Change management is a science that was originally utilized to good effect in Engineering and psychology. It was not long before it was adopted into business. In business change management is often concerned with technology and business processes.
Change management is required for smooth running of the business even as the disruptions are put in place. For a smooth transition to occur some principles have to be observed when implementing change;
1. Each person is an individual and will react differently to change. This has to be taken into account.
An organization may have thousands of employees, but each one of them is a unique personality. Each will see the change in a different angle. Some will feel their status quo is threatened, some are happy for the fresh way of doing things and some are just not concerned about it. Each of these reactions must be adequately addressed for change to be accepted.
2. Change must take into account basic needs of individuals.
All individuals in the organization have their own separate reasons that motivate them. Some love the work, some are in it for the money, and some want to make a name, the list goes on and on. When change occurs, individuals may feel the way they meet their needs is being threatened and resist the change. Good change management should ease the fears of everyone in the organization to facilitate better adoption.
3. Losses and gains are inevitable in change.
Change will always involve taking what is not working away and bringing in a replacement or doing without one. This means that there will be loss of positions, privileges, prestige and other things that people affected by change may hold dear. Managing change involves reducing the level of grievance in the affected. This involves giving them options that are as good as what they are losing.
4. Different people have different expectations.
Change is always effected in the hope that things will get done in a better and more effective manner. In business, it may be reducing overheads, generating more revenue or better customer service. Managing expectations is prudent when effecting change. Otherwise when there are over-expectations, people will feel that the changes were in vain .
5. Change is always feared
Humans are conditioned to go along with what works well. This means remaining in a comfort zone. The disruptions brought about by change will always lead to fear and uncertainty over many issues; positions, salaries, promotions and more. Managing fears by explaining what the change is all about and what the benefits will be, should be one of the priorities when effecting change.
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What have been your challenges and successes managing disruptive change in the workplace?