The Human Side of Change Management
Recently, OneSource Virtual’s new VP of Global Consulting, Hitesh Soni, talked a bit on our blog about user adoption and why companies are choosing to outsource change management programs. The pace of business is constantly accelerating, and organizations now must strategically plan to deliver on expectations and meet demands. Hiring is global, labor is mobile and communication is instant. Change management, and its many models, ensures smooth implementation and a better return on investment.
The human side of change management is the key to meeting objectives and gives the greatest chance for success. What does that ultimately mean? Companies reap the rewards of transformation when it has been accepted by individual employees, so it’s important to take a formal approach. Determine how the employees within the company will react to change, how teams will work together and how to successfully lead the project overall.
If knowing is half the battle, then assessment is your heavy artillery. A readiness assessment provides an overall view of the scope and size of the change, as well as a prediction of how an organization, or groups within the organization, will react to the change. Culture, current atmosphere and degree of change, leadership style, past changes, company history and employee readiness all play a role in capacity and level of difficulty experienced in a change management program.
Effective communication is tough in the day-to-day order of business. When your change management plan is on the line, you have to execute. Develop a written plan. Use a top down approach. Communicate early and often. Use every available channel. Clearly express the reason for the change. Ensure those affected by the change understand it and the process. And most of all, make sure that transparency is the rule.
Once you’ve assessed, put a plan in place, and communicated that plan, be sure to know what your key performance indicators (KPIs) are and measure them regularly. Be proactive, and if you’re not meeting your KPIs with success, then strategize, organize, motivate employees and improve the plan for user adoption. If you don’t, you are putting the results of your project at risk and with change management, the stakes are always high.