Whether you’re introducing a new performance management platform or launching a new business process, at some point, your company will have to navigate change.
Change management is never easy, but it’s necessary to advance and compete. New policies will have to be introduced based on industry events or HR trends, or upgrades will need to be implemented to keep up with competitors. What matters is how you manage your staff and help people through the change. With strong leadership and a solid change management plan, you can ensure success.
Here, we explore our performance management tips for managing organisational change.
1. Establish a Change Management Strategy
Whether you’re implementing a major change or a small alteration to an existing process, you should first develop a change management strategy. This provides both purpose and direction for your management team and employees and will keep you on track when you feel things starting to go wrong.
To create a change management strategy, you should begin by identifying the change. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the nature of the change?
- Why is it needed?
- What prompted the change?
- Was employee feedback solicited regarding this change?
- How will it benefit the company?
- Who will the change impact?
- How many people will be impacted?
- What could potentially go wrong?
- Why would people oppose this change?
- What’s the scale of the change?
- What is the timeline of the change?
Write out your plan and be as precise as possible — decide who will do what by when. Define all roles involved as well as what support you will offer. What’s more, take the time to identify further plans to revisit the fallout of the change to ensure it has been implemented successfully
2. Be Transparent about How and Why the Change Is Happening
As with every area of performance management, transparency and honesty make the process much simpler. With increased transparency comes increased trust from employees — and this is necessary for employees to truly embrace change and help it succeed.
During every stage of the change process, be open about why and how the change is happening and be clear about what you want from your employees. Let them know what their roles will be during the change, what is expected of them and how it will affect them. Employees are much more likely to embrace change when they understand it. Keep employees in the dark and you can’t blame them for being reluctant.
3. One-on-Ones between Line Manager and Employee Are a Necessity
Human resources can facilitate change by ensuring that line managers and team members are scheduling and attending regular one-on-ones. During a change, communication needs to be fluid, authentic and ongoing. Employees need to be allowed to ask questions and managers need to schedule one-on-ones to discuss how the change is progressing.
Make an effort to expand communication channels within your organisation. Be available and accessible — incorporate an open-door policy and maintain visibility. Provide different mediums for communication, such as online team collaboration tools. The more avenues of communication that are open to people, the more dialogue will flourish.
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Unsure about what to discuss during your one-on-one performance discussions? We have a free downloadable template to guide your check-ins.
4. Employee Feedback Is Crucial during the Change Process
Every internal decision you make within your company impacts the employee experience. You want your employees to regard the company favourably and you want to create processes that will support employee performance while keeping them happy and engaged. With this in mind, it’s crucial that throughout the change process, you ask for employee feedback. This can be conducted informally (during your one-on-ones) or formally (with the use of employee surveys). Whatever the case, you need to make it clear to employees that you want to know how they feel. Their input is valuable and can help to streamline the process further, whether you’re revisiting the impact of the change at a later date or introducing an entirely new change.
What’s more, when employees are in the loop and involved, they will have more ownership over the change, rather than feel like a bystander. This will increase the odds of them wanting the change to succeed, rather than pushing against it.
5. Understand That There Might Be Upset or Resistance
Don’t expect all employees to be thrilled about the change being implemented. It’s natural human instinct to be unsure in the face of change. There is comfort in familiarity and predictability. Prepare yourself for a degree of upset or resistance during the change process — and don’t punish people for these emotions. Let them know that you understand and take the time to put them at ease.
6. Maintain a Positive Attitude to Increase Employee Buy-In
We’ve already established that employees might be less than thrilled about the upcoming change. At times like these, employees often look to their managers or supervisors. They will be observing your attitude to see how you feel about it. To effectively lead your employees through change, remain positive, upbeat and enthusiastic. This will foster motivation in others during this time of transition.
You can also take steps to reward positivity in others — publicly acknowledge employees who have gone the extra mile to support the change in question. Send weekly emails of encouragement while discussing recent progress. Tell your employees that they are doing a great job and that you appreciate their efforts. After all, employee recognition is an effective way to boost morale and ensure engaged employees.
At Clear Review, we have helped hundreds of organisations navigate organisational change by enabling conversations and improving performance. Get in touch to find out how our continuous performance management software can help you.