The scariest fact about change is that 70% of change initiatives fail.
There is perhaps on single reason which explains failure of change management.
But it is commonly seen that change is often met with mixed reactions in organizations. Some people are excited to embrace the new while others resist it at all costs.
Unfortunately, many times changes are poorly executed because of simple mistakes that could have been avoided.
In this post, we’ll outline some of the most common mistakes made in change management and how you can avoid them.
By being mindful of these errors, you’ll be able to successfully implement changes in your organization and improve productivity and morale.
Let’s have a closer look what are these common mistakes in change management.
1. Not properly preparing for change
One of the most common mistakes organizations make when trying to effect change is not properly preparing for it.
Change can be a daunting and overwhelming prospect, especially if you’re not used to it. That’s why it’s important to take the time to assess your change readiness thoroughly before implementing them.
By doing so, you will be able to know that whether you have enough resources to execute this change or you may need support. It’s also important to gauge before hand whether employees have the required skills and knowledge and what would be their reaction towards change.
2. Not creating a clear vision or goal for the change initiative
A clear vision or a goal of desired change is very crucial for success of change initiative. Without a clear vision, it can be difficult to rally employees around the initiative and to keep them motivated.
Change leaders need to present that vision or goal of change to their team. They should help their team to visualise outcome of change and see how would change look like.
For example, if your change goal is effective digital transformation of business operations. Then you need to explain what would be that effective digital transformation, how it will work, how it will improve operations and what will be benefit of that transformation.
3. Failing to communicate the change effectively
Change is often met with resistance, and employees may be reluctant to embrace a new way of doing things if they do not understand why the change is taking place. It is important to ensure that all employees are aware of the proposed changes.
This is done through effective change communication. It not only gives understanding of change but also help change leaders to get buy-in of employees and stakeholders.
If leaders fail to effectively communicate and pick up wrong communication channels to present change to their employees then it would cost them failure of their initiative.
4. Not involving employees in the change process
Employees are often the ones who are most affected by organizational changes, yet they are often not involved in the change process.
This can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment among employees, which can ultimately sabotage the change initiative.
It is important to involve employees in the change process and to get their buy-in before attempting to implement any changes.
5. Ignoring reasons of resistance to change
It’s natural that people resist change. People have fear of unknown and uncertain future. They may be uncomfortable to change their old ways of doing work.
So there are multiple reasons for resistance to change and knowing these reasons is actually the first step to addressing resistance to change.
But if change leaders ignore reasons of resistance, they would fail to manage resistance, and ultimately they would fail in implementation of their initiative.
Understanding these reasons of resistance would help change leaders to devise strategies to overcome and manage resistance. But failing to manage this resistance is a big mistake that must be avoided.
6. Not giving employees the resources and skills to change
In any organization, people are overloaded with daily responsibilities. Don’t bombard them with change, too. Make sure they have enough time and the skills needed to handle the change, as well as the right tools. If employees don’t have either, they’ll likely be stressed to the max. Don’t be surprised if you see some employee turnover as a result.
How to be supportive: If you ask your employees to use a new accounting system, for example, give them more than enough time to train on that system and become fluent in it. Effective change initiatives don’t happen overnight
7. Not preparing change management plan
Change is a process, not an event. Another common mistakes that organizations make is failing to plan for and manage transition periods. Change can be disruptive, and it is important to have a plan in place to ensure that the transition period is as smooth as possible.
So, its important to make good change management plan that would be a roadmap and strategic tool which guides all the people involved in change process.
Since change management plan is developed by a strategic thinking process and its necessary to involve employees and key stakeholders while preparing this plan.
8. Trying to implement too much changes at once
Change is a process and employees take time to adjust with change.
Trying to implement too many changes at once can be overwhelming and can lead to employees feeling disoriented and frustrated.
It is important to focus on one change at a time and to give employees time to adjust before moving on to the next change.
9. Failing to monitor progress
Another common mistake that organizations make is failing to monitor progress and adjust as needed.
It is also important to keep an eye on how employees are responding to the changes and to make adjustments as needed.
Change leaders should keep themselves informed about progress on change initiative. Monitoring helps to assess the progress and take corrective actions if required.
10. Showing inconsistency by change leaders
Another biggest reasons change projects fail to materialize is due to inconsistecy shown by change leaders. Many a times they are very excited to start change iniative and they are active in presenting change and showing their determination to execute change successfully.
But soon all their excitement and passion for change fizzle out and they become inactive.
This lack of consistency generates more resistance to change and negatively affect entire project of change management.
Therefore, change leaders should stay active, involved and accessible through out change process.
11. Being unwilling to take risks
Many organizations are hesitant to take risks, but this can often lead to stagnation. It is important to be willing to experiment and to try new things.
A good change leader take risk after making assessment of risk. There are tools available that help change leaders to asses their risk and take an informed decision.
Therefore, its important to take risk to implement any innovative idea and out-of-box solutions. Its agains a mistake of change leader to take bold steps and risk in order to have an impactful and successful change management.
Organizations are prone to make mistakes while trying to implement change. These are costly mistakes which result in decreased productivity, mistrust and resistance to change. There are some common mistakes which leaders and managers must avoid to deliver successful change. All you need is to focus on change readiness, get buy-in from all levels of the organization and stick to your plan of change.