Change management is an ongoing challenge for enterprise organizations. With thousands of employees, often spread across multiple time zones — implementing even a minor change can be a huge operation. Each organization has its own challenges and pain points, requiring a different approach to managing a new change
. However, what all organizations have in common is the need for reliable change management tools and techniques. We have outlined some guidelines and change management tools
that will help any change professional enable smooth and effective change in their organization.
Why change management?
Employees are prone to resisting organizational change
, especially when they have become comfortable with certain processes and standards. Change management requires leadership to approach initiatives with this knowledge in mind and a strategy in place. The goal is to ease employee fears with precise distribution of knowledge so that everyone is fully informed of updates and changes within the organization. Great change management tools empower employees. Getting thousands of individuals to voluntarily board the change train is a huge challenge — but, if employees feel they are part of the process, it is much easier. You cannot expect them to support a change they do not understand, so an open flow of communication is vital.
Culture Mapping Organizational culture
is defined as, “the self-sustaining pattern of behavior that determines how things are done.” Given the culture of the organization, what reaction to change can you expect? You may know the answer to this question right away. But, if you don’t, consider sending a brief survey to different members of the organization to see what they think. By getting a feel of how a sample of employees will react, you can start to map the culture and attitudes within the company. This will greatly determine the appropriate change strategy. Fostering a culture of agility and innovation within the organization is the key to overcoming the “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality. However, keep in mind that like Rome, healthy organizational culture is not built in a day.
If the survey feedback does not provide enough insight into employees attitudes towards change, the next step is to set up focus groups. Focus groups are group interviews with 4-6 participants. Ask participants what they think about the upcoming change, for example, switching to a new CRM. Focus groups are an opportunity for employees and stakeholders to share concerns and for leaders to explain the reasons for the change. Concerns brought up by one employee in a focus group are likely shared by others in the company. This can give leadership an idea of what messaging to use when addressing the entire company. As a change management tool, focus groups are not only a way solicit feedback, but also a way to incorporate staff into the decision making process.
Force Field Analysis
Force Field Analysis is a method for listing, discussing, and assessing the various forces for and against a proposed change. Central to the method is the idea that opposite forces are constantly interacting at any given moment. While gravity pushes down, planes can still take off and fly high in the sky. While a river flows one way, we are still able to paddle upstream. Force Field analysis is a way to take a step back and view the big picture by analyzing all of the forces impacting the change. When using the force field analysis as a change management tool, we want to strategize a way to strengthen driving forces while weaken resisting forces. Although these two forces are working simultaneously, it is possible to alter the balance of power. To do so, focus on the benefits of the change and how they overpower the negatives. Consider drawing out your analysis as you would a pro/con list, writing out all of the positives and negatives. Do the positives outweigh the negative pull? If not, come up with a strategy on how to handle the imbalance.
Digital Adoption Platform
In the digital age, many of the changes organizations are dealing with are digital. Whether it is changing a digital process, or migrating between software platforms, digital changes are some of the most challenging to implement. WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) is a change management tool that has proven highly effective for many enterprises
. It offers a way of breaking down and simplifying new and daunting digital tasks into digestible units. The DAP eases resistance to change
by providing employees with a go-to tool for all their support questions. The DAP also provides analytics that measure engagement or drop-off with the newly-acquired software. This allows leadership to monitor the speed and progress of a given change initiative.
Metrics and Data Collection
In conjunction with the analytics that the DAP provides about the program itself, it is important to measure company statistics. Look at the company’s past performance with change initiatives, and determine KPIs for successful change. There are always risks involved with making a change within an organization, but knowing how the company has dealt with change in the past will help you understand how new change projects will go over. Flowcharting this scope provides a visual depiction of how this change influences the future of the company.