Change Management: The Top Three Issues Affecting Your Business

January 5, 2016

Change is one of those things that is much easier said than done. For most managers, change looks good on paper, but in reality, it can be a real headache.

Change management is just what it sounds like – it is all about how you manage new ideas, new processes or anything new that changes within your organization. Being prepared for change is half the battle because you will almost always deal with negativity. You could be implementing a new idea that makes the whole world a better place, and someone will still not embrace it.

Change management is all about your strategy, and as a manager, your job is not to force this, but to encourage workers to want to change on their own.

You need to find a process for change that allows you to stick to the timeline but still brings people into the new concept. This process often includes preparing for, transitioning into and achieving the change. If you skip past any of these parts, you will find great resistance coming from multiple directions.

Changing Direction

Your company does things a certain way. Everyone knows that way and all of the processes are aligned to “that way;” however, you can’t keep working the same way forever. You know that you need to adapt, transform and constantly seek a better way to run your business.

Your employees or your team might not see it like this. The old processes were familiar, and even if they are tedious or go wrong in certain places, your employees know these processes intimately.

A new direction means a change to the unknown. If you want to lead your team in a new direction, you need to prepare them for this change. You need to describe the problem and show them a vision of what could lie ahead, but you also should be taking feedback.

You can begin to explain the change to them. You should tell them why, when and how so that they know their roles.

Finally, you should be supportive during the change. Don’t force everyone to move swiftly. If the change is large, consider making the transition slowly.

Change in Leadership

Bringing in a new leader almost always sees resistance. People don’t like being passed over for a new person, and they often show more resistance if the person is unknown.

To help initiate a new leader, you need to be able to explain why that person was chosen over other candidates. You should also be able to tell them what the new leader can offer the company. Ultimately, people want to know how it will affect them.

You also should be prepared to go through the process of introducing the team to a new direction. New leaders bring new ways of doing things, so you should not promise that everything will remain the same. This will make everyone reluctant to follow along later.

Change and Change Again

Iteration is an important part of any healthy business, but there is nothing worse for the employees than managers going back and forth on what they want.

Instead of looking at the bottom line, ask the team why the change isn’t working. Is it because it isn’t suitable for the company, or is it because the staff has not been trained or given enough time to deal with the change?

Change is probably one of the only constants in business (in the world even), but it doesn’t have to be as hard as most people make it. With the right process and enough communication, you can lead your company through even the most difficult changes.