a right to know the ins and outs of the transition before it’s sprung on them.
4. Listen To Feedback
Effective change management involves listening to your employees’ opinions. When management ignores feedback, the team’s trust is broken. Once change has begun, give your employees a channel to voice their concerns, opinions and experiences with the transition you’re implementing.
If your team knows that they have a voice, they’ll feel more invested in the change. They’re working on the front lines, and they may have insight into how things could be better implemented or how processes could be improved for the future. Ultimately, you’ll increase productivity for upcoming transitions and maintain trust and respect among your team.
Ready for a more in-depth exploration of change management training? Download Change Management: 5 Principles To Combat Ineffective Leadership.