Tips for effective change management
In order to meet varying environmental demands and ever-evolving technology, managers are often given the role of change agent in their organization. Any form of change can cause disruption of the status quo and can often be received with a certain level of resistance. Change management practitioners often speak on the importance of how successful change is achieved in an organization through proper management, whether it is at the individual, departmental or organizational level.
Change agents exhibit certain characteristics in order to achieve change while creating a high-performance organization. Effective change agents have the ability to be strong communicators in defining the new corporate vision. They not only identify the organization’s goals, they articulate the necessary path needed to reach these goals. Just as important, employees must be influenced by the message and inspired to join in on the transition within the organization.
A key component of successful change management is addressing the difficulty and problems that often occur with making a transition to achieving the new company vision. It is critical that these difficulties not be downplayed or ignored when meeting with critical team players. By realistically assessing various stages of change and communicating these at key intervals, the change manager can draw upon the abilities and skills of the various team members without having to be critical of anyone’s specific performance. Effective change managers have to maintain individual pride, build solid team morale, actively listen to concerns and celebrate the small successes.
Be a decision maker
At the same time, they must address any specific weaknesses and make difficult but necessary decisions. When making a change in a company’s objectives, it is up to the change agent to determine if all participants are up to the task. During the change process, an effective change manager must make some difficult choices of whom to promote, retain or possibly dismiss from the organization. A less-than-effective manager crosses their fingers and hopes things will work themselves out for the best.
A vital component of achieving effective change management relies on the alignment of the company’s systems necessary to support the change management mandates. Such systems include recognition programs, performance management practices, total rewards package and other company human resource programs. These HR systems assist in building employee consensus and establish the groundwork for instituting effective change management by a change agent.