Just because organizations are used to going through periods of change doesn’t mean they always do it well.
It doesn’t matter if company leaders are caught off-guard by change (e.g., a global pandemic) or see it coming miles away (e.g., a new software implementation). Effectively leading a change can make the difference between moving forward as an organization or falling behind.
Benefits of Change Management
Here are some of the critical benefits of change management for organizations and their leaders.
Enhance leadership skills
Implementing change management will help current and emerging leaders gain critical skills that will help them lead more effectively. They will need to focus on soft skills like clear communication, time management, and problem-solving as they navigate the change with their teams.
Discover what’s not working
Organizations often uncover new problems as they work through change management. While tackling these new problems might not be comfortable or easy, getting through them will inevitably make an organization stronger and better equipped to face future challenges.
Companies that can adapt to change will be more prepared to implement new opportunities and more likely to succeed when faced with threats than companies that resist them. The more an organization practices change management, the better positioned it will be to innovate new ideas that disrupt an industry.
How to Implement Change Management
Successful change management considers the people whom the changes will most impact. So, here are some things to consider when implementing change management into an organizational strategy.
People are naturally resistant to change
Humans don’t like change. They prefer to keep the status quo, even if it is no longer the most viable option. Knowing this, leaders need to consider all stakeholders when implementing a change and be empathetic toward the emotional responses such changes may elicit.
Employees may feel threatened by a change because they feel as though their thoughts and opinions were overlooked. So, when possible, leadership should ask for views on the change. They should also communicate precisely what is changing, when, and why. Give employees reasonable, clear explanations to have realistic expectations about what is about to take place.
Some changes don’t have an “undo” option (like moving to a new building). Others, though, provide opportunities for more development (like upgrading to new software). Leaders should check in periodically to analyze how the change is going and determine what is and isn’t working.
Taking a strategic approach to change allows organizations to adapt to whatever opportunities and challenges with minimal downtime. Implementing change management will encourage growth, innovation, and communication among team members and leaders.