Change Management: The Key to Improving Efficiency | Blue Ocean Academy
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change management

All organizations have changed many processes to continue functioning in the current situation. But, are your employees adjusting well to the new changes? Or are you seeing some repercussions of changes in your organization?

Change is the only constant in life. The year 2020 has proved it right to the entire world. Some sudden changes have turned our professional and personal life upside down. We are forced to live, work and interact in new ways that are unfamiliar and strange to us. However, we don’t have any other option but to cope with the change as our survival is at stake.

COVID-19 has made us learn several things and threw light on the need for being prepared for an unexpected change. These changes have redefined several things including the workplace. All organizations have changed many processes to continue functioning in the current situation. But, are your employees adjusting well to the new changes? Are you seeing some repercussions of changes in your organization?

Lack of cooperation from the employees is an issue that can hinder the smooth functioning of the organization and even result in a huge drop in revenue. While executing changes in the workplace, it is natural to find some hurdles in the beginning. The responsible leaders should prepare the employees and solve their confusion while implementing change. So, change management is a vital part of the business that helps to execute the new decisions while making employees accept them and work together towards the goal.

What is change management?

Change management is the systematic process of managing employees while implementing changes in an organization for better business outcomes. It involves employee engagement to ensure that they can accept the change and work towards the betterment of the business.

Barriers to change management

HR managers are often responsible for implementing changes in an organization and ensuring that the employees are able to shift their way of working. They must be aware of the different barriers to change management to make a successful strategy for organizational change. Following are the major barriers to change management:

  • Limited understanding of the change and its impact
  • Lack of clarity in communication
  • Pessimistic attitude of employees
  • Failure to involve employees in the process
  • Lack of support from the management
  • Lack of commitment to change

Change management process

Change management should have clear steps that a leader can follow to drive a change in his/her organization. It usually occurs in three different stages. Following are the important steps in change management:

  • Identify the need for change

The first and foremost step is to identify the factor that needs to be changed. Then, the leaders in the organization can prepare an efficient strategy to implement the change.

  • Prepare for change

Even when you have identified the need for change, it doesn’t mean that the other employees in the organization have realized it. They may be comfortable with the current system and find it difficult to accept a change. Be prepared to hear the question, ‘what’s wrong with the current system?’ People always love routines and hate to accept new ways of doing work. Communicate effectively and convince every team member so that you are on the same page.

  • Implement the change

Implementation is one of the most important steps in the change management process. It is advisable to make a simple process and divide the strategy into simple actionable components to implement the change step by step. Involve all your team members in every step and give them roles in the implementation process.

The Four Room Apartment Model of Change

The Four Room Apartment model of change is a theory developed by Swedish psychologist Claes Janssen that focuses on the things that happen in an organization during transition. The four rooms show the psychological condition of people in each stage of change. The four rooms are contentment, denial, confusion and renewal. As per the model, individuals begin with the contentment stage and move anti-clockwise. Though all these phases of changes are natural, being stuck in any of the stages for long can impact the progress of the organization.

  1. Contentment

This is the stage when people are happy with the current situation in the organization and the system that they have been following for long.

2. Denial

Suddenly, when the management or any of the employees come up with a change, individuals tend to deny it or resist the change.

3. Confusion

After denial, the employees will understand that the decision is taken and they need to respond to it. Though they know that they have to accept the change, they will be confused about how to do it.

4. Renewal

In the renewal stage, people will be open to new ideas and willing to try new techniques. The renewal room has a positive vibe as it consists of people who are working together on a new path. Once the renewal stage subsides, individuals will again reach the contentment stage where everyone is comfortable.

Things to do in each room

If the leaders are aware of these stages, they can accompany the employees in each stage and manage them effectively to lead them to the renewal stage.

  • In contentment

Observe the changing trends and tune the system.

  • In denial

Don’t compel the employees to accept the changes. You can share the information calmly.

  • In confusion

Set short-term goals, share information and work together.

  • In renewal

Make an effective strategy and structure and encourage people to work towards achieving their goals.

What is change management training

Change management is the main catalyst for the development and growth of an organization. Individual, as well as organizational changes, can improve efficiency and redefine how work was done earlier. Change management training can make your leaders understand the process of change, how people react to it, and the optimal way of managing people to get the best results. You can learn ways to manage change and drive sustainable transformation in your organization. 

Most people resist change as it questions their present working style and forces them to step out of their comfort zones. Changes are inevitable for the employees and also for the organization. The more you know about the process of change, the easier it will be for accepting the change.