The saying goes the only constant in life is change. Change in the business is inevitable, however 2020 introduced change that was unpredictable and, for many organisations, devastating. COVID-19 brought numerous challenges to the forefront and one way of ensuring that businesses and employees can overcome these obstacles is through implementing effective change management processes.

Change management is a sustainable process that help employees accept a new way of doing things that enables a business to successfully initiate change and achieve business goals. It reinforces the belief that for successful change to take place in the business, employees need to be properly prepared, equipped and supported by change leaders.

LET US LOOK AT THE 5 REASONS…

Why your business needs to implement change management to overcome challenges brought on by COVID-19. From overcoming the stress of retrenchment to achieving business goals in a time of uncertainty, the change management process is beneficial for the successful implementation of change.

1. OVERCOMING THE STRESS OF RETRENCHMENT AND RESTRUCTURING

Retrenchment is stressful for all employees, even those that were not retrenched or affected, as it creates anxiety and uncertainty regarding their place in the business. With the impact of COVID-19 on businesses around the world, retrenchment and restructuring is a hard reality.

A holistic view of the HR retrenchment process and the place for change management is illustrated below.

HOLISTIC VIEW OF THE HR RETRENCHMENT PROCESS & THE PLACE FOR CHANGE MANAGEMENT

2. Assisting employees with a new way of work

COVID-19 had a physical impact on the work environment. This ranges from physical social distancing, constant sanitising, and the increase of digital channels and technology for communication. This increases stress for all stakeholders. Here change management processes are invaluable as the methods and tools would help employees to feel a part of this change and stay engaged.

If employees can feel aligned with the culture, strategy, and values of the business, they are more likely to feel secure in their new environment ensuring stability in the workplace. Research done by Prosci shows that 76% of CEOs reported being able to adapt to change is a competitive advantage illustrating the importance of adjust to a new way of work.

3. Building morale and confidence in the workplace

The previous two points unfortunately encourages low morale and reduced confidence amongst employees. Add fear from external influences such as negative media reports, fake news and it may become difficult to unite employees towards a common purpose.

Change management offers clear direction. The change process encourages leaders to motivate employees with clear communication to implement change on all levels of the business. The Institute for Public Relations found that 70% of change efforts fail due to resistance from employees showing how important an integrated approach is.

“Without motivation, people won’t help and the effort goes nowhere.”

John P. Kotter, best-selling author, change management guru and thought leader

Building morale and confidence using a change management process results in a stronger workforce that is focused on efficiency. Ensuring that employees are committed to change is crucial to overcome challenges brought on by COVID-19. A business cannot adapt to a changing world if its employees are not willing to change with it.

4. Offering a clear process to follow going forward

The change management process gives businesses direction and guarantees the successful implementation of change. It offers employees a clear focus on how to move forward from the challenges of COVID-19.

It is important to understand that change is not linear and can be an organic fit for your business. There are various change management models that can be followed including Kotter’s 8 step process for leading change.

Kotter’s 8 step process begins with creating a sense of urgency that resonates with employees and ends with instituting change successfully. Following the process guides employees through the process and makes it easier for them to adopt and stick to the organisational changes that are true to the mission and values of the business.

5. Achieving business goals in a time of uncertainty

The chances are great that businesses changed their goals due to COVID-19. It is important to ensure that all stakeholders in the business clearly understand the new goals and integrate them into the business strategy.

This shift in focus can be integrated across the business with the help of a change management process. Prosci reported that excellent change management initiatives are six times more likely to meet objectives, which showcases its benefits when achieving business goals.

“Excellent change management initiatives are six times more likely to meet objectives, which showcase its benefits when achieving business goals.”

– Source: Prosci

Successful change management can result in a 143% return on investment as stated by the Graziado Business Review. In a time of uncertainty, an increase in return on investment allows for business goals to be met.

Conclusion

Change management is important to ensure successful organisational changes. With COVID-19 and the changes it brings, it is important not to overlook the importance of the change management process to ensure that all employees are prepared for change and properly guided through it.

At Geared2Solve we can help you navigate change in an unsteady environment with our communication, training, development, and facilitation services. Whether you’re looking for help with individual, group or organisational development, we can assist in change implementation.