6 Ways to Ease the Process of Organizational Change

a plaque that says, "Nothing worth having comes easy."

According to change management consulting experts, the above saying is so true. It is especially difficult to manage and execute major organizational changes…even when the change is agreed-upon as “worth having.”

But there’s no reason to make organizational change harder to effect than it needs to be. Change managers need to be mindful of the activities they plan. Too often the initiatives associated with change are too many and too time consuming. When there is already stress inherent in the change process, do not add to employee stress levels by scheduling more than workers can handle in the regular routines.

Here are 6 change management consulting tips on how to ease the process for all:

  1. Be crystal clear on how the change will affect everyone down to the individual level. If employees don’t understand how they are to behave differently and how that will benefit both them and the company, they will drag their feet and resist.
  2. Work upfront with company leaders so they understand what their responsibilities will be and about how much time they will take. Regular work must continue during the change but you need leaders to set aside time to observe and coach their teams in the right direction. Be sure leaders are behind the change initiative and have accepted the role they must play in order for change to succeed.
  3. Time any needed change-related training to coincide with when the new behaviors are to be practiced. Relevance and immediacy will help with the transfer of training on the job. Train too soon and the skills will be lost; train too late and you will have missed opportunities to move toward the change goal.
  4. Make your meetings worthwhile. Avoid scheduling extra meetings around the change. Try to incorporate change reports and knowledge sharing into regular meetings and use that same time for reinforcing and coaching desired new behaviors.
  5. Involve stakeholders across the board in the change planning process. Change—its necessity, its rationale, its future benefits and its implementation—needs to be communicated throughout the organization. Leaders will depend upon the workforce to execute the change plan so they should seek the input of the workforce as they design the plan. This is the way to gain agreement and commitment.
  6. Test your change plan and activities with a select group. How you communicate the change strategy is critical. Test out your wording and your communication plan with a focus group to make sure it is as effective, clear and compelling as it can be.

Organizational change is never easy. Be sure you thoughtfully and adequately prepare your work force for the change and minimize the disruption it will cause. It will go far more smoothly as a result.

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