Change is overwhelmingly pervasive and constant in today’s labour market, but many organisations are not ready for them.
Because people are naturally fearful of change both in their personal and professional lives, managers are either not able to implement the required changes or don’t have the skills to empower their team members to do so.
In fact, there are a tremendous amount of misconceptions about change management, the three most common ones being:
Change Affects Only Specific Departments
In medium to large organisations, senior managers lead change management, but they don’t really understand that it doesn’t only affect specific departments.
A boss can meet with the director of communications to discuss strategies to communicate the changes to clients, employees and partners.
They will work with the project management team to create a set of deliverables that must be completed in order for the change to take place.
They may also meet with the IT department, but then fail to alert all of the other employees.
The biggest misconception about change management is that it doesn’t affect every single person in your company.
That is false!
You must make sure that all of your employees are aware about upcoming changes and are able to handle them.
Employees Easily Adapt To Change
Another misconception about change management is that employees will easily adapt to change.
Certain managers think it’s enough to hold a staff meeting to announce what is in the works, and that staff will naturally embrace and implement changes.
That is not the case.
First, if you want your team members to truly try their hardest to embrace change, you need to be upfront and explain to them why the changes are happening and how the entire process will roll out.
You should explain in great detail how they will be impacted by the changes, what you hope to gain from it, and what can go wrong.
You also need to provide adequate training to each person, focusing on individual strengths and weaknesses to make sure each and every party will be fully ready to jump on board when the time comes.
Change Will Happen Quickly
When trying to change the status quo, it can be tempting to get it done as quickly as possible.
However, believing that change will happen quickly, especially if it’s not a small change, can lead to trouble.
Managers need to “build an appetite for the change across the organisation and that takes time… The more prepared you are with customised communications, preliminary feedback and active champions….the smoother the path to change,” states a source.
Make sure to give yourself and your employees they time they need to process and come to terms with the changes, train themselves on the what needs to be done and the time to conduct small rollouts.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 22 September, 2017