Change management

Change Management: Integration of a New Technological Tool

Change management is a controversial topic, and it harbors a poor reputation in most industries. Indeed, some see it as a way of forcing employees to accept change. In fact, change management is a term used to describe a company’s approaches to prepare for organizational change. These approaches include supporting and assisting those who will be impacted by this change.

While change management has been on the table for over 25 years, the field has not evolved as it should. As a result, the changes are not always well established. Contrary to popular belief, change management is not reserved for large companies simply because they have the resources to implement modifications.

On the contrary, small organizations also need to integrate change management into their practices. Since change management is mainly managing employees, there are implementation steps that will make the process much easier for everyone involved.

The Stages of Implementing Change Management

Here are the steps to follow to foster a smooth transition for employees:

The process is divided into 3 main stages:

  • Current state: Change announced but not enforced.
  • Transition state: Implementation of the change.
  • Future state: After the change is implemented.

Current State

Analysis and Diagnosis

At the stage of the current state, you must begin the process by the analysis and the diagnosis of the existing practices. Indeed, analyzing the current patterns in the organization’s process will give you the information you need to make a change.

Identifying stakeholders and likely resistances will allow you to ask the right questions. These questions are crucial to the success of your change. They will allow the followings: 

  • Implementing change from the best angle possible,
  • Understanding the audience and purpose of the change,
  • Anticipate brakes and levers of opportunity.

Interviewing employees is an essential part of the change management process. It will establish expectations for change, thereby acknowledging and pinpointing employees who complain. When this happens, you can identify which ones will be helpful in the transition.

 Formal Communication

Establishing formal communications to employees will help explain the purpose and reasons for the change. In addition, carrying out frequent informal communication with stakeholders will help define the extent to which they apprehend the change, as well as their level of understanding and commitment.

It is therefore through formal communications that we explain the change and through informal communications that we can go further and gather interesting lessons.

Your communication around change is good when employees are able to answer these questions:

  • What is the change?
  • Are they aware of why it is necessary to make this change?
  • What is the stake of this change?
  • What is the context of this change?
  • Do they understand how their work will change? 

“Everyone must see the value of your tool. Because when people don’t see it, that’s when inconsistencies in use are found.” – Patrick Grégoire, CEO, Borealis

Transition State

In the transition stage, you need to involve people in the company to help them embrace the change. During the transition stage, it’s necessary to consider employee involvement as much as the change itself. To do so successfully, ensure that you: 

  • Communicate the benefits of the change and help employees see the change as an opportunity.
  • Keep stakeholders close, and don’t exclude them by being too formal. Listen to concerns and communicate frequently.
  • Implementing a new tool will require training workshops and useful practice guides. Don’t let employees feel dismissed or confused by not instructing them thoroughly on the new additions.
  • Track down key employees that will assist you in supporting the rest of your company. Indeed, they will help other employees adapt, and therefore welcome the unfolding opportunities available.
  • Generate short-term successes and make them available for all to see. Create concrete feedback and involve people in continued project development. 

Future State 

A change is a process that takes you from an existing situation to the situation you desire. In the future state of change management, your company should be close to that targeted point.

The speed at which employees adapt to change management will differ from one company to another. Here, it’s essential to create sustainability of change. 

  • Embed and secure the change program throughout your company’s communication channels and everyday operations.
  • Ensure that your new tool receives a great reception company-wide.
  • Take advantage of key users who will share their knowledge with others, ensuring that all changes are implemented correctly and efficiently.
  • Consistently and positively reinforce all changes brought on by the new tool or process.

Consistently send feedback you receive from managers and key users to the employees, on the use of the technological tool implemented and its impact on their workflow. Effectively, when employees have taken ownership of the change, change management is at its most successful. 

The Successful Utilization of Change Management

“The conduct (management) of change is essential so that everyone feels concerned and can find their place in the transformation to be lived.” Jérémy Cem Dursun, Change Management Specialist

The definite improvements that change management brings may not always be visible at first, especially to employees that are unsure of change. In Chinese calligraphy, two signs represent change: the danger and the opportunity. Therefore, it is essential that your employees see the change as an opportunity to improve their skills rather than a disruption in their working conditions.

When implemented correctly, change offers lasting benefits. Change management creates a solid foundation of trust, and it helps develop the feeling of belonging, which is essential for the harmonious development of the company.

We would like to thank Jérémy Dursun for his contribution in preparing this article.

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