The pitfalls of business change management
It is fair to say that nothing ever stays the same for long. Whether this is in relation to our personal or professional lives, it’s often the way that we handle these situations which determines how much it affects us.
Of course, it’s often the case that changes in the workplace don’t occur by accident – they are usually the result of much thought, planning and processes to ensure the least amount of disruption on the wider workforce. However, not all change management attempts are successful, as discussed in a recent Robert Half survey.
Failing in the execution
Polling more than 300 senior managers, Robert Half identified where pressure points in change management existed and what business leaders should do to ensure transitions are as smooth as possible.
By far, the most common stage where issues occurred was in the execution – cited by 46 per cent of respondents. This was followed by post-implementation (23 per cent), pre-implementation (20 per cent) and strategy development (10 per cent).
Robert Half’s Executive Director Tim Hird explained why businesses are always moving the goalposts.
“Whether major or incremental, many companies are initiating changes, from transforming their business models to updating business systems and looking for ways to enhance productivity,” he said.
“While change is never easy for a company, it’s even harder for employees.”
How can business leaders ease this stress?
Change doesn’t come easy to some employees, especially if they are entrenched in older approaches. However, Robert Half believes frequent and clear communication is the best way to get them on-board. In fact, this was identified as an important factor by 65 per cent of the senior managers surveyed.
According to the Best Practices in Change Management – 2014 edition published by solution provider Prosci, the flow of information must come from the top to ensure both comprehension and acceptance.
Based on a survey, most respondents (40 per cent) wanted a message from CEOs or presidents conveying changes. This was significantly higher than executive managers (29 per cent), senior managers (11 per cent), department heads (7 per cent) and the employee’s direct supervisor (4 per cent).
However, Change First goes one step further in highlighting the need for higher management to be available to answer questions and concerns about what is occurring. Employees are your most important asset and keeping them in the dark is simply not an option.
To ensure your change management strategies run smoothly, it may help to have the right HR management software on hand. By keeping employees up-to-date with company information, news and updates, everyone can be on the same page from the moment a decision is made.