In the current climate organisations are experiencing increasing pressure to improve productivity and reduce costs as ever tougher market demands are being placed on them.
These pressures are causing organisations to fundamentally rethink how they operate and as a consequence what they need to see differently from their managers and staff to survive.
However, no matter how clear the imperative for change might be, for it to be successful there are a number of prerequisites that need to be in place. For example:
- There should be a clear vision for change and everyone must understand what it means for them personally (e.g. will they have a job after the change).This should include key milestones and targets for the change journey.
- Senior managers demonstrate their commitment to the change by regularly ‘walking the talk’.
- Managers and staff understand what is expected of them and are clear about what they need to deliver, for example changes to working practice, increased productivity etc.
- The way that managers and staff are measured and managed is congruent with the changes needed.
- People are involved in the change and can help shape the outcomes within their areas of responsibility.
- There are regular two way communications. Individuals are listened to and their expectations are managed effectively.
- Managers have the skills, capability and confidence to manage the reaction to the change both in themselves and their team.
- Everyone is encouraged to behave in line with the changes and consequential actions are taken if they don’t.
- Individuals have the personal capacity to implement the changes as well as doing their ‘day job’.
- The changes needed to existing people and business policies, procedures andmeasures are clear and known.
To address these issues, it is vital that the organisation identifies and plans the key interventions that are needed to ensure the implementation of the planned change is successful.
A key aspect of this that is often overlooked is the ability of managers to lead change and staff to absorb it. Managers and staff therefore need to be given the appropriate training and development to enable them to develop their confidence, skills and behaviour and adapt to their new roles. In this way managers and staff will be given the right tools to make the necessary changes and ensure that the changes required by the organisation are successfully delivered and maintained.