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During times of adaption, businesses need to undergo a change management process that aligns with their goals during a transition. How businesses react during transition can influence the outcome of make-or-break situations by effecting job roles, organizational structure, system control, and company morale.  Proper leadership, along with the designation of roles and communication between departments, partly complete change management formula.

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Times of change, especially at the hands of crisis, can seem overwhelming and uncertain for all tiers of a company. Whatever kind of hierarchal order your business is structured, it’s imperative for everyone to be aware of and acknowledge the impending change the company may undergo. Through open dialogue, employees will be able to have a clearer image of an ambiguous future, resulting in a sense of comfort. If workers can’t contribute to change, they at least need to be aware of what it looks like; this also leaves less room for false assumptions. Change management involves recognizing stakeholder roles and delegating leadership roles accordingly. Senior managers, department heads, and instrumental employees can help deliver important messages and address change, set expectations appropriately to their audience, and recognize why and how change is needed.

Outline, Analyze, and Diagnose Change 

Maintaining a clear vision throughout both the planning and execution phases of change requires a proper understanding of it. Outline what the change is, who it affects, how it should operate, how long it should last, and why it is necessary is the first step. Analyze how different variables have different effects, and on who. Determine short- and long-term fluctuations and goals. Start off big picture, then analyze in further detail according to different department needs.   Getting to the root of the problem will result in dialogue about how to fix it.

Applying this on a company-wide scale through departments, focus groups, and questionnaires, will reveal problem areas and solutions. An initial proper diagnosis produces proper planning strategies and prevents future glitches. Dealing with any kind of change is scary, but preparation is the first step to understanding change management strategies. Read more about the importance of change management here.

Promote Company-Wide Involvement

The obscurities of change management are less intimidating when all facets of your company feel a collective effort. Being part of the small and big picture is something all levels of a business want to contribute to. Pursuing change management involves logistical and technical concerns from front-line, mid-level, and senior employees, and require efforts from all levels. They also provide insight into solutions and perspectives higherups may not have considered. Open communication between all ranks will avoid misinformation, faster response time, and constructive criticisms.

It’s critical to note that not every sector needs to know everything. Consider what is important to each variable and prioritize that and the effective form of communicating it. During transitional phases, maintain clear and concise interactions for effective collaboration. 

Reinforce Company Culture

Feeling fragile through any change or crisis is normal and expected. It’s during these delicate times that the need to feel connected is heightened. As a change management tool, leverage your existing company culture to offer familiar organizational strategies that promote interactive behaviour within your company. Pivot the identity that employees and customers are comfortable with to help leaders navigate through any resistance or doubt.

In times of confusion, reinforcing company culture acts as a stabilizing dialect that maintains work ethic and builds initiative. Implementing company practices that create a narrative throughout all tiers and departments, internally and externally, will create a sense of security for all members of your organization.

Provide Training

With company-wide change comes company-wide training. Often, every facet of a business needs to adapt to new functioning’s, both during and post-change.  Offering the proper tools and resources to help qualify employees to new operative standards will not only prepare them, but also create a sense of company culture mentioned above. Instructions and guidelines outline what to expect as well as educate staff on useful techniques. This will increase productivity output, and here are some way you can track this.

This also helps garner the efficacious response seen from proper communication. Enabling employees to do their best will encourage such behaviour through teamwork and individual development. Consider even incentivizing training programs to reward employees who show the most fervor or improvement.

Be Accountable

Successful change management strategies understand that those in charge are to be held accountable for the implementation process. Outlining a clear set of rules, expectations, and behaviour for stakeholders and other business heads will not only instill a sense of responsibility, but also security throughout department levels. This will influence staff to become more invested in the transition phase and provide a focal point to refer back to.

Enforcing authoritative structures are vital for any transitional phase, whether in regards to rebranding or damage control. It’s important to note that every level worker should feel vital towards the company change, and having designated leaders to work interactively within their teams help instigate this.

Be Resourceful 

Treat technology not just as a tool, but also as a teammate. Your resources, and how you use them, can either help or hinder your change management plans. It’s a digital world, and ensuring your employees are well-versed in your chosen tech and software is imperative to short- and long-term success.

Collect data from employees about how resources affect procedures through surveys, group-feedbacks, trail-runs, etc. Differentiating between obstacles and assets can give your company external competitive edge and internal institutional welfare.

Provide Support

Every change management procedure should prioritize employee support. Firstly, define and outline what support looks like for your employees. This definition can vary between departments and tiers, and HR programs should work for staff, not against them. Although change requires constant reassessment, it also needs sustainability. Staff need to know how they’re contributing, where they can improve, and where they flourish.

Change management means nourishing your team to nourish your company. Transitions may seem unpredictable and tumultuous, so strengthening workers to do their best may negate some of the fluctuations they may be experiencing.

Change management questions to ask:

  • Does my company need change? In what form should change manifest?
  • How can I divide responsibilities accordingly while promoting team efforts?
  • What kind of tools can help and do employees to use them?
  • Who is affected the most by change, how can the company support them?

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Lisa Curic

Lisa brings almost 30 years of experience to her role as the executive vice president at GroupQuest Benefits Resources Inc. She has worked for several different insurance businesses and co-founded a group benefits MGA in 2006. Lisa’s dedication and hard work has played a significant role in growing GroupQuest from two to over 40 employees in less than 10 years, and in making it one of the largest group benefit MGAs in Canada. Outside of her busy work schedule, Lisa enjoys reading, travelling, working out, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two children.

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