Implementing change is a very important way to develop. This can be as an individual or as a group.
When it comes to the workplace, we can often be so busy with our everyday tasks that we overlook and ignore some important things that need to be changed.
So, how do we implement changes in the workplace? The answer will depend on what role you have. If it’s your business – the steps will be different to if you’re an employee.
This guide will talk about the steps to take as both. So, let’s explore ways to implement change in the workplace.
Table of Contents
What Is Change And Why Is Change Important?
As a business, it’s important that you know how to keep your business operations running smoothly and allow your business to continue on a period of growth and development.
As an employee, flagging some areas that require development or change to improve the other employee’s productivity or everyday operations is crucial in keeping your work life and the business happy.
And remember – this can mean happy customers too!
Implementing change in essence refers to when a business owner will come up with an entirely new strategy or business vision, which will normally change the structure and operations of the business.
If an employee has flagged up an area that requires improvement – acting on this can be a very basic way to implement change.
However, implementing normally involves brand new equipment, a change in the management system, and putting in new measures and regulations that aim to develop the business and help with its growth.
What Benefits Come From Implementing Change?
The main reason a business will implement changes is to improve the efficiency of the business when it aims to fulfil its ideas and goals, but it can also be done after the business has decided to move in a different direction.
This doesn’t just happen in business either. Politically, people in charge of a group of others will often shake things up with a change in personnel or a different political strategy – in fact, all the way up to the President!
The changes that you’re planning to implement will of course, depend on the type of business or organization that you’re running. However, the benefits will be noticed in the following:
- Productivity of the workers has risen or aims to rise
- Efficiency will increase
- New objectives can be met better
- It’s simpler to adapt to new ideas
How Exactly Do You Implement These Changes?
Change is performed through a process known as change management. The success of this will depend on how well you have planned this and how smooth these transitions take place.
In order for this to be successful, you should consider the following steps:
Know Your Changes
It’s always important to know what changes you’re hoping or needing to make and assessing why this is the case. Making massive changes within the operations of the business must have a rationale towards it, or it will almost certainly fail.
If you’ve determined that these changes fit with the needs and objectives of the business, you should undertake an impact assessment.
This is a normal process that involves you and others deciding how these changes will affect the business and to what extent this can be initially problematic or successful.
Some changes will have immediate impact and cause problems, but your plan should see a positive change in time.
If however, these changes cause problems that cannot lead to future success – then consider what you can do instead.
Some employees in the process might require extra or new training, such as if you’re planning to introduce brand new software or products.
Consider if you’d need to hire a trainer for these staff or who you will need to consult with, if you’re planning to go ahead.
What’s The Plan?
Planning is one of the most crucial aspects of running a successful business, along with other areas of our lives.
After you’ve assessed the potential impacts and perhaps piloted your plans or have considered other businesses that have done so – it’s time to properly plan.
The plan you create needs to have a clear direction with clear objectives, goals and financial planning. You’ll need to discuss how these changes will take effect, over what length of time and where you expect to be in that time.
You will already have identified the employees that will be most affected by your proposed changes, so after you have dealt with that from your impact assessment – it’s necessary to convey these changes to your staff.
Inform The Employees
Of course, changes to your business will undoubtedly affect your employees. You need to inform anyone that will be affected by your changes and take them through your plans for the future.
If an employee understands what is expected of them and by what time etc., they’ll know what to do.
If employees need training or mentorship to understand new processes, new software or new products – they have to know who and how this will take place. Remember, a business only runs smoothly if it all runs smoothly.
Justify And Ask Questions
You need to justify your rationale for introducing changes to the business.
After doing so, you should ask everyone involved in the business for their feedback. You might have missed something at a more basic level that your employees see that you do not.
After carefully considering the feedback, you may need to make additional changes to your plan and convey these back to your employees. Once you’re in agreement – you’re good to go.
Implementing And Assessing
During your planning process, you likely will have included times to assess and evaluate your changes.
For example, do an assessment after every 3 months over a 12 month period. If you notice things need changing further, you may need to change the strategy.
Always keep in mind how change will affect your staff and other partners. If these changes are causing negative impacts, you have to remain transparent and ask the employees how things can improve to resolve their situation.
Implementing change is a huge process from the bottom to the top of your workplace. Ensuring you do it smoothly will involve maintaining transparent and open communication with your employees.
As an employee, you should always remain vigilant and communicate problems to higher management and to your CEO. Change will never happen unless there is communication.