Don’t Let Change Derail You: Tips To Keep Your Change Initiatives On Track

Upper view of business people around table.jpegYou’ve heard the expression, “the one thing you can count on is change.” Well, even “change” is changing these days. In years past, organizational change was often thought of as a single event with a definite beginning, middle, and end, and quickly followed by a return to “normal.” Not so anymore. Today, change is constant and is looked to as something to harness in order to drive innovation, stay ahead of the competition and achieve growth.

Successful organizations are taking advantage of change by planning for it, building a tolerance for it, and honing its change management capabilities. But many managers lack the necessary skills to manage change effectively, and often unintentionally sabotage it, which can lead to negative consequences. Studies show that without change management, up to 76 percent of business re-structuring efforts do not produce the expected results, and between 50 and 75 percent of all manufacturing and technology change projects fail.

When put in motion, these four tactics will help managers keep change initiatives on track:

Communicate Directly
Be direct and straightforward as possible with your communication. Conflicting messaging can easily occur when language is vague and ambiguous, therefore making communication between the change management team and others in the organization oftentimes confusing and uncertain.

Before releasing communication, implement quality control measures to ensure that what is being conveyed corresponds with the company’s goals and objectives.

Get Ahead of the Grapevine
Water cooler chatter can rapidly lead to the spread of unwanted gossip throughout a company. Much of it has to do with lack of accurate information and our need to make sense of what is happening around us. Establishing rumor management controls during organizational change will allow you to get ahead of the grapevine. The best way to prevent or combat rumors is with good and open communication within your team. This will also allow you to address any rumors you become aware of quickly and effectively.

Animate Desired Attitude
Nothing can be more corruptive to employee morale than workplace negativity. Good examples of expected behavior in the workplace are best shown, not told. During organizational change it is crucial to inspire a positive attitude and a team-oriented mindset. When leaders animate and maintain the right attitude, they demonstrate how to face change positively.

Invite Voicing of Views
When change is involved, everyone has an opinion. Allowing opportunities for team members to voice their views on how the implementation process has affected their work surrounding encourages discussion, ideation and group-think. As you evaluate the feedback provided, you can then determine how your decisions may influence your plan of action moving forward.