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- September 8, 2022
Recognizing the need for change and knowing how to make that change successful are two very different skills.change managementStrategy is key, but where to start? It all starts with understanding the types of organizational changes you are making.
What is Organizational Change?
Organizational changes are those that have a significant impact on the organization as a whole. Major changes in personnel, company goals, service offerings, and operations are considered different forms of organizational change. It is a broad category.
Before designing your change management strategy, it is important to determine the type of organizational change. This helps you execute the right change management plan for the best possible results. Knowing the type of organizational change will also help you choose the right one.change management tools.
Why is organizational change management important?
Organizational change is a business necessity. Employees leave and new employees are hired, new teams and departments are created as the company grows and companies adopt new technologies to stay ahead.
The key to productive and successful organizational change is how you manage it. It is vital to keep employees informed and make sure they understand what the changes are and how employees will be affected.
With effective organizational change management, you can keep your business running smoothly during the transition. For example, offereffective traininghelps employees learn new technology faster. That way, they fully embrace the technology and organizational change isn't hampered by support tickets and frustrated users.
By identifying the types of organizational changes you will implement, you can make a plan to keep employees informed. You can solicit feedback as you implement the change and then make adjustments to your change management plan so your team has the support it needs to keep morale high and facilitate the change.
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6 types of organizational change
Different types of organizational change require different strategies. Everything from implementation to communication must be tailored to the type of change to be made.
These are the six most common types of organizational change, along withchange management examplesfor each:
1. Strategic change
Organizations implement strategic changes in their business to achieve objectives, increase competitive advantage in the marketplace, or respond to market opportunities or threats. A strategic change includes making changes to business policies, structure, or processes. Senior management and the CEO often have responsibility for strategic change.
Here are three examples of strategic change in an organization:
- Upgrade your mission as you grow
When businesses are first launched, the initial focus is often lead generation and customer acquisition. However, once the business has an established customer base, the focus may shift to more sales. When the core mission changes, the company mission must also evolve.
Strategic change throughdigital innovationIt refers to the use of skills and resources to develop new ideas or improve existing offerings to meet new and changing customer demands. Focusing on innovation often requires heavy investment in research and development activities and the latest technology.
Restructuring leads organizations to reorganize aspects of their business to survive a massive hit or to maximize their already profitable business. Restructuring may result in a reduction or increase in the workforce. For example, during COVID-19, the tourism and hospitality sectors were the two most affected sectors in terms of layoffs and employee losses.
2. Organizational change centered on people
While all changes affect people, people-focused types of organizational change include instituting new parental leave policies or hiring new employees. When implementing people-centered change, leadership must keep in mind that employees will naturally resist change.
People-centered change requires transparency, communication, effective leadership, and an empathetic approach.
Note: manychange management models, such as theKübler-Ross displacement curveand Satir Change Model, focus specifically on managing emotional reactions to change.
Here are three examples of strategic change in an organization:
- Integration of new hires.
Attracting new team members requires effective onboarding and training, which affects both new hires and established employees. You should start by communicating why you are bringing new people to the team.
Will they lighten the workload? Will they fill theskills gaps? How will they integrate into the current team?
Be prepared to answer the questions above and have a solid plan in place to avoid a backlash. Anticipate concerns such as the extra time it will take to train new employees on existing tools.
- Changes in roles and responsibilities
Job descriptions may evolve over time. Changes in an employee's responsibilities may require additional training orqualificationand team restructuring. Of course, changing routines is a delicate process. It is essential to have a strategy to implement and communicate the change.
People like purposeful change. Communicating the value of change is essential. If you are adding responsibility to someone's role, the employee is more likely to take the news well if he understands the reason behind it.
Consider the following options for announcing the new responsibility:
Option A: "Starting next month, the marketing team will need to use Oracle to create monthly reports on email marketing efforts."
Option B: “Oracle's built-in analytics simplify the process of tracking email marketing efforts and generating reports. Leveraging these analytics will allow us to create detailed reports for customers and provide them with more value. Starting next month, the marketing team will be responsible for creating and delivering reports to clients. ”
Which option do you think would be better received?
If your company suffers massive hiring or dismissals, forcing you to change your operations and internal processes, the situation must be addressed taking into account its impact on the morale of both the dismissed person and the rest.
Give your laid-off employees plenty of time to rehabilitate and leave the company without financial or emotional issues.
On the other hand, the threat of layoffs can generate fear and anxiety among the remaining employees, thus affecting their morale and productivity. Therefore, leadership must be transparent with these employees, communicate the reasons behind these drastic changes, and answer any questions employees may have about the change.
3. Structural change
Structural changes are changes made to the structure of the organization that can result from internal or external factors and generally affect the way the company is managed. Structural changes include major changes to the management hierarchy, team organization, responsibilities assigned to different departments, chain of command, position structure, and administrative procedures.
Circumstances that lead to structural changes include mergers and acquisitions, job duplication, market changes, and process or policy changes. These changes often overlap with people-centric changes, since they directly affect most, if not all, employees.
Here are three examples of strategic change in an organization:
- Fusions and acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions are the most common cause of structural change. For example, suppose Company X decided to merge with Company Y. As part of this merger, duplicate departments are eliminated, employees from both companies are reassigned to new positions, some employees are laid off, new policies and procedures are created. and jobs are eliminated. roles are realigned to fit the new company structure.
Elimination of role redundancies, redefinition of objectives, clear definition of new roles and responsibilities, and technology training are important parts of change management during mergers and acquisitions.
Lewin's Change Management Modelit works well for M&A because it focuses on creating a new status quo. It has three steps: defrost, change and refreeze.
After unfreezing the current processes, move on to the switch. This step should be gradual. That's when strategy is so crucial. Difficult changes, such as eliminating redundancies, require ongoing and open communication. Encourage feedback and listen as much as you talk. Once the changes are in place, "refreeze" or solidify the change as the new status quo.
- The creation of new teams or departments:
The structural change can also apply to minor adjustments like the creation of a new team. If you see that a group of employees has a talent for analysis, you may decide to create a separate team dedicated to reporting.
However, the necessary change in personnel and roles can create some tension. To speed up the process, justify the change with clear reasoning, explain the benefits, and highlight the positive points. It's not about taking responsibility, it's about leveraging each individual's strengths.
- Changes in the organization chart of the company:
Promotions and new roles require organizational chart updates. When you move people around, celebrate wins like promotions and explain adjustments like department mergers.
Structural changes influence the operation of your company as a whole. It's never an easy transition, but consolidating the change as soon as possible can help avoid major problems down the road.
4. Technological change
Increasing market competition and constantly evolving technology lead to technological changes within organizations. Technological change typically involves the introduction of new software or system to improve business processes. However, technology project goals are often inadequately defined and poorly communicated, scaring and frustrating your employees and ultimately leading to resistance.
The management of technological change has to do with the identification of new technologies and the implementation of adigital strategyfor greater productivity and profitability.
Here are two examples of technological change:
- digital transformation
digital transformationIt is defined as the integration of digital technology across all business domains, bringing about fundamental changes in the way a business operates and delivers value to its customers. While technology is the cornerstone of digital transformation, there is a human component to change management that evolves along with your technology. That's why change management should be at the center of your digital transformation vision.
Manage change with empathy and help your employees understand how you can improve their working lives. Additionally, it's important to allow your employees adequate time frames to adapt not only to new technologies, but also to the new agile, customer-centric, and design-thinking mindset.
Additionally, organizations must invest in digital technologies to manage change initiatives. Leverage digital adoption platforms likeWhatfixprovide effective training to employees andreclassificationprograms for their employees.
AJUMPhelps you provide in-app guidance on different business applications through a variety of formats, such as step-by-step instructions, tips, videos, and written guides. You also track the progress of your change initiative and collect feedback from your team.
- Introduction of a new technology
Technology was designed to make our lives easier, but learning curves can make it difficult to implement technology-related changes. People generally prefer to stick with what they know.
When introducing a new technology, you need to have a solid transition plan. People want to know why the technology is needed, what makes it better than previous solutions, and how it will support them through the transition.
For example, if you plan to move from an outdated CRM to Salesforce, start by justifying the change. Explain that Salesforce will allow the team to manage leads while interacting with current customers. Be sure to point out key benefits like keeping marketing, customer relationships, and in-depth analytics all in one place.
You can build confidence in the change by explaining that the transition will be supported by various change management tools that offer features like in-application training, weekly check-ins, and an internal chat to handle questions.
5. Unplanned change
Unplanned change is defined as an action required after unexpected events. An unplanned change cannot be predicted, but it can be managed through effective change management.
Here are two examples of unplanned changes:
- Moving to remote work
Situations like the unexpected mass shift of employees to remote work due to the virus outbreak require effective organizational change management skills. Develop a well-defined change management strategy that specifies the purpose, goal, purpose, and direction in which you want the change to go. The strategy defines the resources and characteristics of the change, the deadlines, the risks, the limitations and the possible resistance of the employees.
Some essential strategies companies can use to manage remote workers during change include:
- Communicate more often and in depth to avoid misunderstandings and assumptions.
- Have the tools and processes in place to increase employee engagement virtually.
- Prioritize learning and development to continually educate employees on the latest technology throughemployee training software.
- Use change managers to help individual employees adjust to the remote culture.
- Provide flexible work hours for remote employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Loss of critical personnel
An unplanned move can also occur if another company or a competitor woos one of your most valuable team members with an exciting promotion or higher salary. in the case ofemployee turnoverin critical functions, succession planning is the most effective way to minimize the effect of such change.
ASuccession planidentifies critical positions, future staffing needs, documenting and transferring key knowledge, and the people who can fill these future roles within an organization, and helps develop action plans accordingly.
6. Corrective change
Corrective changes are reactionary. This type of change occurs when a problem is identified and a solution needs to be implemented. Because these changes are designed to solve a problem; call for immediate action.
Reactionary change may not be ideal, but it is inevitable. The benefit of corrective change is that judging your success is quick and simple with just one question: was the problem resolved or not?
Here are two examples of corrective changes:
- Address customer communication issues
There is a big difference between simply managing customer communication and having an effective communication strategy. If what you are doing is not working, you must adapt quickly.
Game company Activision noticed that every time it released a game, customers had a lot of questions and feedback. Agents were prepared for a wave of incoming calls, but Activision realized that its customers preferred to go directly to social media. They had to change their process.
Activision used Salesforce to implement Marketing Cloud's Social Studio. Marketing Cloud automatically tracks relevant tweets and social media conversations and uploads them to Service Cloud. Customers can now be directed to self-service solutions or connected to a live agent.
“It's an incredible change,” Tim Rondeau, Activision's senior director of customer service, told Salesforce. “We are reducing costs and increasing satisfaction at the same time.”
It's easy to use stories like this as a reason for a change, but don't forget to include the responses for WIIFM and WDIMTM. If you announced a similar change to your customer support team, you need to focus more on how it affects them personally.
In this case, the WIIFM is that employees will spend less time on repetitive questions. The WDIMTM is that they will need to be trained on Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
- Provide more training to new employees
Highly inefficient processes often lead to corrective changes. New employees may have difficulty learning internal tools and software. As a result, they are turning to established officials with questions. Time is wasted and everyone ends up frustrated.
In this case, the corrective change may include a combination of auser integrationapplication training program, a company wiki, orknowledge basefor basic company knowledge and an onboarding manual with knowledge resources that promote self-guided learning.
Corrective changes start with a problem and end with a solution.
It sounds simple, but because these changes are reactionary, they can often involve some trial and error. Quick action means you won't have as much time to plan or transition. Strategy is put into action through change monitoring. The corrective change is only successful if the identified issue has been resolved.
5 ways to ensure successful organizational change
Now that you've identified the type of organizational change, here are some tips to ensure successful organizational change.
1. Vision and clear goals
It is critical to understand the reasons for the change, how it will affect business results, and when it will be considered successful.
Formulating and sharing an understandable purpose, vision, and objectives helps employees and leaders understand the “why” of change and is critical to the overall success of implementing a change.
It's impossible to change everything at once, so it's critical to prioritize the issues you want to address first. For example, deploy three new business applications one after the other, not all at once.
3. Get buy-in from your entire organization
It is essential to include all key stakeholders, from leadership and management to executives, to minimize an organization's resistance to change. This helps employees feel heard, included, and valued, allowing any conflicts to be revealed early in an implementation project and resolved quickly.
Develop a written communication plan to inform all stakeholders of the change. The plan should address all concerns, including what the new business will look like. Communication should be two-way to give employees the opportunity to ask questions and share concerns.
4. Create a change implementation plan
Successful change implementation requires a detailed plan to systematically highlight critical milestones. For an effortless implementation, you need to plan for all these aspects: project scope, integrations, resources, communication, time, cost, acquisition, and risk. A practical implementation plan accelerates the pace of change implementation by anticipating and overcoming barriers and resistance to change.
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5. Focus on training and support
On-demand training and support are vital to reinforcing change. You can implement different change management tools that provide training, build knowledge bases, track progress, etc.
For example, implement adigital adoption platformto help users effortlessly switch from one tool to another. DAPs enable employee training on any new business software or application through contextual in-app tutorials, bubble tips, videos, written guides, and embedded knowledge bases.
Take control of organizational change with Whatfix
Navigating organizational change is a multi-step process. Whatfix helps you scale changes across the enterprise, improve user engagement, and drive user adoption. The platform makes it easy for users to switch from one tool to another through contextual in-app learning with self-service help modules.
For example, if you are transitioning from traditional software toWorkdayAs your new human capital management software, you can implement Whatfix DAP to provide in-application guidance to your employees. The digital adoption tool will support the change by helping users integrate Workday quickly and easily. Also, with the Whatfix DAP, you can provide guidance through various formats such as step-by-step tutorials, balloon tips, videos, and written guides.
Are you curious to know more?Schedule a free demowith us today!
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Disha is an engineer turned marketer with a background in technology and the world of marketing. She is passionate about writing and communicating the voice of a brand. She currently works as a Content Marketer at Whatfix, helping organizations accelerate production adoption by spreading awareness through their content. Her background of experience combines content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, email marketing and copywriting.
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