When your company is going through change, there are two types of management you need to consider. Project management is what you will think of more intuitively, and this refers to managing the operational facilitators of change (the very tangible aspects). Change management has become the topic of much industry focus recently, and this refers to managing the employees through the change process. For many, this is an afterthought, but not considering how your employees adapt and respond to the changes you seek to employ is a dangerous game. It can greatly impact the happiness and efficiency of your employees, which can have very real consequences on profits.
Having a change management plan in place before you instigate change will be worth the time and cost, as keeping your employees working at max efficiency will save you money in the long and even medium term. This line of thinking stems from observations of consultants that saw a correlation between health-related grieving and employees grieving due to a loss of jobs and departments. They realised that this impacted organizations’ revenue, and decided to implement a strategy that put people at the core of the organizational change. McKinsey consultants were among the first to recognise this, and consultants such as Julien Phillips started promoting change management models that were slow to gain traction among human resource managers.
So how can change management be utilised in a manner that is cost conservative and offers a good return on your investment? If you’re working on a financial budget, but have adequate time to think about change management, you should brush up on the theories that guide cutting-edge contemporary thought about change management practices so you can save on consultancy fees. Change models have been around since the 1940s, when Kurt Lewin developed a 3-step model that offered managers a basic framework. To enhance their understanding. However, the field blossomed into fruition in the late 1990s and into the 2000s.
Change philosophy has developed exponentially over the past two decades, a phenomenon widely attributed to the decreased time it takes for organizations to deploy products, technology or ideas. Contemporary models like the Bridges Transition Model, used by change management experts like inpulse.com, focus on what people experience before they are able to embrace change emotionally.
Tackling the stages outlined by models gives you as a manager a clearer path to success, as well as a better idea of the processes you need to undertake. This can help you save money by giving you highly specific questions for your consultants (if you choose to go down the route of consultancy), which can save you a lot of money by eliminating the time it takes for them to explain to you the basics.
There is a lot more to change management than you could reasonably be expected to read about, but getting yourself thoroughly acquainted with the basics is highly recommended. Journals like Human Resource Management can help you get access to the very latest theories, but journals can be expensive themselves. At the end of the day it is likely that you will need outside help, but think of ways you can use that help to make your life easier. Consultants can introduce you to technology that may track key performance indicators, or even analyse change-related data to keep you on top of the change and reduce resulting workload.