9 Simple but Effective Change Management Strategies

Illustration of a woman leading a business meeting

Winston Churchill once wrote: ‘To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often’.

Change is hard to institute because we eventually become complacent, refusing to move beyond our comfort zone.

It’s normal for many of us to be uncomfortable by the idea of any modification at the office, such as a change in workplace seating, an update to the computer equipment or new corporate protocols. However, it’s imperative to embrace change if you wish to be effective at your job.

When much of the workforce is apprehensive about any evolution, senior management may also have some consternation about altering company policies. If it’s necessary, the company can execute a change management strategy that can accomplish your business goals and prevent an office-wide uproar.

Unsure how to proceed?

Within this article, we’ve compiled a breakdown of nine tactics you can employ to institute the transformation your team has agreed upon and to make sure it’s inclusive with your personnel.

1. Establish Communication Policies

Be it water cooler talk or office speculation, uncertainty can produce a lot of havoc in the workplace. You also have the issue of broken telephone, where one person has solid information and then it breaks down the more it is transmitted to other people.

But this might be the fault of management.

The simple remedy to this common problem is to institute effective communication policies.

While some companies maintain a need-to-know policy, it’s better to be open and transparent with everyone to avoid gossip and rumours that can eventually ignite a toxic environment.

Therefore, when you’re considering something that would transform the landscape of the office space, it would be prudent to inform your staff. This is especially true for startups and small businesses.

The next step is to erect communication protocols:

  • Install an open-door policy whereby anyone can speak with management about the office.
  • Provide updates to employees about ongoing changes.
  • Establish a suggestions box for everyone to offer their recommendations.
  • Seek feedback before and after the changes have been adopted.

These methods will build trust in any future measures your company takes.

2. Invest in Workplace Training

When the firm has implemented a comprehensive overhaul to operations, a great strategy to avoid upheaval is to invest in workplace training.

Whether it’s a new software or a new corporate policy, ensuring employees understand what is happening cannot only make employees less resistant, but it can also make them more productive in the end.

Everything from an entire workday of training to an online Zoom session after-hours, making sure that staff members are aware of the newest system in place can help your workforce prepare for any additional alterations in the future.

This way, your company culture is one of innovation, productivity and cooperation.

3. Add Resources to the Office

During this uncertain period, it would be prudent for your company to apply temporary resources for your employees to utilise.

An internal online document, a project management system (PMS) for regular communication or bulletin board updates – these are only some of the examples of resources you could extend to everybody in the office to avoid leaving a single person behind.

4. Create a User Manual

Not everyone will 100% understand the modification to the protocol or the latest computer equipment.

Therefore, just like implementing a workplace training platform, you can also put together a user manual.

This is beneficial to both new employees and seasoned veterans. What’s more, by having something your team members can refer to, you will not see a confused and dejected workforce.

Instead of having the change take months to become accustomed to, the user manual can accelerate the process of getting used to the updates or modifications.

5. Understand Employees’ Purpose

Over the years, studies have revealed that workers feel they lack purpose and meaning in their jobs. The surveys that grab the headlines suggest employees think they are only collecting paycheques and not contributing to society.

This has prompted millennials to apparently search for employment opportunities that elevate their objectives in the corporate world – and businesses are adapting.

Since your organisation is going through a policy or technology change, it’s a prime opportunity to take a look around, conduct an inventory analysis and see who is on your payroll. The longer you are in business, the more you will lose the sense of why some workers are employed in your office.

So, as you enact department- or company-wide change, you should engage with workers. A performance evaluation, a conversation and perhaps another job interview – these are just some of the ways you can better understand employees’ purpose for working at the enterprise.

Moreover, the personnel can also communicate to you about aspects you would be unaware of, such as their career goals or their opinions on how certain things are done at the company.

6. Perform a SWOT Analysis

A positive function of change management is that you can perform some introspection in the organisation.

This doesn’t only need to include crunching numbers and perusing the data; a probe into the internal affairs of the company can be a personnel-wide endeavour.

But first, you need a plan, and that initiative involves SWOT.

What is a SWOT analysis?

  • Strengths: What has made your business – large or small – a success up to this point?
  • Weaknesses: What is your firm lacking that has hurt its competitiveness or bottom line?
  • Opportunities: What is happening outside the company that you can take advantage of? What tactics are you using to grab these opportunities by the throat?
  • Threats: What is transpiring internally that is harming your productivity levels? What is occurring in the market that threatens the future of your enterprise?

When you’re in the initial phase of plotting change, your strategy can be to pick the brains of your staff and find out what they think about the inner workings of their employer. A business is a collective effort, so your staff members have their points of view of how the ship is steered in the ocean of markets.

7. Enact Senior Leadership Models

Management often gets a bad reputation from subordinates, complaining that they keep everyone in the dark and delegate and micromanage as much as possible. This is actually supported by data, too, so it isn’t just an old wives’ tale!

Is it time for a change? Is it time to learn about leadership skills?

Yes, and yes. And the best way to overhaul your management is by adopting one or two models throughout the process to improve your leadership qualities.

What would be the best practices? Here are some of these models to consider using:

  • Authentic leadership: A leader practising authenticity is sincere and will reflect the values of themselves and the company in the way they act, perform, lead and speak.
  • Situational leadership: A manager understands the team and has faith and confidence in employees to execute certain tasks effectively and efficiently due to their skills in this arena.
  • Shared leadership: A senior department head knows the success of the firm is a group effort rather than a single person, extending autonomy and experimentation (and breathing room) to staff without fear of retribution.
  • Transformational leadership: The boss has established a basic set of tasks and goals for the week or month, but they’re always searching to improve the company’s standards and principles and encourage employees to step outside their comfort zone.

So, ditch the extremes – autocratic and laissez-faire – and incorporate these leadership models into your change management strategy. What better way to carry out change than by changing the way you lead?

8. Develop Internal Incentives for Staff

Are you finding apprehension among staff? Do you think there’s some resistance from some employees?

One of the most effective ways of reversing these feelings is by developing internal incentives.

A monetary bonus or a month of Friday afternoons off – there are many motivations you can employ to get your workers to accept change and to excel at their job even more.

Remember: the whole point of overhauling operations was to improve productivity levels and get everyone to do their jobs better.

9. Document the Change

For the next little while, you may need to use several key performance indicators (KPIs) as part of documenting the entire process, from beginning to end.

This will be useful in the future when you need to impose additional changes that directly affect the workplace.

Once everything is complete, it would be wise to produce a comprehensive report on what went wrong and what went right. By doing this, you make the next time more organised, you remedy your leadership mistakes and you perfect your management strategies.

In the corporate world, change is not only imperative but also an inevitability.

On paper, it may seem easy to adjust any policies or protocols. In the real world, it’s a tad more complicated since you will probably endure hiccups or come across resistance.

While the main hurdle may be your subordinates, senior management may have disputes since leadership might possess various types of visions of what change looks like in the end. That is why it’s crucial to adopt a change management strategy that can satisfy both the principles of your organisation and your dedicated staff members.

What would you do differently? Let us know in the comments section below!