Why Is Change Management Important?
When successful, there are countless benefits to managed change:
Benefits for the organization
Benefits for employees
Benefits for specific teams and departments
These advantages come in many forms – from improved work processes to enhanced employee experiences. Here are 15 top reasons why every business should invest in change management:
1. Improved business processes Improving business processes is a never-ending journey. Change management is specifically designed to evaluate, redesign, and implement new business processes. The ROI of an improved process, of course, will depend on the type of process undergoing renovation. As we will see, though, this is only one of the many benefits of change management.
2. Better workflows There are countless ways to optimize employee workflows, through:
Better tools and technology
Training and skills development
Redesigning work processes
3. Decreased project overhead Unmanaged change projects can easily exceed budget constraints. Effective change management, however, can help reduce overhead through:
Decreasing employee resistance.
Predicting and preventing problems.
Mobilizing employees and obtaining support.
4. Improvements to company culture Corporate culture has far-reaching effects on every aspect of a business, including:
The employee experience
Innovation and product development
Employee productivity and output
5. A more attractive and fulfilling workplace Another common “side effect” of change projects is the improvement of the workplace itself. Research from Google found that this was the largest derived benefit among its survey participants. In that study, the top two reasons for embarking on change included efficiency (42%) and cost-savings (39%). However, the biggest derived benefit turned out to be “a more attractive and fulfilling workplace” at 47%.
6. Happier workers Workplace happiness should be a top priority for any company. Happier workers, after all, are:
More supportive of change efforts
These positive effects, in turn, improve retention and decrease turnover.
7. A greater ability to overcome obstacles to change Barriers to change can come in many forms – employee resistance, lack of executive support, budget constraints, technology constraints, and so on. Sophisticated, well-executed change management addresses these issues head-on. There are many methods that can be used to overcome such barriers, including:
Effective communication strategies
Choosing the right tools for the job
To name a few. There is no single strategy for surmounting such obstacles. Instead, change managers must design a strategy that meets the organization’s specific needs – which is exactly why change management is so important.
8. Better employee experiences Today, the employee experience is more important than ever. Better experiences improve many of the metrics mentioned above – engagement, productivity, and performance, for example. Another benefit to consider is the company’s reputation. They can more readily attract top talent, as well as improve relationships with partners and customers.
9. Greater support from both the top and the bottom Change projects should align their aims with the entire organization. Effective change practitioners make it a point to obtain support from:
Top-level business leaders
Partners and vendors
And other stakeholders. Aligning everyone’s interests helps to increase project outcomes on many fronts – from costs to outcomes.
10. Risk mitigation Change, of course, comes with risk. Failure to account for that risk can produce poor outcomes – or even cause a project to fail completely. Change managers mitigate risk through, for example:
Strategic risk mitigation plans
Responding to problems as they occur
As with any other business endeavor, it is essential to make calculated, informed decisions around risk.
11. Career development Career development has become a major trend in recent years. There are several reasons for this:
The changing nature of work
Increased need for digital skills
Because the workplace is changing, workers recognize the need to stay competitive and relevant. Career development has become a big focus for many HR departments and change management professionals.
12. Training, reskilling, and upskilling Aside from long-term career development, there is also a huge need for short-term skills training. A digital adoption program, for example, involves:
Training and education
By improving training, change managers can decrease time-to-competency and learning timelines. The result: improved engagement, decreased frustration, and improved productivity.
13. Organizational agility To stay competitive, organizations themselves must become more agile. That is, organizations need adaptability, responsiveness, and speed. This need has driven many organizations to adopt new business models and mindsets, such as:
And other change-friendly business approaches.
14. Greater openness to change and innovation Dedicated change managers can influence the way a company approaches change. More traditional businesses are often afraid of change. And this makes sense – all change carries risk. However, this mindset can keep an organization stagnant, suppress innovation, and reduce a company’s competitive advantage. Change management can help instill a mindset that is open to:
Innovative approaches to business, product development, and more
Being open to change helps all stakeholders stay adaptable, resilient, and competitive, even in the face of disruptive transformations.
15. Integration of change management and organizational strategy Organizational strategy, to be effective, must embrace and integrate change management. This is especially true in the digital age. After all, disruption, transformation, and change are the norm. Rather than treating change initiatives as isolated projects, successful companies integrate change into their top-level strategy. Such strategic integration is paramount for any business that wants to evolve, compete, and thrive in the coming years. If you liked this article, you may also like: