© RS Hunter Limited, October 29, 2015
The ability to adapt to change has always been a necessity for survival and Benjamin Franklin’s quote “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” is still as relevant today as it was three centuries ago.
Every business is tasked with ensuring it remains relevant in its industry by responding to the ever-changing environment in which it operates.
So why do employees resist change? It’s simply because change can be stressful for those involved. So, unless a structured approach is adopted to ensure thorough and smooth implementation, change initiatives may not be successful in the long term.
To guarantee that the benefits of organisational change are long-lasting, change management is required.
At the center of any change initiative are the employees who are most times uncertain during such periods and as a result are likely to be resistant. To deal with this, the human resources team must develop a formal approach for managing anticipated people issues that may arise and ensure the approach is fully integrated into the organisations decision making process and change management plan.
Change management should follow three simple steps:
- Preparation: Prepare for the change by carrying out detailed planning, setting clear goals and ensuring open and effective communication between management and employees
- Implementation: Manage the change project by paying close attention to feedback from employees
- Evaluate, review and report: Reinforce the change by continuous analysis of the desired impact, identify any gaps, implement corrective actions to ensure gaps are addressed and celebrate success where achieved.
In summary, organisational change is usually a long process; it requires commitment and staying power to be successful. Always remember, while HR is responsible for identifying and putting a plan in place to deal with the challenges associated with the ‘human side’ of change; executive management and line managers must demonstrate buy-in and play an active role in the change management process to ensure its success.