In the context of accelerated transformations, business leaders talk indiscriminately about agility, improvement, change management. There is a contradiction between what they say and what they do. On the one hand, they have no time for shades and subtleties because they have to make a quick profit, on the other hand, they talk about personalization and customization of products / services. This is how the misunderstanding and unstructured application of the principles of change management bring them to failure.
To be relevant to the customer, improving a company’s products or services may sometimes involve radical changes. It also leads to significant changes in certain processes and creates discontinuities in the technical and organizational infrastructure that supports them. The reason most companies fail with these efforts is the failure to apply the basic principles of change management.
Alignment, the keyword in change management
If the goal of change management is to help the company to accept, adapt and integrate changes to increase performance, aligning the company’s culture and staff with changes in business strategies, organizational structure, and systems becomes vital.
For a change program to succeed, employee support is essential. Those responsible for implementation can design and install the most advanced technical solutions, but if people and company systems do not support change, and work culture does not enhance learning and innovation, then changes will not take place.
- Not less than 70% of the change initiatives fail because of the lack of culture and company’s personnel alignment with changes in business strategy and organizational structure.
The impact of change, determined by the quality of emotions
Beyond the key elements for a successful change such as responsibility, adaptability, communication, goal, vision, involvement, leadership, progress, indicators, results and the like, companies must also see the impact on people if they want the desired change to be successful.
First, the impact is much greater for change when the reaction is emotional. The more the desired changes are formulated in abstract terms referring to the company and not to the people, the fewer people will feel involved.
Second, the inherent stress of change occurs when the employee has more changes than it can relate to productivity. Which are the signs?! Anger, stress-induced illness, teamwork decline, decreased confidence, increased rumors.
What could be the consequences?! Personal stress, low motivation level, focusing on internal issues and not on the client.
- Once an employee starts to think about changing jobs, his productivity drops with 70% heed.
- With 63%, customer satisfaction is seen by top management as the most important indicator of successful implementation of change according to PMI.
Resilience to change, managed by the communication
Thirdly, the resistance to change may be positive or negative. Positive by employee testing the change: asking questions, finding alternative solutions, challenging the vision. Negative by sabotage: not attending meetings, not participating in training, unattendance of important people to workshops, false initiatives.
In order to better manage the acceptance of change by people, companies need to know that when people perceive change as harmful their first reaction is shocking, followed by denial, anger, depression, negotiation and acceptance.
- For 48% of managers, the moral and employee retention indicator is the criterion according to which the results of the change are assessed.
The solution is the correlation between personal and organizational commitment
Companies will successfully manage change when managing their relationship with employees. That is why the solution is the correlation between organizational and personal commitment. Experience shows that the availability to change is greater when measures and rewards are aligned with personal benefits, and resolving resilience is possible when models, training, and support for the desired behaviors are offered.
- According to McKinsey, organizational culture adopting change (59%) and employee management through the process of change (58%) are the two decisive factors for change management.