How can you make people the key to your change management success?

Every day, new ideas, challenges, initiatives and projects are launched to improve performance, increase profits, enhance your competitive advantage, respond to ever changing legislation and for a myriad of other organisational imperatives. You could be implementing technology to enable a more responsive service, reengineering a process to ensure compliance or developing an enterprise-wide transformation to improve customer experience.

There is a common theme for achieving all the intended outcomes these initiatives: people. Change initiatives will impact how each individual does their work: new processes, revised job roles, changed workflows, new reporting structures, behaviours and even their identity within the organisation. 

Change management is the approach to driving adoption and usage so initiatives deliver the required and expected results and outcomes.  So what can you do to improve your organisational change management capability?

Developing a strong change capability can be vital to an organisation’s success in both the short and long term. Projects and change initiatives are part of an organisation’s ability to respond to changes in the environment, so effective change management has become imperative.  However, as Prosci’s research demonstrates, change initiatives often fail due to poor management of the people side of change and due to employee resistance. 

If your organisation is serious about wanting to improve the organisational change management capability then you should consider the key groups in your organisation who are in ‘change enabling roles’ and provide training to equip them to effectively manage change. Key roles will include the senior leadership, change practitioners, project teams, middle managers and front line employees:

  • Think about the people who are often the “face and voice” of change initiatives; the senior executives. Armed with the reasons why change is required, with the choice to actively participate in change, the necessary knowledge about the change and with support during times of transition, then they are more likely to become advocates of change. So for the stakeholders to buy-in and accept change, they need to be able to see commitment and sponsorship from the senior executives.
  • The role of the line manager in change management is often underestimated. This group provide a vital communication route and ‘middle-man’ between the senior executives and the front-line employees. Only 32%1 of organisations adequately equip line managers for their role in change. It is critical that they have the required skills, tools and techniques to effectively channel the messages they are providing to their teams so that they are received in the required manner by employees who are directly impacted by change.  
  • Line managers can be shown how increasing their level of change competency will help them become more effective in their role and in turn increase the success of their individual teams. Data shows that consistent application of a structured change management methodology and framework like the Prosci ADKAR® Model helps to increase the amount of change success. Change management knowledge will help your Managers to understand the core change process and milestones, identify current issues that are impacting the ability to be effective at managing change and develop action plans to help coach employees through change barriers.
  • A growing body of data shows a strong correlation between the success of a change initiative and how well the people side was managed. So you will need people on your team who are change practitioners.  Change projects with excellent change management are six times1 more likely to meet objectives and outcomes. Dedicated change management resources provide focus and keep track of change management activities.  They act as a point of responsibility and accountability. When budgets and schedules are squeezed, change management activities are easily pushed to the bottom of the priority list if there are no dedicated resources.

Change is difficult. Where possible, we can plan to remove/reduce the chance or variability associated with change. Project management has accomplished this by providing direction on sequencing milestones, deliverables, activities and resources over the lifecycle of an effort. So now we need to also support and guide people through the changes the organisations projects bring and equip them to embrace change. Change management removes the chance from change by providing the workforce with the preparation, support and skills they need to succeed in change

Interested in CMC’s Prosci Training courses – Find out more about these full range of CMC’s Prosci based change management support

For our most popular Prosci Change Management Course: Prosci Change Management Practitioner Certification. If you would like to register click here.

Or get in touch to discuss your organisation with one of our Change Practitioners – email call +44 (0) 1600 740 023 or enquire here.

1 (2016) Best Practices in Change Management: Prosci Benchmarking Report, Prosci.