Change management is a term often used in a business context. It comes from the field of IT service management and refers to the changes in the IT infrastructure done in a way that ensures standardized protocol is followed for handling changes. In the IT sector, this is a specialised area and requires expert professionals. Which is why there are many change management certification programs run by universities for such professionals. An IT professional can get a change management certification from online education portals as well.
However, change management is not limited to IT professionals only. It can be applied to any company that is undergoing any change. The change could be in the processes, technologies, leadership or anything else. Successful change management helps minimize any adverse impact of the change. Change management is a continuous process for most organizations. It is often reactive and unpredictable in nature. An ideal change management strategy will ensure that its low profile and the employees do not even realise it is happening. This will prove how efficiently the change management was done.
As a professional, if you are interested in entering the area of change management, you do need to understand the goals of such an activity. It is a process which enables an organization’s employees and stakeholders adopt an organizational change in as smooth a manner as possible. The change can happen in the entire company or a vertical. A change manager works in consensus with the manager of different verticals and projects to effectively carry on the process.
There are numerous ways in which change management can happen in an organization. It depends on what is the goal behind the change management. The most common goals are –
- Increasing the returns on investment
Sometimes organizations spend a fortune in updating their systems and tools so that it may result in a more robust process, quicker turn around time or better products etc. However, just by buying and deploying better technology, the company cannot be sure of getting to the end objective. It needs to align the employees as well. For example, if a new tool is installed, the employees must be taught how to use it effectively to get the best out of the tool. One of the most important goals of change management is to let the organization’s employees and stakeholders imbibe the new change.
- Increasing employee motivation
Employees often get used to a routine. They get accustomed to the tools and technologies used in the workplace. When a new tool or technology or a new way of working is introduced in the company, they are resistant to trying it. In such a case, there may not be a real constraint in working in a new way and it may only be a mental block. The employees need to be motivated to try it and trained so that their initial feelings of resistance fade away.
- Ensuring smoother transition
There are some organizational changes that affect the workings of the organization in a big way. For example, a merger or acquisition is bound to affect the working dynamics of the internal as well as external stakeholders of the organization. Employees may feel insecure about their future in the organization or the tasks that they should be performing. Similarly, the company’s stakeholders such as distributors or retailers might feel confused about whether they should continue working for them or not. In this case, organizations need to quickly communicate and ensure no damage happens in the company or in the market.
- Helps maintain momentum
One of the targets of effective change management is to ensure that the company does not lose focus from its goals and strategies. Hence, it needs to continue with the momentum it was going on before the change. As part of the strategy for change management, managers might plan to align the performance expectations of the employees accordingly. The company can also assist the employees for any training or counselling to ensure that the momentum is maintained.
- Creates a sense of urgency
An objective for change management can also be to create empathy among the employees of the company towards the company. For this, the employees need to be communicated about the issues the company faces, the strategic vision of the organization and the need to bring about change. For example, a change in organizational structure was needed so that the company can focus on a new field of business to tackle competition in the market.
In the end, the reason behind the change management can be anything for an organization but its role is critical in every company. It helps to streamline processes after changes, ensures no disruption happens and keeps the employees on the same page as the organization.