Change is successfully managed if it is rightly designed and quickly taken up.
And change would be unsuccessful if change leaders are not clear about change. They are confused about what does change actually mean, how would change look like and what is in it for them and rest of employee.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you are starting your journey of change.
Do’s and Do’ts is basically set of advises and tips that are given by practitioners of any specialised field. These nuggets of wisdom are often very helpful for newcomers and junior practitioners who are about to start their own journey or project.
Let’s look at the do’s and don’ts of change management and see what are advises and tips of experts about implementation of change management.
Do’s of Change Management
Do’s of change management helps you to understand what are those steps and actions which are necessary and must be taken while implementing change.
Some do’s of change management are:
1. Do: Develop a case for an urgent change
Human mind is weird in a way that it doesn’t accept change easily. Change is not welcomed by employees and stakeholders. People want to live in their comfort zone and hence they don’t embrace change.
Therefore, the first job of change leaders and change agents is to create a strong and urgent business case of change.
For this to happen, leaders must prepare themselves, equip themselves with data and latest information relevant to the proposed case of change. The basic questions should be asked that why organization need change? How change will look like ? How change will be implemented ? etc.
The famous Kotter’s 8 steps model of change management also emphasise that change leaders must present their argument in a convincing way in favour of change and they should challenge the existing status quo and make a clear point that time for change is running out. They should create a sense of urgency about change.
2. Do: Prepare a road map of change
One of the effective ways to translate your ideas into action is to make a strategy or a roadmap of change initiative.
Change management strategy or roadmap describe what change is all about, what is desired outcome of change, who will be responsible for implementing this change, what resources and skills are required to achieve the desired change, how the success will be measured and how long it will take to achieve each milestones.
This kind of roadmap of change get all employees and stakeholders on one page and aligned to achieve common objective. Without this strategy, everyone will have their own definitions of change and they will be confused about implementing of change. And this will take them nowhere.
3. Do: Communication is key to success
Communication is central to change management. It’s extremely important to present right ideas about change at right time and through right communication channel.
With two-way communication, you can involve and engage your employees and stakeholders in important decision about change. They feel valued because their voices are heard and their feedback is considered in action plans.
Communication is also very effective in overcoming resistance to change and get buy-in of employees who would be after all front line force driving change initiative.
In order to do effective communication, it’s recommended by practitioners to make a communication plan. Communication is all about identifying your communication specific objectives, knowing your audience, finding right channels to communicate and drafting key messages to deliver it across on regular basis.
3. Do: Engage employees and stakeholders at each step
It’s important to involve and engage your employees and stakeholders at each step of change management process.
Employees own change idea and support it whole heartedly when they are engaged and involved by their leadership.
People are often confused about change, they have fears and questions in their minds and they want to know what would be their role and responsibilities in transition phase. They will get answers of their questions and other important information if there are engaged in change process.
Employees give their feedback and recommendations about different steps of change management. Their recommendations should not be taken for sake of recommendations. But these should be considered for implementation.
4. Do: Be open to innovative ideas
Being innovative is one of key values of any team who is implementing change.
Innovative ideas always bring great results, improved productivity and increase morale of employees. This ultimately leads to successful management of change.
Bringing innovative ideas to table is not just one-off thing. It requires a culture where new ideas are supported and employees are encouraged to present innovative solutions. Cultivating such a culture and environment could be challenging but its truly rewarding.
5. Celebrate small successes
You are always looking for big success while implementing change. But during this time, you must celebrate small achievements. It will help you to build momentum for achieving next milestones and keep employees and stakeholders motivated and engaged.
Celebrating small success doesn’t take too much. All you need is to organise a brief get together of employees and share success with them. Acknowledge their role and appreciate their support and hard-work.
And remind them that their destination is still far but it will be achieved in a same way as they achieved that small success.
Don’ts of Change Management
Do n’ts of change management helps you to understand what are those steps and actions which are impede success of change process and these must be avoided taken while implementing change.
Without understanding the don’ts of change management, leaders and change agents help you to keep focussed on best practices and avoid fatal mistakes that could ruin change idea.
Some significant don’ts of change management are:
1. Do n’t: Take long time to take first step
Through many case studies of change management, we learn this lesson that it’s alway good to start change initiative on time and never wait too long for right moment. Many a times, it is seen that leaders take long time to take their first step.
They waste their time on unnecessary discussions and preparation that could be easily avoided. These discussions and preparation would add nothing to change initiative but would create pressure on timeline of change project.
2. Do n’t: Make an unclear vision about change
A clear vision or a bigger picture of desired change is crucial for success of change process.
Change leaders and managers often make this mistake that they aren’t clear about their vision of change, what type of organisational change they are inspiring for, what change has in it for all of them.
If they fail to present that vision or goal of change to their team then there will be more confusion and resistance about change. That would result into failure of change initiative.
3. Don’t: Ignore reasons of resistance to change
People resist change. But there are different reasons of resistance to change. People have fears of unknown outcome of change and they could be uncertain about the future of their organization. They are comfortable with their old ways of working so they resist change to adopt to new working methods.
Its a big mistake on the part of change leaders and mangers if they ignore reasons of resistance to change. If they overlook that reasons and don’t understand real reasons then they would be unable to overcome resistance of change.
After knowing the right reasons, change leaders can engage them and make proper strategy to address or fix that resistance.
4. Don’t: Forget to provide with resources and skills to your team
A successful change process is a costly undertaking. Your team members and other stakeholders don’t need just information about change. They are often bombarded with information.
But change leaders and managers often ignore this fact that if the required skills, knowledge and resources are not available to their team then it would be a futile exercise to expect success of that initiative.
Change leaders must focus on taking feedback from their team asking them what they would require to deliver that change. Their team may need extra training sessions, knowledge resources and development of new internal systems.
5. Do n’t: Try to achieve too much changes at once
Change is a long process and everyone takes time to adjust and adapt to new culture, system and ways fo doing work.
It’s important that change leaders must try to priortize what they want out of change initiative. When they try to achieve too much changes at once then it could be disastrous. They could be disoriented and lead to failure of change management.
It is important to focus on one milestone of change at one time and to give employees time your team to adjust before moving on to the next milestone.
Even though change leaders make big decisions about organizational changes based on evidence and research. But we have important lessons available with us which guide us to implement change management. These are do’s and don’ts of change management which are crafted by experts of organizational change that would be helpful to create an impactful change at your organization.