10 Best Practices in Change Management

change management best practices

Change is sometimes needed to make your business processes flow easier, to run a more competitive organization, and to beef up your bottom line. Make a smooth transition by following these best practices:

10. Provide Early and Consistent Communication

Your employees will resist change more when it is sudden and they have little time to adjust. Release information as soon as possible, then roll out the change in incremental steps.

9. Iron Out the Kinks

Nothing is more frustrating than a new software system that is buggy, or a new set of rules that never stays the same. Make sure the change is rock-solid before you start implementing it.

8. Time it Right

Try not to roll out change during a time of the year that is busy, or when the organization is under exceptional pressure.

7. Make the Change Desirable

Help your employees understand the need for the change by discussing problems with the current system, and soliciting advice in making the change successful. Compile this feedback with statistics and financial data. Design a presentation that promotes the change.

6. Make the Benefits Relevant

Help your employees understand the big picture by outlining the organization’s goals, and illustrating how the change will help achieve them. Break down the benefits so they apply directly to the employees. For example, more efficient sales software will benefit sales reps because they will be able to spend less time on paperwork and more time earning commission. The same sales program will benefit managers because they will get reports quicker, rather than having to hang around waiting for the sales reps to finish documenting.

5. Recruit Help from Within

David Capece, founder and president of Sparxoo, recommends identifying and training “change ambassadors.”  These should be individuals with charismatic personalities who are widely respected among their teams. Train these employees first, then allow them to set a positive atmosphere while guiding other employees.

4. Monitor the Change As It’s Implemented

If your plan hits a snag, identify and correct it quickly, before it sours the atmosphere. Watch modified operations carefully, and instruct employees to provide feedback.

3. Communicate the Change on All Levels

A study conducted with input from 288 organizations found that employees most want to hear messages about change from their CEO and their immediate supervisor. The CEO can communicate the broad impact on the company. Managers can provide more detail based on the way the change affects their team members.

2. Fully Integrate the Change

Help existing employees adapt to the change faster, and make sure new employees understand it right away by revising material within the organization. This could include everything from the company’s mission statement to performance review guidelines to new-hire orientation programs.

1. Ease Up the Pressure

Don’t expect your employees to adjust to the change right off the bat. Make it clear that there is a learning curve, and that you are open to questions and concerns. Remember that being adaptable by considering feedback may help you perfect the change.

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