How To Overcome Barriers To Organizational Change
Organizational change drives growth and success in the business world. Organizations that don’t seek change and innovation will eventually become stagnant and unable to compete with those that welcome change.
Change doesn’t happen by itself. It’s a process that requires planning, implementation and flexibility. You can ensure your success by identifying any potential barrier to organizational change and developing relevant solutions, so these barriers don’t slow you down.
Here are three common barriers to organizational change and solutions for overcoming these obstacles.
Planning is crucial for implementing a successful organizational change. It will help you prioritize, define the scope of the change, and restructure your different processes. Here are elements of a solid plan:
- Measurable goals. Decide what you want to accomplish and how the success will be measured.
- Assigning new roles. Key employees should oversee the different aspects and steps of the change.
- Impact on your structure and processes.
- Impact on your customers.
- A formal sequence. A step-by-step plan you can follow to prepare for the transition and implement the organizational change.
- Timeline. Create a timeline with milestones and measurable goals to meet along the way.
- Ongoing evaluation. Schedule regular reviews of the change process and make adjustments to your strategy if needed.
It won’t be easy to plan every detail of an organizational change, so be flexible and make any necessary adjustments.
Lack of Communication
Management needs to communicate about the change to prevent rumors, speculation and fear. A widespread organizational change means the environment employees are familiar with will no longer exist. Some will worry about the future of their job. Address these concerns early on. Use these tactics to ease transitions:
- Regular updates should be provided throughout the implementation of the change, and employees should get the opportunity to share suggestions and ask questions. They will embrace the change if they are kept informed and feel that their ideas are valued.
- Put change agents in charge of communication. Organize a company-wide presentation or a seminar for each department to present the change.
- Multidisciplinary meetings can become a powerful agent of change. These brainstorming sessions will result in some innovative ideas and will improve cohesion between teams besides encouraging everyone to speak up and play an active role in the change process.
Lack Of Consensus
A successful organizational change requires efforts from everyone involved. Employees have to accept that some things might not go smoothly at first. Expect uncertainties and unforeseen barriers. You might need to rethink how things are done, develop new training programs, and allow for a period of adjustment.
You should establish a consensus. Management should strongly support the change, play a part in planning for the change, and communicating with employees. If you feel that management is not entirely supportive or involved, focus your efforts on convincing key people and gaining their unwavering support.
If management is adverse to change, implement different strategies to transform the way key people view innovation:
- Seek new learning opportunities or outside help from a consulting firm to address some of the uncertainties that are making management averse to innovation.
- Present the benefits of the change regarding concrete results, such as case studies from similar companies. This can help sway management if there is a fear that the change won’t result in a positive outcome.
- If management isn’t on board with the new project due to past failed experiences, learn from the mistakes your organization has made, and address these specific risks in the planning stage of the change.
Once management is on board with the project and establishes a direction for the change, employees will feel more confident about the future. The change will become part of the company culture, and clear goals and policies should be created to create a frame of references that will support employees throughout this process.
Establishing a consensus and getting management involved in the process will boost morale across your entire organization, improve communication, and will help establish the change as a company-wide priority.
Reservations regarding organizational change are perfectly understandable. Change requires an investment of time and resources and a careful assessment of risks. However, organizational change is a necessity in a competitive business environment.
You can ensure that the investment of time and resources you make will pay off by studying risks in advance and choosing relevant strategies. If you are looking at implementing significant change in your organization, start by establishing a multidisciplinary team to brainstorm on this topic and get input from employees with different perspectives and backgrounds.
For all your organizational change and planning needs, you can partner with HJR Global. We help business owners find solutions to keep their business move forward, from the planning stage through to securing financing. Contact HJR Global today for more information.
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