What is Change Management? 

In simple terms, change management for businesses means managing business changes. 

As organizations scale, grow, downsize, or corporations restructure, upper management needs to make changes and adjustments to business processes. 

Without a support team, change management can be a challenge. With the help of an expert team of specialty consultants, change management becomes a clear-cut process.

What Types of Changes Can Impact a Business?

On the macro scale, changes might include updating systems and procedures, shifting operational design, or adding or removing entire departments altogether. 

On the micro-scale changes may mean reallocating budgeting and funds, reassigning roles or redefining responsibilities, acquiring new tools or software, or selling assets that are no longer needed. 

For example, suppose you need to introduce a new CMS or POS system due to a shift in the budget, or new service offerings. If executives simply purchase and implement new software without informing the staff that uses it, or you do not offer a training program, chances are there are going to be hiccups and service interruptions as a result. 

In this light, we can see that to make an organization-wide change, advanced thinking and planning are required since most changes will impact a business.

Ultimately, almost any changes can be implemented at an organization, even if it takes some time through a careful, step-by-step process. With effort, the changes can lead to sustainable business success. 

4 Steps to Change Management 

There are four key steps to follow when making changes within a corporation. By following these steps, you can minimize errors, disruptions, or other issues like user errors from staff or customers.

Take a look at these principles for implementing change within an organization:

  1. Understand how change is implemented
  2. Plan accordingly for upcoming changes
  3. Carry out the change
  4. Explain and communicate the change to the involved parties

According to Harvard Business Review, change management can also align with the standards of company culture. This helps your organization and customers feel comfortable with the change.

Understanding Organizational Change

It all starts with understanding. Ask a few questions about potential or impending changes like:

  • What is the purpose of the change you are making? 
  • What are the desired outcomes of this change?
  • Who will be impacted by this change?
  • How can we be prepared to handle this change?

When considering a change to systems or structure, It’s important to establish clear goals and outline the objectives. What are the KPIs to showcase success from the change and what metrics will you use to evaluate them? 

It’s also important to think it through so you can apply foresight and strategy as you implement the change. 

Planning for Change in Your Corporation

With this data in mind, you can begin to plan for the change. Communicate with employees or customers who will be affected by the change. Take steps to mitigate any challenges or issues that may arise in advance. In this way, you truly effectively manage change. 

Though it may be impossible to predict every potential problem, a little planning goes a long way when it comes to smooth transitions.

How to Implement Change in your Organization

Once you’ve developed a plan, you can implement it. 

A key consideration at this stage is timing. How immediately does the change need to occur? If you have plenty of time to apply the change and allow it to take effect, allocate enough time for everyone to comfortably adapt. Offer training seminars, roll out the change in a well-organized schedule, and consider which aspects of the change are necessary at which phase of the transition. 

When your staff and customers are adequately prepared, and all new software or equipment is in place, you can slowly but surely move through the stages of your planned change.

If the change is more urgent, on the other hand, you’ll need to use your time wisely. Organize a clear schedule of events. Even if many facets of the change will overlap it’s okay to implement. Depending on how hastily you need to make the change, you can expect some errors or issues to come up. Though you’ll need to address these unpredictable shifts, keep moving forward with your implementation. 

Regardless of the speed which you plan to implement business change, consider working with an experienced team of consultants to get the job done successfully. This type of support will be beneficial for everyone involved in the change from executives to front-line workers. 

Inform Stakeholders, Staff, and Customers About Organizational Changes

Although it can be helpful to inform those who will be affected by organizational change in advance, it can also be helpful to align all of the backend aspects of the change first, then let involved parties know. This may help to avoid confusion or unnecessary concern or hostility. This will also showcase your commitment to company culture and performance

When you do share the information with stakeholders, staff be thorough and clear. Give everyone the information that is relevant for them, and provide context so they can understand the reason for the change, and more importantly, how it impacts them and what may be expected as a result.

Transforming Your Approach to Business

Making large-scale changes in a corporation may seem daunting, but the good news is that it can be successful if approached with care and diligence. Our team at Hunter Stevens is prepared to support your organization in changes big and small that may impact many.

Whether you need support with getting everyone up to speed, or organization and logistics for a multi-department or multiregional operation, the Hunter Stevens team is prepared to provide support as you implement change. Contact our office to get started.