Successfully Navigating Change

Successfully Navigating Change

Think change is easy? Each year more than 200,000 heart bypass patients are told that altering their lifestyle and eating habits could be lifesaving, yet even in the face of do or die, resistance to change wins. In the workplace, embracing change is also vital, but no matter how you slice it, change is hard – especially when it comes to incorporating a new technology or business process.

With shifting demographics, the altering ways people work, and a global talent shortage, change is part of the regular rhythm of business— and organizations need to adapt their talent management strategies to remain competitive. Industry research shows more than half of all organizations do not yet have an integrated talent management strategy, but as they transition to an integrated talent management approach – or switch providers – being proactive is essential.

How can organizations successfully implement or change systems or processes and prepare HR professionals, managers and employees for change?

Show how things will be better. 
A good change management program provides the support HR professionals, learning and development specialists, hiring managers and employees need to prepare for and embrace change in talent management processes. Help the organization understand the reasons for change and what improvements they can expect. For example, illustrate how the connection between recruiting, onboarding and training will result in better workforce planning, leadership development and operational performance.

Communicate – and then communicate some more.
You can’t over communicate when making changes in how talent is evaluated, developed and retained. Helping employees understand the goals they are expected to achieve, how performance is measured and rewarded, and career development opportunities serve as effective retention tools and contribute to higher levels of engagement. Town hall meetings, webinars, simulations, intranets and company newsletters can all help individuals prepare for change and understand what resources are available to them.

Establish executive support.
Executive sponsorship is critical for successfully navigating change. Define roles and responsibilities to ensure projects remain on schedule. Executive leadership must also serve as a role model as the cascading impact is very significant.

Identify internal change champions.
Helping individuals understand the benefits of a new system or process can cultivate program ambassadors. And, the more individuals champion change, the more likely others will feel confident and lend their support. Organizational readiness is a critical component to change and can help maintain project momentum.

Get over fear of failure.
Change requires a leap of faith that moving forward has greater reward than standing still. However, it is often difficult to know how to change. Providing any necessary training and setting up both formal and informal networks can help the workforce implement change or know what to do once change is in place.

Monitor for success.
Sustainable change initiatives require monitoring internal and external influences to understand where change is working or where adjustments need to be made. Identifying and documenting activities and milestones minimize delays, eliminate things from slipping through the cracks and ensure timelines and milestones are met. If readjusting goals are necessary, be sure to communicate why a delay occurred and the resulting changes. Publishing progress and creating some internal competition on actual usage can also be an interesting way to stimulate adoption.

Organizations that provide HR professionals, hiring managers and employees with training, communication and support can more effectively change the way talent is managed. As with any change initiative, prepare for resistance, but take proactive measures to evolve talent practices to meet business requirements today and in the future.

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