Change occurring in a workplace can either be embraced or rejected by the workforce; it all depends on how the management of change is handled. Change Management is a term everybody should know, as it nearly all organisations will go through the process to keep up with technology.
Change Management is an organised, systematic application of the knowledge, tools, and resources of change that provides organisations with a key process to achieve their business strategy. Change Management is a critical part of any project that leads, manages and enables people to accept new processes, technologies, systems structures and values.
Change Management affects public and private sector organisations throughout the world, and has been evolving as a discipline over the past decade. Changes in business can arise internally, for example: from staff or management observing current processes, or from external pressures, for example: government policies.
Organisations are constantly working to implement new technologies, upgrade systems, improve productivity, cut cost, and manage the human capital in an organisation. Improving how organisations manage change will directly impact the success of each of the initiatives executed, and those planned for the future.
Employees are not always adverse to change. Research has shown that employees welcome change as it tends to improve their working lives – but it can be dependent on how the change process is managed. Therefore, Change Management entails thoughtful planning and sensitive implementation, and above all, consultation with, and involvement of, the people affected by the changes. If change is forced onto people, problems normally arise; therefore employee involvement is critical to the process. People fear the unknown and when they don’t hear anything, many will envision the worst possible scenarios. Communication is essential, and to ensure all employees know what is happening in the workplace, employee surveys can be undertaken. This can help to gauge the effectiveness of efforts to communicate information throughout the organization, to ensure the messages about the importance of changes are getting through.
One of the challenges with Change Management is to maintain the current business operations while the changes are being implemented. A framework needs to be created and maintained within a positive environment, so that people accept the change and are prepared and committed to implementing it. Employees need to feel empowered rather than feeling they are being manipulated or coerced, and focus needs to be on the long-term goals rather than on a quick-fix to the situation.
Research suggests that it is vital to form an effective Change Management team that is supported by the CEO and other directors, to manage the planning and implementation processes; particularly as change is taking place at an ever-increasing pace, and evidence suggests that most change initiatives fail.
Change should not be conducted for the sake of change. Just because one company is going through a Change Management process, it doesn’t mean another company needs to go through the same process. Organisational change should only be implemented to improve the performance of an organization and the people within the organisations.
In conclusion, Change management can be scary for employees when it is imposed on them, one reason being that employees know what their current job entails and how to do it, and after the change employees may think they will be incapable of fulfilling the role. Therefore communication is key to all Change Management activities. Leadership skills, commitment, responsibility, and authority are needed for Change Management, and the process needs to be proactively managed, rather than reactively.
Change Management is a broad spectrum of processes and professional specialties aimed at successfully introducing change, and there are a set of activities that will help people switch from their present way of working to the desired way of working.
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