Easing the Change through Engagement
Change management is a main component of business management in a global atmosphere where specialties are still being discovered, new cultures are constantly being integrated, and new entrants create an atmosphere that demands change. Furthermore, as research continues to increase and projects are becoming more refined, a higher level of safety measures are being demanded for use in business by consumers. In order to keep a step ahead of the competition, businesses are required to honor these consumer demands. In the process, change has become a big part of doing business.
So how does the company easily step into change without causing a major problem for all of those involved with the change? There are several methods that a company can use to handle change, and many different measures that can be taken to avoid the risk of change. However, a company needs to regard just a few necessities of change in order for all other change management plans to succeed, indiscriminate of such plans.
The most important of these necessities in the engagement of employees in the change process. Some companies may begin this process even before the change by holding meetings with the employees to gather their input regarding the best methods to use in order to make the change happen in their individual departments. In a sales dominated firm, companies may set sales goal related to the change; such that employees benefit most when they embrace the change rather than to reject it. In an assembly firm or manufacturing plant, the company may benefit the employees most by holding a workshop in which the employees get to interact with the change before it’s been implemented. These employees provide feedback regarding how the change will work for them. Employees who are engaged in the change process are more enthusiastic about the change, generating an atmosphere where it is easy for them to comply with the change.
Engagement of the Public
Another step is to get the public engaged with changes. Send out company newsletters, updates websites, and hold public forums when change is being proposed. Businesses are able to demonstrate the basics of a change, the reasons for implementing change, and positive and negative financial consequences of a change without disclosing proprietary secrets associated with the change. By answering all questions completely but keeping important information soft or hidden amongst real answers that are true, secrets will not be revealed and customers will be satisfied that the change is beneficial to all. Allow feedback on public website blogs and display unrevealing pictures whenever possible. This will help ease any tension related to the change.
Inclusion of Shareholders and Stakeholders
Finally, it is important to engage all stakeholders and shareholders, starting from the first concept that a change is needed. No matter what the change is, find ways to give shareholders voting abilities regarding change. Lay out the effects of each option to stakeholders and encourage their feedback. Let them explain how they feel about the effects, and if they see anything else that has not been mentioned. Don’t’ let them feel as if they are in the dark about the change, make them feel special about it; provide them with a separate newsletter, even their own web portal. Do whatever you need to let them know they are important to the entire change process. Give them positions on teams that will let them plan portions of the change related to their specialty, or acquaintance to the change. This will provide them with a sense of leadership over the change and allow them to know that their cooperation is integral to the continuous operation of the business in a proper manner.
Change is not always easy in a business where employees work at different levels, and shareholders aren’t always internal business partners. However, a few basic principles can make any integration plan a success. Make sure to keep all factions of the change involves, including: employees, shareholders, stakeholders and especially The Public.