How to implement change
So you developed a great strategy. However, to deliver it successfully will require your team to change and develop new habits. Below are some tips which will help this transition.
- Explain why change is happening. Whatever the reason for business change, formalise it for your employees. You are asking them to modify their behaviour, but people resist change because it means effort and personal investment in moving from a safe, secure, tested position to uncertainty. Why should they do it? What’s in it for them? Prepare some clear points (reasons that are concrete and understandable) with the benefits for the company and employees.
- Create a sense of urgency. After explaining the reasons behind the change, create a sense of urgency that leads people to take action and start modifying behaviours immediately. What are the consequences if they continue working like I’ve always done before? Creating a sense of urgency means that people understand they can’t postpone – they have to change, now or at a planned point. All employees must realise the decision is final and non negoatiable.
- Let recognised leaders be change agents.In every organisation, there are leaders, whether they are formally recognised as managers or are informal leaders or opinion leaders. If you want to be successful in changing the mindsets of people in your company, work with those who have influence to find the best way to get to the target.
- Start with a quick win. The best way to show the benefit of change is to find a way to get the earliest result. The first positive achieved objective can be the way to engage more people and to let them be more confident about the overall picture. Use your leaders to create the quick win, announce the outcome to create sense of commitment, and then go on to finalise your plan.
- Involve people and manage resistance with engagement. Collect feedback and share the benefits of the change even if there is some resistance – that’s normal. Keep on engaging your employees, ask them for feedback, understand their needs, and organise informal discussion groups with formal and informal leaders, giving them the opportunity to be an active part of any change.
- Utilise user-friendly tools. Social networks and mobile devices are seen as easy ways to communicate and share. So why not use this technology to support and sponsor internal changes? If you want to engage more, think of adopting gamification as part of the plan: create contests, make your employees play around with the changes, give an award to the most creative person, and give visibility to those who best represent the change strategy.
- Be passionate! As a leader, you have the opportunity to implement change together with your top team. Do it with a passionate and deeply committed approach. Your passion will be noticed by others and influence them. It will make the difference!