What is change management and do businesses need it?

Implementing new tools, systems or roles within a company is done through a structured process called change management. Through this period of transformation, organisations can become more agile and productive by supporting people in the business to adopt new ways of working.

Change can result in chaos if it is not carefully planned and implemented. Employees need to be guided through the process with the appropriate amount of communication. To ensure that workflows and regular business operations are not significantly disrupted, change needs to be carefully planned.

Additionally, it needs to be strategically implemented with clear milestones and measurements. This helps in keeping an eye on the pace of change and ensuring that the organisation quickly transitions to its new status quo with the proper balance of change.

Change management requires employee buy-in

When it comes to change, employees who are accustomed to their current working practices may become resistant. It may be necessary for employees to abandon tried-and-true ways of working in favour of new tools or processes. As a result, teams might experience cognitive fatigue as they put in more effort to complete their tasks.

As the status quo is challenged during any major transition, productivity will inevitably suffer. With the right change management strategies, this can be alleviated. Effective planning and communication are essential components of change management. To ensure that staff members are aware of the impending changes and have the opportunity to voice any concerns, they must be involved in the process from the beginning. 

A big part of preparing the team for the process is getting their buy-in. If they are involved in the process from the start, employees will feel more invested. The process must be guided from start to finish by an expert team for change to result in a good return on investment. 

Leaders can identify organisational issues that need to be addressed through the change management process. This can revitalise a business by clearing out the cobwebs and getting things ready to move forward.

Improved communication and collaboration

Change management places a heavy emphasis on collaboration and communication as disrupting established ways of working can lead to confusion and anxiety. In order to bring staff together, silos must be broken down, interpersonal issues must be addressed and everyone must be working towards the same shared objective.

Key performance indicators (KPIs), strategies and targets that are clearly defined serve to establish a safe space where change is able to happen seamlessly. Even with continued support after training sessions, it’s important to control and monitor the variables to ensure that employees are appropriately informed and guided throughout the process.

A sense of purpose is often fostered through the change management process. A shared vision among the team helps to improve communication and collaboration. Teams are more easily motivated when everyone is working towards a common goal.

Employees acquire the skills they need to continue innovating when they learn how to deal with change. People perform better when they feel supported and understand the change process. Having gone through a change management process, employees will be more adaptable and agile moving forward. 

Change management leads to more strategic decision making

Companies have the option to include leadership training in their change management strategy. This improves awareness and assists in strengthening leadership skills. Equipping managers and executives with new tools and soft skills can improve their ability to manage employees.

Leaders can improve their emotional intelligence (EQ) – a vital element of decision-making – through suitable training. Leaders that have higher EQs are better equipped to navigate challenges and find effective solutions.

There are many skills connected to decision-making. Better capabilities will result organically from developing these skills. Leaders need to develop their problem-solving skills. In order to make decisions more efficiently, leaders can benefit from taking a neutral stance and focusing on the relevant facts.

Business leaders can improve their time management and organisational skills through proper planning and organisation. They are better able to make the right decisions at the right time when they know what tasks to prioritise.


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Written by Taryn Hill

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