5 Ways to Manage Organizational Change

Tips for a Smooth Transition When Implementing Organizational Change Within Your Company

Winning the support of workers when introducing and executing organizational change is essential. If the employees are not holistically involved in the organizational change process, they are likely to show resistance in acceptance and implementation. Intuitive change communication is the cornerstone of initiating a flourishing change program. In order for businesses to avoid conflicts and poor responses as a result of mismanaging change, it should be communicated in advance, and throughout all phases of the process. Organizational change management can be a complicated process; when communicating organizational change to employees, managers should avoid the following things:

1. Moving Too Fast

In the midst of a chance, the most affected persons in a company are the employees, who are the implementers. When an impending organizational change is communicated abruptly, this is faced with a lot of challenges. Whether it is a technological innovation, change in business process, adoption of new processes like mergers and acquisitions, or even a termination, all of these business process adjustments need to be communicated in advance.

According to Tower Watson’s Change and Communication ROI Study released in 2011, companies that are effective in communicating and managing change are 2.5 times more likely to do better than their peers. Communicating change unexpectedly can result in intolerance and resistance. Workers need to be given enough time to get prepared psychologically for any change introduction and execution in a company.

2. Failure to Involve ALL Stakeholders

Often, top-ranking managers assume the role of the principal messengers and conveyors of decisions during a change execution. This overlooks the front line managers. The communication channel should be designed to ensure that any change communication involves each and every stakeholder, including the middle-managers. A good organizational change model creates confidence, support, credibility - as well as respect for all change management stakeholders.

3. Don't Be Impersonal

When communicating change to the workers, managers - including top level and front-line leaders - should take the word to the people. Managers should steer clear of using email and message boards to make important announcements. Higher-ups must be seen among the cubicles to put in face time and engage the workers on a personal level. This way, they are able to gauge the feelings, mood, and expressions of the employees. They can also get hands-on information on any change implementation setbacks and ideas that need their input.

4. Avoid Being a Dictator

The new changes necessitate complete support from all workers, so avoid meeting resistance attempts with an authoritative tone. Change is likely to go over much more smoothly if employees don't feel like mandates are being shoved down their throats. Managers should learn to use a neutral tone that is persuasive but not forceful. This makes employees feel they are a part of the plan and should be consulted, but not compelled, to act on issues. The goal is to empower them to initiate the change on their own.

5. Don't Micromanage

Managers are occasionally compelled to insert themselves too much during times of great change, especially when they do not see the desired results. However, when managers start interfering with the implementation process, pinpointing what should and shouldn’t be done, they begin taking away the powers and confidence that they have already instilled. Employees need to be left to discover the best ways to execute change and managers should come in as facilitators. Giving the employees the chance to take control of the implementation process enables them to adopt the change easily, quickly, and intuitively. Managers might be surprised how innovative workers can be when they are given the chance and support.

In a nutshell, management should create a sense of ownership for an organization in any change initiation program, while also giving employees the support they need to cope with and implement change.

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