Implementing change management success on the first try is not an easy action. Change management is a rather arduous journey that needs acute attention. And this journey is often obstructed by several hurdles.
The change managers face seven primary challenges while guiding the organization through innovative transformations.
Here, we will learn about the seven challenges of change management and how to tackle them. But before we move on to the challenges, we must first know a little more about change management.
Change Management is a process or method in which a company analyses the current state of the organization and designs ideas to implement change within. The ultimate goal of change management is to push the organization towards a better and better future. The change management process includes supporting employees, adapting necessary steps to bring in change, monitor the before and after activities of change implementation, etc.
How does the Change Management Process Work?
Change management processes are not always much complicated. Although it is very comprehensive, a reasonably detailed change management process is more likely to succeed than others. There are several change management process models. These models are more or less the same. All change management follows an almost similar path to success. The only differences are the details.
A change management process usually works in the order as mentioned below:
- Identify the needed changes and use specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goal setting to plan further business processes.
- Find different ideas and methods of implementing changes in the organization
- Present the goals, and business needs to the stakeholders
- Create a change management project
- Establish openness in communication throughout the organization
- Gather the needed resources and tools
- Change management also deals with the aftermath of an implemented change.
Now that we know the order let’s explore the top barriers of such management.
The 7 barriers of change management
- Lack of involvement of the employees
This is one of the most common barriers to change management. Most employees have a fear of change. Under the employees involved in the process, they are highly likely to resist the change.
To overcome this hurdle, try to include as many employees as possible in the process of implementing the change. Provides relevant and sufficient resources to make them more comfortable and ready for the upcoming changes.
- Organizational resistance
Resistance against change can start from any part of the organization. Executives can be reluctant to spend money. Departments may refuse to recognize organizational means. And as mentioned before, resistance is more likely to come from the employees.
The only solution to this problem is transparency. Hanging out as much information and knowledge about the needed changes should be provided to everyone involved in the organization. If needed, training programs and meetings should be held to resolve the underlying issues causing resistance.
- No prior knowledge of the current state.
Change is almost impossible without prior knowledge of the current state of any issue. However, several change managers try to introduce and implement change without properly assessing and understanding the current situations of the organization.
The only solution to overcome this is to analyze and understand the current issues within the organization. Then move on to analyzing the observations and formulate a change project based upon that.
- Organizational complexity
Organizational complexities include the complex processes of the organizations, production systems, etc. All these can resist change as it is very complex and hard to adapt to the changes while using complex processes.
It is necessary to learn a skillful and keen approach to tackle the organization’s fast growth and complexities.
- Lack of effective communication strategies
Several organizations lack a proper effective communication system. Just announcing changes without any further explanation can invite resistance from the different tiers of the organization.
Employees should not learn about upcoming changes through only announcements. Change managers should make sure that the leaders of the company should also explain how the change might affect the workers of the organization.
- The culture-shifting plan
Sometimes the change managers are not aware of how the changes affect people. It might be because they are more involved in planning administrative structures and strategies, meeting work responsibilities, formatting work reporting strategies, etc.
The only way to overcome this barrier is to understand the organizational needs. It is also necessary to understand the emotions and opinions of the employees.
The change managers have to put their best to prevent any strong resentment. Resentment usually originates from the old taboos and traditions of the workplace. So, before implementing any needed change, the employee’s opinions should be taken into account to overcome the barrier of a cultural shift.
- Implementing new technologies
Creating even just a few changes can be a big othersome for people of all levels of the organization. One such hurdle is implementing technological changes.
In today’s world, technology is improving and changing every moment. Simple changes such as new equipment, tools, and process of the workflow can change the way of conduct in the organization.
Without a well-organized plan, any disruption in the changing process can decrease work productivity and lead to frustration among the different tiers of the organization. Hence, using new automated technological systems are needed to improve workflow and reduce workload. New technologies are usually introduced in an organization to keep up with the rest of the world while running fast and reducing the time allocated for training and transition.
Slowly phasing technological transformation can help to overcome the issue. Introduce new technologies little by little over a few weeks or months. This will help to avoid the 70% failure rate of change management initiatives, according to Harvard Business Review. Spreading the introduction of new technologies over a long period can also spare some extra time for testing and identifying any developmental issues.
Achieving Noteworthy Organizational Change can be a Challenge.
Implementing change becomes smoother with the knowledge of the barriers of change management. Eventually, with proper efforts of change management, everyone will embrace new changes with open arms and open hearts.
Change is a complicated and inevitable process. Change can also be the prime catalyst for improvement and competition.