Managing change is hard, but it is evident that almost all industries went through several transformations during and after the pandemic.
What are Some Issues Organizations are Facing Now?
Employees are returning to offices on a larger scale. Therefore, upgrading offices with all the facilities required to complete daily functions smoothly is the need of the hour.
- The demand for technology-based jobs is at an all-time high. HR professionals must recruit candidates based on their affinity to technology and the digital landscape.
- Most employees and managers are returning to offices. However, some higher-level managers might still want to continue to work from home.
It means that managing organizational change includes the shift to a hybrid working model. Figuring out a way to bring offline and online work on the same platform to fix this is imperative.
- Organizations are gearing up to meet the challenges of managing change concerning employees’ changed beliefs, consumer buying preferences, and so on. The recession is also likely to hit the market soon.
Therefore, HR managers must prepare the workforce to deal with layoffs and structural shifts in their organization.
- HR managers must focus on retaining high-performing employees to deal with the global recession. They can halt the hiring process whenever necessary. Also, extensive workforce training is essential to meet productivity goals.
Recognizing employees who showcase multiple skills verbally or through an appreciation letter can encourage them to enhance their performance.
- Smart management of the workspace can ensure the smooth implementation of the hybrid work culture. Employees returning to the office must have access to a casual and informal setup, so they do not miss the comfort and leisure of being at home.
However, managers should implement strict measures to track the attendance and performance of employees who still work from home.
- Managing the recruitment process for distributed teams is difficult. The HR managers must arrange a get-together once in a while to increase employee bonding.
Arranging online meetings and video conferences will build rapport among the team members. The latest messaging applications like Slack can ensure smooth communication between the multiple teams that work on the same project.
- Introducing the company culture and values to the newly hired employees who have never been to the office due to the lockdown is quite challenging. Developing a camaraderie through online meetups and activity sessions is possible. Still, it won’t be as strong as the camaraderie between employees who work in the office.
Therefore, the HR professionals can plan a short trip with employees who live nearby or arrange a dinner together. The employees who work in remote locations can join the meetups online and engage actively. A time-tracking application or software can track the attendance of the remote working teams.
- Arranging fun Fridays and similar activities for the employees who have started working from the office can help. Managers must also support the employees who struggle with stress-related mental health issues. They can talk to the employees one-on-one and discuss their problems and issues.
A mental health expert can provide consultation to employees who need mental support and tips to get their mental state back to normal.
While all these changes are subjective, HR professionals can decide what is best for their organization and team. It is possible to steer the organization in the right direction with proper support from the team and guidance from the management.
What is Change Management?
Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization’s goals, processes or technologies.
Why is It Hard to Manage Change?
Managing change is difficult because our brains are wired to work in a specific way. Whether it is management or employees, most people are set in their ways and do not want to embrace change. It is the job of HR to introduce changes and manage stakeholder reactions and expectations.
HR professionals must explain the following things to the employees and management while communicating the processes of change management:
- What is the change?
- How will it transform the organization?
- Why was it necessary to make a change?
- What does the modification mean to every stakeholder?
Employees and management can be more prepared to adjust to the changes once they receive effective communication about these things.
Leaders need to discuss these questions with various stakeholders of the company.
- Clients might want to know about the sudden changes in the organization.
- The suppliers and vendors might be curious about the new procurement procedures, and management would be curious to measure the impact of change.
Ways of Managing Organizational Change
Create a Positive Mindset
People always perceive change as a threat. The foremost challenge would be to create a positive environment in the organization for change.
A few employees might not be able to understand the new process or might take time to fit into their new roles. Leaders must address their queries and assure them that the change is only for their benefit.
The leaders must instill faith in the stakeholders that the benefits of change will outweigh the cost and difficulties faced while managing the change. The change will happen irrespective of how difficult it is once their mind is ready for it.
Clarify Roles and Priorities
Often existing job roles and priorities change too.
Assume that an organization is planning to shift its focus from advertising to marketing. The decision will reduce the cost overheads that are involved in advertising.
The same team who created advertising plans will now focus on learning the latest marketing techniques. Their basic roles in research will remain the same. However, their priority will be finding new ways to promote the brand and products.
The leader must clarify the role of each individual in the marketing team. The sales team will operate similarly.
Discussing the things that remain the same can be helpful instead of focusing on what needs to be changed.
Steer Clear of Micromanagement
Some employees might have to put in extra effort to manage change effectively. HR professionals should ensure this strictly. However, too much control can make the employees less interested in the transition.
The leaders must give enough freedom and choices to the employees while implementing change management strategies. The tone and manner of controlling things cannot be too dominating or intimidating.
Implement Changes Smartly
Managing organizational change can be easy if one makes the changes smoothly. HR professionals must be ready with an outline of smaller changes required to attain the purpose of a bigger transformation.
The change could also be related to a company’s culture, technology, or strategy. Therefore, the outline must include precise steps to usher in the change without forcing things. Empowering employees is essential to enable them to make decisions independently if the change requires quick implementation.
The company can hire change managers to oversee the process. The leaders must also be vigilant about whether the organization is attaining the goals of the transformation.
They need a concrete change management plan with the help of experts. HR should hire the right individuals who can handle the change without the fear of losing their status in the team.
Some employees might need to unlearn their ways of rendering their duties to implement a new change completely. It could be especially tough for the employees who have worked in the organization for years. Such employees should have access to flexible options. It will make them feel comfortable while managing the change.
Implement Changes Phase-Wise
Implementing and managing change can be difficult if the previous process is operational until the newer process takes over.
In such cases, the change managers tend to give a deadline to the employees up to which they can follow the old method to some extent. The managers may restrict the employees from using the old process after that specific date.
However, employees might get confused by utilizing both processes simultaneously. It might also hamper their productivity.
Companies should focus on the phase-wise implementation of change. It will allow them to address the issues proactively and would also enable them to redefine the entire process gradually.
For example, informing all the employees when an organization plans to implement a new payroll system for managing their wages is a norm. However, the HR admins will have to learn a new technology or software from scratch.
The leaders can ask them to implement the change for a portion of the workforce as they would need some time to adopt it. The payroll processing for the remaining staff can happen through the old system. The organization can terminate the previous approach once the HR admins become more familiar with the new system.
Create a Reward System
HR managers can introduce a reward system for smartly managing change in the organization.
The employees who implement the change without affecting the workflow or work culture will receive a monetary benefit. It will motivate the employees to bring faster changes in their working patterns without affecting the organization’s culture, workflow, and process.
Comparing the Outcomes
The new process should be allowed to be functional for some period after implementing a change. The leaders must monitor the implemented changes to analyze whether the organization has attained the transformational objectives.
Suppose a company has developed a new website for managing its online sales. It should compare the performance of the old and new websites in terms of ROI, visitors, and conversions. This approach allows them to analyze whether they have achieved the purpose of developing a new website.
Managing change in a post-pandemic world without the right change management plan can be tough for companies.
The leaders must be able to convey the reason for the changed priorities or processes of the organization. Discussing the benefits of change with all the stakeholders and strategies like providing a reward to deserving employees can help them to implement the changes swiftly.