The best approach to implementing change is identifying your unique approach for each particular situation. Even within organizations it is risky to have a one size fits all approach yet many organizations aim to have one methodology for all situations.
Take for example a sales division, this most likely will have a different culture from the IT department just based on the skill set, the type of work and environment in which employees work therefore the best approach is to define specifically what will work within an organization not the organization as a whole.
Here are 5 tips to get you started.
1. The first is to understand the business context. This goes almost without saying that you need to understand what the business reason is for the change, what are the business impacts both within the organization and externally and what is the goal and vision for the organization as a result of the changes implemented.
2. What is the scope of the change, is it a new way of doing business, new technology, new markets, or a new organizational structure? These are just some of the questions you need to ask as the impact will be on employees and other stakeholders and by analysing the impact you will understand begin to understand the scope of your change strategy.
3. Once you have done this analysis you are ready to identify the best approach to implement the changes. This includes the communication strategy which is nearly always about information, the engagement strategy which is about designing activities aimed at getting the buy-in and support of all levels of employees including the leadership team and then identifying the business measures.
4. Implement the change strategy for all levels including the leadership team and assess continuously and monitor the success or otherwise of change interventions and alter as the need arises and continue to measure.
5. Change should be seamless and become part of business as usual activities. Where change processes fail is when they are labelled and treated as something happening over there and separate to the business. Seamless integration into the new way we do business is the most difficult but necessary aspect of managing change so ensure that the engagement activities designed in step 3 are designed to become a new process so that behaviour changes.
Change management is difficult, stories abound of change strategies that fail, either due to lack of support by the leadership team, the inability to explain in very simple terms that mean something to individuals why the change is occurring and the miscalculation in timing of the change interventions whether they be key messages or engagement strategies. To find out more about how to implement change and engage employees click here.