Smart Work

4 Steps to Effective Change Management

Posted 22 July 2016 | BY Sansan

For any company, growth is an important goal because it ultimately leads to profit. In order to encourage growth, however, businesses have to evaluate their operations and, where necessary, make adjustments. These often come in the form of changes – in processes, tools or even personnel.

These changes, while eventually leading the way to a brighter future for the company, can seem like unnecessary hindrances for employees. To prevent this from happening, organisations must ensure that any changes undertaken are well managed so that they have little effect on day-to-day operations. Here’s how companies can manage changes effectively.

1. Explain the need for change

There need to be clearly defined reasons for changes made within an organisation. Perhaps it’s an existing software system that needs to be upgraded or an operational process that needs to be replaced? These changes can cause major disruptions to employees, so it’s important to explain to them why such changes are necessary before actually undertaking them.

Detailed and reasonable explanations that make a strong case for change are more likely to be welcomed. Sufficient time should also be allocated between informing employees of the change and the implementation, so they can make the necessary arrangements to cope with them.

2. Get your resources ready

Before proceeding with any change, it is essential for a company to take stock of whether or not it is ready for it. This readiness could be in terms of having the best tools to replace outdated ones or hiring the right employees to do the job that the proposed change requires. Failure to anticipate any requirement could create obstacles during the process.

3. Provide the necessary training

Having the resources is one thing, but knowing how to best implement them is another. In the case of new software being introduced within the company, it is necessary to provide training to all employees who will be working with it. This will make it easier for employees to use the tool when the time comes for application, as well as offer a chance for feedback while the tool is still in the trial phase. This way, the software can be fine-tuned for ease of use.

Similarly, if the expected change is in terms of personnel, the new recruit should be well trained for his or her role, especially if it is a new or challenging position. This way, they can efficiently carry out their duties without slowing down any processes. For instance, one of the most important requirements for a new sales manager is to have the right business contacts to start converting them into customers. An efficient contact management solution such as Sansan could save a new employee the trouble of knocking on several doors to find out whom to approach to begin the sales process.

4. Implement change in phases

Using the same example as above, it would be necessary to implement the software before hiring new staff. In other words, implement the change in phases. This way, no single area of the company’s operations would come to a complete standstill while the changes are being made. Moreover, limiting the scope of changes makes implementation quicker and more manageable.

Change management is essential when a company is looking to try something new in the quest for growth. With some methodical planning and foresight, any change can be smoothly implemented.