Implementing organisational change – a difficult task made simpler

Implementing organisational change is a difficult and critical task. It is becoming even more important for managers to posses the skills to lead during times of change as there is an accelerated rate of change in most organisations today.

Whatever the reason behind the change, most people within organisations seem to resist change even if they agree it is needed. Often, employees may not be resistant to change, but rather, the process or transition that change requires. It is therefore important for managers to understand employee’s natural negative feelings about change and how to best manage these to ensure a smooth transition period for all.

Here are five steps to help you manage change and transitions in your organisation.

1. Assess and address employees concerns
Many organisations claim to put their employees first, however the reality is, most don’t. Take the time to live up to this claim when employees are concerned. Listen to their fears and communicate strategies that will be implemented to keep the impact to a minimum.

2. Demonstrate strong leadership
The reality is that without strong leadership, positive change is unlikely to happen. Leaders and managers throughout the organisation need to show their commitment to the change and work hard to make it happen. This commitment will inspire and motivate everyone to take a role in implementing change.

3. Build trust in the leadership
Having the trust of employees in times of change is crucial as employees feel especially vulnerable. Those implementing the change need to display absolute integrity, reliability, openness, and fairness – always behaving in ethically and socially responsible ways. They need to communicate that they care about both the people and the organisation.

4. Clearly articulate the vision to all
Many organisations struggle in implementing change because people fail to grasp the vision and understand its implications. The key to the successful implementation of change is to communicating the reason behind the change and why it is necessary. Employees need to understand the purpose of the change and the outcome that is expected. Without you telling them they will not know.

5. Celebrate success
Celebration recognises accomplishment, motivates everyone involved, and sends a positive message. Don’t wait until the mission is accomplished and change has occurred; celebrate milestones and short-term wins on the way to the goal.

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