What is change management and how to do it?

If you are about to make a change in your company, it would be best if you know what change management is and how to do it so that you will be successful in achieving the goals you set.
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What is Change Management and how to do it

Carlos' Opinion -
Change Management.

It is said that the only constant in life is change.

And it is, even if we try to have everything in control, there will be things that eventually will change.

And change is that important element to bring up growth after a cycle is fullilled.

As in life and as in businesses, change is a requirement in order to be better.

At the family businesses, I have seen and experienced different changes over time.

Being a kid, the family business was composed by 5 different businesses.

My parents had a clothing, shoes, cars, real estate, and furniture business.

Eventually and sadly, as I was a teen, I saw what a divorce can bring to a strong business group, and how a divorce also can divide it into pieces.

Of course, not even mention the emotional effects.

At that time, it was still difficult to know how to see the changes that were coming.

And how to remain strong with a furniture business despite an internal factor.

Change was an inevitable thing, but neccesary to readapt in order to keep a business that could help a divorced mother support financially her children. 

It was after I finished my university, that I was involved in another proccess of change of the business.

When I came back to work to the family business was to improve proccesses and give order to it.

We had now again a second store and we had improved payment to suppliers.

But since I left to my international experience, the business after 4 years of course eventually had difficulties that now after a year that I am back and despite Covid, I can see that the business is recovering.

I can really say that this almost 40 years business has survived economical recessions, the mexican peso devaluation, a divorce and now Covid. 

And I can probably say, it has been to the ease to create change and to adapt to all external and internal threats.

What has been done to keep running?

Well, I can just say as a small business it has been resistance and seeding work during the hard times.

The fruits that we will harvest in the future are the consequence of what habits we had, and if a business is in constant change, then adapting will be in their DNA.

What is change management?

The definition of change management makes us see it as a transformation mechanism which is responsible for ensuring the success of organizations by recognizing the human change that may occur from time to time within them, or in their environment.

Within this term are considered those processes and activities which are intended to help organizations to adopt changes, regardless of whether they occur in the way they build their strategies, in how they are structured, or in their culture.

In this way, each of the organizations is allowed to present a particular situation, regardless of whether they are located in what would be the same socio-cultural context, since the processes experienced within them can never be entirely the same in personal terms.

The process of differentiation of organizations in the face of change management may depend on the influence of their environment, the director or leader and knowledge manager, the way in which the process is carried out, the history of each institution, among several other reasons.

And these aspects not only have the ability to affect what would be called the creation of a personality of the whole work group, but also the ability to learn, which we will later discover is of utmost importance when implementing these changes.

Why is change management important?

The importance of change management can be drawn out by a couple of points that we will tell you below:

Not only will it help increase the success of your projects and initiatives, but it will also improve the organization's ability to adapt to the constant changes we know the market is experiencing.

With the right management, human talent can be leveraged, as employees are constantly being trained to perform their new roles.

This can guarantee organizational growth, since it is something that promotes stability, positioning and future growth of the company, allowing it to remain dynamic in the market.

It facilitates periods of business change for companies by keeping them in a constant state of evolution, keeping their employees motivated and productive, especially in the implementation of new technologies or procedures.

It will increase the morale of your employees, boosting the creation of work teams that enjoy job enrichment. These are important factors because they directly benefit productivity and quality of work, thus reducing the dreaded production cycles.

It reduces the costs involved in having an organization, since its collaborators will be prepared for the changes that will be carried out in processes and will not need to hire any type of external personnel, thus significantly reducing costs and retention, satisfying the employees.

How to manage change?

In case you are now wondering how to manage change we have a couple of tips that will help you do it successfully, it is a matter of understanding them before applying them, and they are as follows:

Be able to explain why you are changing.

In order to achieve the success of the change, people play a fundamental role, you must keep in mind that no matter if your employees spend a lot of time in front of the computer with their work, they will always want to know where the company is heading and why certain things happen.

Imagine the scenario where you are about to acquire an ERP solution in your company, the best thing to do is to explain to your employees what the benefits of the tool will be, and how your system will boost productivity and the fulfillment of both short and long term objectives.

Most likely, once your employees are aware of what we have mentioned above, they will be more willing to face the change, participate in its implementation, train themselves, among other things.

When it comes to how to manage change correctly, one of the key points is information, sharing it with everyone involved in a clear way, and not leaving anything to uncertainty or being handled as a mystery.

If you have formed a team, involve them in decision making whenever possible.

The gear that moves the company is made up of people, however, these can also be considered as one of the main obstacles when you want to implement a change. 

That is why one of the best pieces of advice we can give you is that, whenever you have the opportunity and as far as possible, allow your team to have a voice in the decision making process, especially when it is a change of great importance for everyone.

Keep in mind that each of your team members has the ability to contribute in a different and valuable way, and involving them by simply asking for their opinion will make them understand and believe in the benefits expected from the change you are seeking. 

If they cannot visualize these positive points, they will lack interest and may even create resistance.

That is why you can use e-mails, blogs, newsletters, among other methods to involve and inform the members of your company about the when, where, how and why of the change.

Keep the level of uncertainty to a minimum.

How to implement a change in an organization is not a simple process, since it means that employees will leave their comfort zone and, in most cases, it can generate nonconformities and affect the company’s climate.

That is why, from a leader’s perspective, it is necessary to keep the level of uncertainty to a minimum. Your employees deserve to have all the information regarding the change to help create a positive vision of it. This way it is easier to motivate them and make them willing to do it.

In these cases the best thing to do is to generate a communication plan, which will be very useful to reduce the levels of resistance that must be dealt with from the opening of communication channels where people get in contact with the leader, or the change agent, to solve their doubts.

Give your team the opportunity to learn

No matter what type of change your company is about to face (such as new leaders at the table, a new system or technology being installed, or tasks being changed), it will always be necessary for employees to develop new skills and capabilities to cope with new scenarios. 

That is why when you decide to make a change it is the perfect opportunity to learn and grow together with the team, and also from the leader’s perspective by creating these opportunities. 

When an employee is taken out of their comfort zone they should also be rewarded, and there is nothing better than teaching them that they can be better every day, learning new things that will allow them to always stand out progressively. 

The insecurities that employees may have in the face of change is one of the main reasons why objectives may not be achieved. That is why day after day they have to be given the opportunity to adapt, learn and improve what they already know or master.

Be as transparent as possible

One of the most common mistakes in change management is to leave an information gap, and it is at this time that many employees begin to speculate that their managers are planning something terrible.

And this is not something you want under any circumstances. 

You should keep in mind that change seems less scary when you are the person in charge of driving it, which is why you should always be as transparent with those who have to walk the walk as you walk the walk and not leave them with these information gaps.

Everything will become much easier if you decide to rely on human talent management tools, which are able to automate and manage all activities and communications to be developed to make the transition to that new point you have in mind much more pleasant as possible.

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