Simplifying Process Change

Employees are resistant to change and unfortunately many managers try to force processes in hope that employees with accept them. This is the ultimate way to fail. Resistance comes in several forms: not being fully informed to why the change is necessary, not understanding the need for change, failing to get the full team on board and failure to integrate the change due to poor training.

Change management must be approached as a long term plan. Do not waltz into the office one day with an idea you have and expect people to be on board. You will struggle to implement successful change with the team working against you. Change management must be carefully planned. It must seek to benefit the business needs and therefore the first step in any change management situation is to evaluate the importance of this change, the costs and the benefits.

Once you have assessed that change will benefit the company needs, you must instigate a plan to support the training and the needs of your employees. They must understand the importance of the change. If they fail to understand, they may perceive the change as management being irresponsible, laying down the law and being unsupportive. Therefore it is essential that you spend time communicating your ideas with the employees.

Let’s get the team on board. Sit down with your employees and explain the problem. These people will be using the new procedure and therefore may have relevant feedback and ideas to improve the system. Utilise the team to help develop the solution and empower them so they feel like they have a large contribution. This will keep the team engaged and they will support each other to improve the system, rather than supporting each other to work against management. Once the project is completed it will also require less training as they will have helped to create it.

Monitor the change. Once the change has been initiated you must monitor it to ensure that it sticks. It’s far too easy to go back to the original system or idea as the employees knew how to work with it. Even if this new system is more practical, it raises standards and everyone can see it would benefit the company, people will ultimately return to what they know if you do not market the change regularly and encourage employees to use it.

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