Business coaches and groups alike are always promoting best practices, new ideas and ways to improve how we operate our businesses. As business owners, directors and managers we are keen to make changes where relevant and drive growth or sustain our businesses as a result.
However, our teams may not always welcome the change, especially when they have been used to working in a certain way for a long period of time.
In this blog, we will discuss how having a change management plan in place as part of the implantation of any new system, processes changes, acquisitions, changes in management structure etc.
What is Change Management?
Change Management is simply having a plan in place to prepare, support, train and help people when changes are implemented within a business.
It’s easy to have a great idea, take some advice or see a need for change and instantly want to go into implementation mode, and for small changes that`s fine. However, if the change affects the way people operate day to day or it affects their roles and responsibilities then change management is vital for ensuring engagement across the business and the overall success of the project.
In most cases, people resist change because they don’t understand why the change is been made. You do not have to share a business strategy or plans however you should share why the change is been made in a broader capacity and explain how the change will both affect and benefit your team.
Understanding this will enable your team to see the benefits and become engaged with the idea of change.
Let your team know who to approach with any questions that they have. If you have the flexibility to do so, hold a workshop or open forum meeting to discuss concerns and answer questions.
Keep communication open and if you are asked a question always provide an answer, even if you have to come back at a later time. Be supportive, change isn’t always easy, people will react in different ways, offering support for those who need it at this early stage will pay off later down the line.
Knowing that support is available if people are struggling with change will make people feel more comfortable with what is to come.
Give updates to your team throughout the implementation process, keeping them well informed will make them part of the process and feel included and important in the process and will help them to feel supported?
Knowing where your team will need training during the change is important, by planning for this you can ensure that needs are met and support is continued.
If no training is needed then simply sending an internal memo with key points to note during the change over will help people feel informed, involved and valued especially in the case of changes that may impact job security or changes in people’s roles.
During the first few weeks of implementation
Change management doesn’t end when the change takes place, in fact in most cases this is where the team see things start to happen, even if they have been well informed during the planning stages, the actual implementation can be increasingly stressful.
Consider phased implementation where possible, this is especially good when implementing new software. For changes in the process make sure everyone has clear guidance beforehand and that the new process is well understood before launch, with mergers and acquisitions keeping things as “normal” as possible during the early stages can help.
Whatever you choose to do communication is key to success.
Prepare for relapse
People by design are creatures of habit and if not supported will go back to old ways of working wherever they see the opportunity, it’s easier and its human nature.
It takes people time to adjust to change, and preparing them well will help. If you experience people going back to old ways of working simply offer support and retraining, engage with them and encourage what you need them to deliver.
Working with us
Change Management is something we can offer support in when changing CRM providers or implementing CRM for the first time.
This can help with initial buy-in from your team and equally give a much faster speed to competency rate when systems go live.