Five Signs You Need Change Management (Signs 4 & 5)

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This blog rounds up my top five signs that indicate you need change management on your project.  Here’s a quick review of what I covered in the previous 2 blog posts:

  1. Sign #1  Leaders aren’t visibly supporting your project
  2. Sign #2 Employees don’t have a clue about what’s going to change
  3. Sign #3 When people talk about the project, you think, “Why are they saying THAT?” 

Sign #4 is  No one’s talking about stakeholder strategies.  True learning, commitment and understanding come from involvement and hands-on participation. The more people are involved in change, the less negative their inevitable reaction will be. People naturally support what they help create. Truly involving others takes time, the ability to select the right people and the ability to delegate and manage diverse groups. Identifying various audiences and involving others the right way takes prioritization, inclusiveness and empowerment. The payoff for this approach is employee buy-in and commitment to the new strategy or goal.

Change managers document impacts by stakeholder and create specific transition strategies so workers are well prepared. These strategies include activities that help promote understanding and commitment to working differently.

Last but not least, sign #5 is  HR is not included in the planning.  Support and reinforcement are critical for making changes stick.  Sometimes, some of the old ways of hiring, developing and compensating people will work just fine in the new world.  But often, the reinforcing systems in the organization are misaligned with the new behaviors.  Without reinforcing new behaviors, people naturally revert back to old ways of working. To sustain change, the organization needs to have the right infrastructure in place to reinforce the change. 

This is where HR comes in. They bring additional perspective on how these systems should and can be changed. They usually play an important role in the training that takes place before go live as well. The sooner HR can understand the impact to the employees, the sooner they can start working on ensuring these supporting eliminates are aligned with the new business goals.

The Change Manager’s role includes connecting communication, leadership, HR and project activities so they are consistent and coordinated in terms of transitioning the workers.

Change Managers work on the People Strategy. This is a critical element when driving organizational change. After all, it’s the people who will do the new process, use the new system or have to work with a new team every day.

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