Going Slow with People to Go Fast

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Business transformation presents significant changes to an organization. These changes span from a new customer support channel to a complete overhaul of the operations. The transition could be a journey bombarded with unexpected hurdles, dampening morale and productivity. Most of the time, the technical side of change, which includes the design of the new solution, testing, training and implementation, draws most attention. The people side of change, on the other hand, doesn’t get sufficient consideration. This gap slows down the transition process.

Companies need to slow down and develop a thoughtful plan to help their employees embrace the pending changes. They need to do the following.

  1. Be mindful of current culture

People behave and act in alignment with their values and beliefs. When a change challenges these values and beliefs, they tend to either sit on the fence or reject it. A team which has been rewarded based on results would be hard pressed to adopt process-oriented changes that they perceive would slow them down. To get the team on side, the company needs to position the process changes in a way that facilitate results delivery. The communication and the solution design must be coherent. Otherwise, excuses and resistance lead to delays.

  1. Get employees engaged

Every employee has a different perception of change and his adaptiveness hinges on his readiness to make the transition. It could be scary for some to relinquish control on work that they have been doing for years. They could be stressed about learning the new technology. It is inadequate to rely on periodic announcements. Proper planning on messaging and approach engages employees, helping to ease concerns. When employees become engaged, they are open to making personal adjustments to accommodate change.

Every employee has a different perception of change and his adaptiveness hinges on his readiness to make the transition. Click To Tweet
  1. Provide consistent support

Most transformation initiatives are top-down. They are presented as ‘must do’ for the company to remain relevant and competitive. In order to minimize resistance and facilitate a smooth transition, there is a need for consistent support at all levels of the operations affected. As logical as it sounds, support could be sporadic. Inadequate attention to what kind of support is needed, how it is provided, and the pockets of employees that require most help generate conflicting perceptions about the transformation. The lack of alignment within the management team adds confusion and fear.

It is going to taking more effort to gather the information needed to do proper planning for managing the people side of change. An effective plan prepares the company to better tackle obstacles that spring up along the transformation journey. The lack of it would not only deter progress but could affect the overall outcomes and success of the transformation.

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