Making change management easier
Leading significant change was around prior to BREXIT (apologies but had to incorporate the word somewhere). Our political leaders might not be good role models, but as business leaders we know the importance of working with our teams to understand why the change is happening, and how the change will take place. Especially if it’s as a result of significant re-organisation.
The word “change” can trigger feelings about job uncertainty, concern about the potential increase in workload and question the impact on client care. Most people invariably feel insecure, overwhelmed and will resist it to a greater or lesser extent.
Helping your team understand the answers to the why, what, when, how and who questions will pay significant dividends.
The why, what, when, who and why questions will give you confidence and clarity in the decision, building the plan, the communication strategy, engaging and communicating with your team.
Follow these three steps from VHR to help you manage the process:
Step 1 – Plan and prepare
Why: Why are we making the change?
Spend time to make sure you understand why the change is happening:
- What are we trying to achieve as a result of this change?
- What is the impact on the organisation’s direction?
- What does the change mean for you, your team and your clients?
What: What are the key aspects of the change?
Spend time analysing the practical aspects:
- What has to be done and what will be done differently?
- How ready are we for the change?
- Who else needs to be involved?
When: When is it all going to happen?
Spend time planning the communication:
- What are we going to tell people?
- How are we going to tell them?
- What are the reactions going to be and do we have the answers to key questions?
Who: Who will be affected? Who do we need to engage?
Spend time thinking about the people who are affected and people you want support from.
- Who is affected by the change? How will they react? What will be their concerns?
- How will the team react? What will be their concerns?
- Who are the people you need to engage outside the team?
How: How do I know I have completed all the planning required?
Spend time fining tuning the plan by reviewing the answers to questions.
- Do I have all the information?
- Do I have all the answers?
- Am I confident in communicating the plan?
Step 2 – Communication
Now you will be in a strong position to spend time with people in talking through the plan. Not everyone will be with you.
- Be clear about the change and impact.
- Take time to explain will be done differently.
- Make time for team members. Some people will find it more difficult than others – make sure you tackle and resolve issues quickly.
Step 3 – Deliver
When you manage the plan, it will take longer than you think.
- Monitor and review progress – are we achieving the key objectives?
- Are there any unexpected side effects? If so, what immediate action do I need to take?
- Once the change is complete, what do I need to do to keep my team motivated?