One of the only real constants in life is change. We don’t have to look very far into 2020 to see how true this is: digital transformation, remote and hybrid leadership, workforce changes and diversity, equity and inclusion. As we learn to evolve and change in this new environment, it’s becoming more important for companies to understand how to effectively implement change across your organization.
Why is change management important to organizations?
I’ve listed some workplace changes below, but they are only a subset of the changes an organization faces every day. The sooner a change management practice is implemented, the sooner you can start realizing the benefits, taking charge of the changes you are facing or envisioning as part of your strategy. Research shows that even when a business initiative meets its milestones, it can still fail to meet its objectives – when the change managers and leaders, who bring in the new process, technology or culture to life, are missing. It has been shown that “Initiatives with excellent change management are six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management, five times more like to stay on or ahead of schedule and two times more likely to stay on budget.” (Prosci)
While this was prevalent before COVID-19, its rate of acceleration increased significantly during the pandemic. As credit union branches were closed or opened only to limited hours, it transferred dependence to the digital platforms in place and increased demands to upgrade these for their members.
Remote to Hybrid Work
Much like digital change, flexible work was already in place before COVID-19, but again we had to accelerate the ability for our workforce to work as productively at home as they do in the office or branches. As I wrote earlier this year, this increased the need for belonging and true leadership to achieve this. And now, hybrid teams are most prevalent, a change again to team performance and leadership.
The economic impact of the pandemic resulted in layoffs and restructures to build resilience. These lead to shifts in accountabilities, processes, business direction and leadership changes, to name a few.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Corporations are not immune. We are part of systemic issues, but of course not every entity has the same issues. Once we identify what those issues are, employees are looking for action beyond policy.
What is change management?
“A change management practice provides approaches, tools, and techniques that empower an organization to successfully achieve a desired future state. By integrating with other disciplines like strategic planning, project management, organizational development and process improvement, change management provides value by enabling people to adopt the change and operate in the future state” (Associate of Change Management Professionals). It is not communication or training, but change management integrates into both.
What you can do
For every significant change, it is first important to understand your change story or narrative. This is the overarching objective. But as a story, it takes on added importance in the transformation, as it serves to inspire and motivate. The next key is leadership – leaders must be aligned to the change story and the shared priorities. After that, a standard change framework for developing the strategy and creating and executing the change management plan will help you realize your story.
We’re here to help
Central 1’s People Solutions can:
- Facilitate the articulation of your change story
- Support leadership adoption of and alignment to the change story
- In partnership, develop your change management plan
- Train your internal resources to deliver and monitor the plan
Our best practice framework can be used for subsequent changes in the organization.
If you’re interested in exploring change management and want to take some steps to in your organization, let’s talk!