Top 4 Strategies for effective organisational change management

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Organisational Change Management
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Changes or transitions in the work ecosystem are inevitable for continuous growth. Besides day-to-day responsibilities, HRs, managers or top management have to foster changes and encourage innovation in the workplace. But to implement those changes, they require a full-fledged organisational change management strategy.

After surveying HRs of various organisations and collecting data from multiple reports, we concluded a few challenges that every HR faces. 

To reduce  HRs burnout and balance their workload, we bring to you this blog, wherein, we suggest best practices for better change management.

What is Organisational Change Management Process?

Organisational changes majorly encompass the change in office space, work culture, internal workflows, team structure, work model and any other change that is aimed at bringing positive change to the organisation. These changes are introduced by companies to

  • improve employees’ experience,
  • accommodate digital transformation, 
  • attain a competitive edge or achieve desired goals and
  • maintain a competitive edge and revenues.

To manage changes in the workplace, we require a structured approach to organisational change management.

The organisational change management process consists of the following steps-

Step 1: Identify potential challenges that employees may face during transition

Step 2: Communicate to employees about your strategies and request feedback

Step 3: Design a final change management plan for your organisation

Step 4: Launch, monitor and evaluate transformed workplace with new changes

Skills needed for Change Management as per World Economic Forum (WEF)

  • Analytical thinking and innovation
  • Active learning strategies
  • Complex problem-solving techniques
  • Critical thinking and analysis abilities
  • Resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility
  • Creativity, originality, and initiative approach
  • Leadership and social influence
  • Reasoning, problem-solving, and ideation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Technology design and programming

What are the Best Strategies for Organisational Change Management? 

According to the Scott & Jaffe Change Model mentioned in their article ‘Survive and Thrive in Times of Change’, they both mentioned four stages of how people respond to changes-

  • Denial- People completely tend to ignore changes as if nothing new has happened
  • Resistance- People exhibit emotional upsurges to resist acceptability
  • Explore- Organisation build an adaptive mechanism to neutralise resistivity
  • Commit- Managers re-empower employees to commit new changes

Scott Jaffe Change Model
Top 4 Strategies for effective organisational change management 1

Top 5 Principles of Change Management

1. Roll out in phase
2. Address resistance
3. Use a variety of training methods
4. Establish change leaders
5. Ask for feedback

Keeping all these stages in mind, we have mentioned below the best strategies for organisational management.

Strategy 1:  Supercharge Your Efforts for Work Environment Change Management

Changes in sitting arrangements for better collaboration, the introduction of mandatory training sessions to resolve learning and development concerns, and redefining the method of performance review or workforce management, are some of the instances of work environment changes. As an HR, you might have to imply one of the changes in the work environment as your daily task.

To ensure these changes are introduced smoothly, and thereafter expected results are also achieved, you can take up the following tips:

  • Proactively involve employees in the change management plan by conducting employees’ surveys and requesting managers to take suggestions from their team members 
  • Encourage your people to explore benefits of the expected work environment and give them reasons to celebrate changes and avoid initial resistance
  • Ensure alignment of leadership behaviour with organisational change management techniques as their behaviour and qualities can turbocharge the whole process
  • Measure the effect and impact of changes and adjust the strategies accordingly with the help of A/B testing which involves comparing two options and analysing final results
  • Supercharge your efforts by focussing more on people rather on processes or structures. Don’t be rigid with your strategies and offer a flexible way to employees for adopting changes 

Follow sequential steps of the ADKAR Model by Jeff Hiatt, for change management-

  • Awareness of the need for change;
  • Desire to participate in and support the change;
  • Knowledge about how to change;
  • Ability to implement change and behaviours; and
  • Reinforcement to sustain the change.

Strategy 2: Positively Influence your Employees to adopt New Communication Plan

Your top management wants to implement a more secure, and encrypted communication plan which offers limited access to ensure privacy. For the new system, changes in modes of communication like emails, WhatsApp groups, video conferencing, announcement alerts, and policies along with new guidelines are required to introduce and implemented successfully. So how will you manage these organisational changes? 

This situation happened in real when COVID hit hard, and most of the HRs had to implement new communication plans haphazardly.

To avoid any similar hassle in the future, let’s discuss some of the practical tips that can be followed: 

  • Don’t just drop the change management strategy for all new communication plans over employees’ heads even in crisis situations. Try to make them understand the urgency of the situation by briefing them on the need for change
  • Implement changes in phases and till the time a new plan is completely functional, retain the old system of communication
  • Conduct training sessions in batches either team-wise or organisational structure-wise is mandatory to overcome scepticism and develop the confidence of employees
  • Pre-record demo sessions, FAQ page, Forums, and instant chat support must be created for employees’ self help purposes
  • Establish strategies to positively influence the change by boosting skillset of employees, creating awareness for change and cultivating desire to be the part of change

Strategy 3: Avoid Chinese Whisper to introduce changes in Organisational Structure

Suppose, based on your moodbot responses, you analysed that your employees need to be engaged more and require an employee engagement manager or let us say, in another situation, you find that an employee needs to be promoted urgently to fill the vacant position of manager, then you have introduce changes in organisational structure. But, before introduction, you have to keep certain points in mind:

  • Ensure change readiness of the affected employees by having face-to-face discussions, polls, surveys, etc and identify the impact that can affect their emotional well being, as well as productivity at work,
  • Be clear and transparent about the changes you are going to implement in the organisational structure. By keeping teams well informed, it is possible to prevent rumours and the growth of unexpected discontent. Be creative to adopt solutions but don’t forget the golden rule of honest communication
  • Give employees the space to gel with new people or old people in a new position and let them resolve their insecurities, fears and other emotional issues on their own to successfully adopt changes introduced in organisational structure
  • Go from private to public, not the other way around, i.e. don’t practise Chinese whisper before introducing new member or new structure. But, follow the collaborative board room approach to introduce the new organisational mapping

Strategy 4: Choose Products wisely for New Technology Implementation

In this ever-changing digital world and the era of automation, it has become necessary to introduce tech-based solutions and applications to streamline workflows, simplify interactions and increase the productivity of employees in WFH, WFO, hybrid, or any other work model. But, not every employee is tech-savvy or inviting enough to new software.

So, managers and HRs need to work collaboratively before and after offering them a new application,  or updates to existing software.  To help you in change management and better align all the concerned employees to adopt tech-related changes, we have some quick tips for you:

  • Share a calendar of events for introducing new solutions. You must mark the calendar for implementation, demo and training sessions, doubts’ classes and more to gain the confidence of employees and ensure smooth onboarding
  • Drop hints or clues beforehand to prepare the mindset of employees that some changes are going to take place in the existing system and minimise hassles during implementation
  • Be reasonable and just don’t be convincing about tech-based applications. Tell them about the user-friendliness of new solutions and advocate how they can increase their efficiency and productivity with new applications
  • Ensure with your managers that their teams are aligned or on the same page for the changes that are soon going to be introduced in the system and are ready to embrace the creative options
  • Choose products wisely and ensure that their implementation process and support teams can assist in smooth onboarding of your employees and will resolve all their issues to get hands-on new product

Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change

  • increasing the urgency for change;
  • creating a powerful coalition for change;
  • creating a vision for change, communicating the vision;
  • removing obstacles;
  • creating short-term wins;
  • building on them, and
  • anchoring the change in corporate culture.

Summing Up

In this VUCA world which is full of volatilities, uncertainties, complexities and ambiguities, it has become necessary to introduce changes and match the pace with the ever-changing world. And, you might know that these organisational changes cannot be implied just by saying to employees what, how and when to do. 

For proper implementation, various change management techniques along with tech-based solutions and active participation of employees are required. Thus, a proper organisational change management process has become mandatory to implement changes successfully. Just remember before introducing any change, chalk out clear strategies and be flexible to adjust with your people.

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Tarulika Jain

Hi.. I am Tarulika Jain. I work as a content writer in HROne. I am an Electrical Engineer by degree, and a pragmatic writer by profession. I bring you insights about Human Resource Management and how digitalisation can make your workplaces happier. When I’m not writing, researching and reading, I walk around the woods, sip my coffee and listen to Indie Music.

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