Quick Pitch: Effective Use of the Change Up

Quick Pitch: Effective Use of the Change Up

Robert Snoddy, Senior Communications Strategist

Your company has decided to integrate the latest version of a software operating system, or it is rolling out new initiatives designed to increase work productivity while ensuring optimal success and visibility in a crowded and convoluted market place.

What is the best approach for convincing employees that these changes are necessary? How do you sell them on the value, while bringing awareness to the potential risks involved in their deployment?

Guiding and managing change in today’s fast-evolving business environment can be a challenging and monumental undertaking. It is essential to minimize disruptions to the day-to-day operations and negative effects on stakeholders. Resistance to change usually results from a fear of the unknown. Employees who simply want to maintain status quo often balk at the idea of any change in business process because they fear it may result in a loss of status, pay, or comfort. Nearly every employee, at one time or another, in the working world has suggested a change in business process, and despite its potential merit, has experienced pushback from those partial to “the way it has always been.”

Another common barrier to change is that the nature of the work may inherently be about protecting the status quo. Accounting, mission support, and many other operations functions are focused on maintaining workflow, balancing responsibilities, and preventing mistakes. Marketing and sales departments, on the other hand, are more likely to embrace change because their work requires change to succeed.

Change Management not only brings an understanding of new processes and practices to all stakeholders, but it also sells the benefits of implementing and adopting a “new way” forward.

A high-level approach to Change Management, “ACT” can be grouped as follows:

Assess

  • Conduct stakeholder and impact analysis.
  • Understand the requirement and associated training needs.
  • Develop a communication plan to promote buy in.

Communicate

  • Develop clear, consistent and ongoing messaging in multiple vehicles (emails, newsletters, and Intranet) to inform stakeholders about the new system functionality and process.
  • Schedule regular meetings to provide project status updates and answer end users’ questions during the course of the project lifecycle.

Train

  • Customize training materials and programs for the key processes of the new system rollout.
  • Conceive role-based training to allow end users to see the relevance of the process in their daily workflow. A detailed curriculum maps the session to help identify end-user roles.
  • Train a group of employees, or end users, early in the process to tout the benefits of the new system and to train their colleagues moving forward.

Change Management expert Garrett Gitchell, addresses a variety of timely aspects of the Change Management process on the Business Week Change Management blog. In particular, he discusses the importance of establishing and sticking with a pace for the process to ensure stakeholder trust and support at all levels.

Establishing, tracking, and meeting timelines is critical and just as much a part of being transparent during the process. Avoiding the appearance of hidden agendas keeps employees engaged and sold on the benefits of this new, and more often than not unknown, development in their day-to-day operations.

A strong Change Management plan provides a roadmap for how change will be executed within the organization and can be extraordinarily beneficial for the employee and employer. Failure to provide the necessary resources to communicate the Change Management project and handle the process can be detrimental to the project and company.

Information Experts has the knowledge and resources to guide its clients (both private and
public sector) through every stage and aspect of the Change Management process. Our talented staff will work with leadership to identify your company needs, communicate the benefits of the change, develop the curriculum, and conduct the training to ensure your employees have the tools they need to maximize their job performance.

Robert Snoddy
Senior Communications Strategist

For more than a decade, Robert has worked with private and public sector clients at conceiving change management, marketing, communications and media outreach campaigns resulting in an exceptionally successful track record.

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