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For most organisations, change is a crucial element of survival and long-term success. However, without sufficient preparation, it is all too easy succumb to problems that should be avoidable and end up impeding the change process.
Below is a selection of key pitfalls to avoid during organisational transformation:
Not addressing resistance
It’s not possible to be aware of all sources of resistance to change; however, it is far better to anticipate objections than spend time putting out fires. Having a plan for how to overcome resistance to change when it inevitably occurs is a vital part of any successful change management strategy.
Lack of communication
A fundamental cause of resistance is a lack of communication. Change management needs to include and be tailored to suit every level of the workforce so it enables people working in different parts of the organisation to understand how the transformation will affect, and ultimately benefit, them individually.
Making promises you can’t keep
In the pursuit of employee engagement and participation in change processes, many change leaders make the mistake of asking for feedback about issues that they can’t address. If you are not looking or able to make significant changes to particular areas of your business, don’t ask for employee feedback on them — it will only lead to dissatisfaction and frustration.
Not enough leadership
It’s easy to focus too much on management and not enough on leadership. But employees will need guidance and someone to look to in order for change to be effective.
Not enough employee involvement
Leaders must in turn actively involve the people most affected by the change – employees. This will help ensure the whole workforce is on board with the changes and ready to embrace them as a team.
Focusing only on the long term
The main reason companies enact change is to bolster their long-term success. However, implementing change effectively is a lengthy process. Break down the vision into shorter-term goals and communicate successes every time a new target is met. This will keep all levels of your workforce motivated and invested in the change, and maintain the momentum required for the desired long-term success.
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