Change Management is the buzzword in business circles today. This is not surprising given how rapidly technology is changing and disrupting traditional businesses.
Organizations have to be able to adapt to consumer and stakeholder demands, public safety policies, ever-increasing competition, technological changes, and new cultural understandings.
According to Gartner, change is the new constant. The typical organization today has undertaken five major firmwide changes in the past three years — and nearly 75% expect to multiply the types of major change initiatives they will undertake in the next three years.
Yet half of the change initiatives fail, and only 34% are a clear success.
Companies invest in tools and infrastructure because they are inspired by ambitious company values unfortunately, employees lack the skills to utilize them.
McKinsey research shows that when change programs assess the skills required to fulfill their performance aspirations, they are upward of six times more likely to succeed.
Our vetted experts determine which skills are most important to the current strategy, hardest to come by, or create the most value.
They explore the quality of an organization’s existing skill sets by drawing on many tools that realistically assess the situation. These tools usually use performance metrics, benchmarking, and observational assessments together.
We use predictive modeling to forecast the supply of skill sets by looking at different scenarios. We examine internal data sources (for example, workforce-growth data by job code, attrition rate, and eligibility for retirement) as well as external ones (such as government labor statistics and studies on workforce trends).
In the 2021 Gartner View from the Board of Directors Survey, 69% of organizations report that their organizations have accelerated their digital business initiatives, thereby increasing the volume, frequency, and complexity of change.
Traditional change management practices will no longer be adequate in the post-pandemic era. They will only undermine the success of digital initiatives and increase employee change fatigue.
Thus, requiring an OCM process that is not a fancy twist on traditional practices but a holistic approach to successful change adoption.
An effective organizational change management process should involve the four crucial components:
This involves developing a plan for how the organization will implement the change. It should be based on a thorough understanding of the change and the organization’s current state.
A change plan does not mean quick-fix solutions in silos to address specific delivery barriers, such as hiring contractors to fill a skills gap or introducing new metrics to change a team’s siloed mindset.
These band-aid solutions don’t address the root of the problem and can often cause even more headaches down the line.
At this stage, organizations must be able to see the bigger picture and preempt obstacles that could derail success.
Another problem during the planning process is that all too often leaders do not involve employees at all and dictate the strategy, or they try to involve everyone and aim to reach a consensus.
Both approaches are flawed.
A co-created change plan that sits between the two extremes is the solution.
This involves executing the plan and ensuring the change is implemented correctly.
UniAspect’s organizational change management strategy uses an outcome-driven method, meaning that the leadership team defines the do-different approach to achieving goals while taking real-time constraints into account.
Training and education are done later on down the line in a much more targeted way.
Monitoring initiatives are vital to ensure that people are on board with organizational changes.
Without managing the people side of change, new technologies and processes may never reach their full potential.
This is because a successful change implementation depends on how well individuals in the organization embrace it. According to Gartner, only 43% of the employees say their work is aligned with customer needs. Companies are losing thousands of hours of productivity each year because people don’t know what to focus on as things change.
To make your employees stay productive through periods of immense change, remove barriers to responsiveness such as:
As per the research, workforce responsiveness can lead to a 24% increase in productivity and innovation and a 20% increase in profits.
This involves evaluating the results of the change and ensuring that it was successful.
Teams learn best by implementing, not passively listening to lectures or taking notes. Jumping into implementation allows teams to begin seeing results and making changes immediately, with quick feedback available while course-correcting along the way.
This means leaders and frontline managers should implement appropriate governance policies throughout the change management process.
McKinsey research shows that change programs with governance structures clearly identifying roles and responsibilities are 6.4 times more likely to succeed.
As Harvard Business states,
“In today’s uncertain climate, leaders at all levels in the organization are involved in managing change. While senior executives set the organizational tone, those in middle management, leaders on the frontlines, and team leaders also play critical roles.”
Even though organizations invest heavily in change management, half of them fail. Only 34% are a clear success.
Where does change typically fail?
UniAspect has identified three key barriers that lead to the failure of other initiatives:
With over 20 years of experience helping Fortune 500 firms manage organizational change across the board, we help our partners lead with self-awareness and introspection rather than authority.
Top-down organizational change management strategies are no longer effective in today’s business climate and hinder organizations from reaching their potential.
The reasons – increase in matrixed, interdependent, complex reporting lines and employees having more access to information about their jobs, business environment, and colleagues have made organizations more complex.
With the continuous change in business and technological spheres, it’s more important than ever for companies to realign their goals.
Organizational Change Management is not about asking people to work harder. It’s about identifying and removing any hindrances that are keeping employees from working at optimal levels.
Change is never easy, but it’s essential for businesses to stay ahead of the curve.
By implementing Organizational Change Management principles, you can help your team navigate changes in a way that minimizes disruption and maximizes productivity.