Organisational change is constant and is one of the only aspects of business that is guaranteed. However, many organisations still get it wrong. There is currently a belief that a board of directors or the leaders of an organisation can simply thrust a new change initiative onto their employees and that these employees will simply embrace the new change and everything will run smoothly, unfortunately, this approach does not work.
Change can happen for a number of reasons, each triggered by a number of different stimuli and each being aimed at delivering some sort of improvement. It can be rapid or cumulative and it can impact technology, processes, tools, organisational structure, job roles or a combination of the listed. Regardless of the type of change or the driving factor, change will ultimately impact how individuals do their job. We have collated a list of three ways below to encourage the people within your business to not only embrace change but to drive its success.
1. For any change management initiative you are involved in, work to define the individual changes that will be required and understand the ultimate impact it will have on an individual’s role.
This step can be challenging, especially if the size and scope of the change increases as the initiative goes on but it does act as a vital starting point if you wish to fully understand the reality of how change occurs within your organisation. Look closely at the reason for the change, is it due to internal or external pressures and what is the objective? Next, look at the change type, will it affect processes or the systems you have in place? How will you structure the change management initiative, will it be a policy change or will it be a continuous improvement effort? Finally, asses how it will impact the people of your organisation.
For example, let’s look at the implementation of the GDPR regulations within the EU, how this will affect companies within Asia and how to define the individual changes that will be required to prepare for this oncoming change. Firstly, it’s important that we take these emerging regulations seriously if your organisation employs individuals from within the EU or targets EU consumers (even if your operations are not within this territory) then you have to be compliant with these regulations or you can face enormous fines.
This change has to be implemented due to external factors, the reason for this change is to comply with legislation with an objective of avoiding fines. This type of change will affect the way you process data or customer information, if we undertake this change initiative now it can be incremental. By using the change structure of a continuous improvement effort in the way we collect data, manage our databases and store information then we can ensure we are ready for the implementation of these regulations.
This change will ultimately affect the frontline employees who gather data and the employees who maintain your databases, to ensure they embrace the change and drive to make it a successful one, make sure they are aware of why it is being implemented. People are more likely to change if they understand the reasons for doing so. You need to understand how it will affect their role and communicate it directly to them, they will only be able to drive for success if they know what is required of them to gain this compliance. By defining the individual changes that will be required to make this a success you enable the people within your organisation to drive towards the objective of your change management initiative and gain the desired results.2. Implement the Prosci ADKAR Model for individual change management, and share this knowledge with your employees
The ADKAR model is one of the most widely used models for change management, it describes the five building blocks to make a change management initiative successful: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement. The people responsible for driving change will be able to do so if they are able to say, “I have the awareness of why this change is occurring; I have the desire to get involved and support this initiative; I have the knowledge of what is required of me to make this a success; I have the ability to implement the skills my organisation requires and I have the reinforcement to sustain this change”.
If you are the organisation's certified change management practitioner, it is vital that you share the knowledge you have gained from your certification with your organisation. Hold informative discussions or group sessions with those involved in making changes at an organisations level, if we are using our above example spend time with your data team and employees on the frontline, to share the AKDAR model, provide them with a new way to look at each change and empower them to embrace and drive successful initiatives.
3. Use a structured approach to change management
In Prosci’s benchmarking studies the use of a structured approach to change management was identified as a top contributor to the successful implementation of a change initiative. It provides clarity on the roles, tools and activities your people require to enable and encourage those involved as they transition from old to new. A structured approach also provides your employees with a more consistent experience and then going forward an easier to replicate approach to change. By using a process driven approach you can gain an understanding of what works for your employees and what doesn’t. When you have a clear understanding of this you can create a change management plan that can be scaled and customised as new initiatives arise.
By considering the above points you can prepare your organisation and most importantly your people to embrace change and drive the success of each individual involved in an initiative.
If you want to empower your people and share your ADKAR knowledge with your organisation but feel like your own knowledge would benefit from a refresher then join us for our CMC Prosci Change Management Certified Practitioner Refresher Workshop. This one-day intensive and interactive programme provides Certified Prosci Change Management Practitioners with the opportunity to reconnect with the fundamentals of successful change and change management.