Implementing change is a difficult task, regardless of the size of your organization. Getting your employees to break old habits and adopt new routines can be a tall order, especially if your team doesn’t understand why they are being asked to change. Without proper care, attempting to implement change can cause resistance and feelings of resentment to develop. Taking the time to first set a foundation for change is a crucial factor that will impact your organization’s success.
Check out these seven ways on how to implement change in an organization:
1. Develop a strategy to implement change
Change is much easier to implement within a stable organization structure. When your team is left to figure things out on their own, it’s easy for them to fall back into their old habits. Part of learning how to implement change in an organization requires designing a strategy for creating clear lines of communication between everyone involved.
Take the time to establish how you will track progress and how you will deliver feedback. Finding ways to make it easy to maintain the desired change is a crucial part of creating lasting change in an organization.
2. Get everyone involved to implement change
One of the best change implementation methods is by empowering them with the tools they need to thrive in their new roles. Providing structured training to your team will ensure they have the skills and knowledge to execute and maintain the desired changes. Ensuring your employees feel heard and feel confident in their abilities is a great way to create momentum behind new changes in your organization.
When developing your strategy on how to implement change, it’s important to consider which behaviors and skills are required to achieve your desired results. By answering these questions, you can find the most effective training methods to equip your team for success in a new direction.
3. Define the objectives of the change
Establishing clear objectives, standards, and roles are crucial factors when it comes to implementing change. In order to get your team to rally behind a single cause, they have to understand the role they play and the desired results you wish to create.
People are naturally resistant to change, especially if there are unknown factors in the situation. Answering the questions “why do we need to change” and “why is this change required” while presenting the change will help you quell initial reluctance to change.
4. Create a support structure for change
One of the best ways on how to implement change is to ensure your team members feel supported. In addition to building job-specific skills, it’s important your employees feel emotionally supported during times of change. Sometimes, organizational change can cause redundancies in people’s roles.
Helping your employees cope with the change and equipping them with the skills to thrive in their new role is a powerful way you can keep new changes going in your organization. Before implementing any desired changes, it’s worth taking the time to analyze the impact of the change and who the change will affect the most.
Putting measures in place to support those affected the most is a powerful way to get your team supporting the new changes and contributing to the new momentum.
5. Start with change in a small group
One smart method of spreading change throughout an organization is by starting with small groups. Momentum is a powerful factor that can get changes to last; however, it’s difficult to create momentum when attempting to change large groups.
As previously mentioned, many people are initially opposed to change, which makes your job much harder. Starting with small groups and proving that the change works is the best way to get people on board. Get the leaders and strong personalities in your organization involved in these small groups, as change will eventually stem from them. Starting with small groups is a great way to create consensus around your proposed initiatives.
6. Mobilize your team around a single cause
Giving your team a single purpose to get behind is an effective way on how to implement change. A clear purpose or cause serves as a guide people can refer to when they are unsure of what to do next. This purpose needs to extend beyond just making money for the organization. Finding ways to show how your changes can impact real people is a great way to get employees invested in their work.
7. Use action to create momentum
Fear of the unknown is a common factor that stops change in organizations. Action is a powerful tool you can use to create a few quick wins and show your team that the changes are worthwhile. Being ready to quickly implement action steps will prevent your team from worrying about unknown factors or diving too deep into details that can stagnate organizational change.