Organizational change has slightly different meanings for every organization. It can be structural, strategic, technological, cultural, or a combination of these. It can happen slowly and gradually as a natural evolution, or it can be deliberately implemented over a given time period.
People tend to dislike change, so widespread change in an organization can derail momentum and crush morale, especially when it’s abrupt, unexpected, or poorly executed.
This is where organizational change management comes into play.
Organizational change management includes all the tools, processes, people, strategies, structures, and technology an organization uses to implement changes and achieve its goals during (and following) periods of organizational change.
Further reading: Top 10 Books on Change Management
To successfully implement change, you need to establish ways for your entire organization to visualize the change, and processes in place for documenting it.
Coaching techniques for organizational change management
As part of your organizational change management plan, you’ll need to identify coaching techniques that leaders in your organization can use to guide employees through the process.
This is a crucial step, because change can be stressful and employees need to feel that they are being supported.
There are a number of different coaching techniques out there, but one that we really like is ADKAR — awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement.
This coaching tool was created by Prosci founder Jeff Hiatt, and focuses on creating clear goals and common language for everyone to utilize during the process. Here are the components of the ADKAR framework:
- Awareness – Employees across the organization need to be aware of the need for change. What are the current issues with structure, strategy, process, culture, technology, etc. that prevent the organization from reaching its potential?
- Desire – To get support for change, make the benefits clear. How will the proposed changes remediate issues, help employees do their jobs, and take the organization to the next level? People are more likely to show support if they understand the goal and can see how it benefits them.
- Knowledge – Help employees understand the concrete steps they can take to support the change and make the process run smoothly. What information and training do they need?
- Ability – Once employees have the appropriate information and training, how will it translate into skills and long-term ability? How will performance be measured?
- Reinforcement – To make sure the changes last on an organizational level, you can’t stop at the ability step. Employees need continuous feedback on their performance, and positive reinforcement for successfully implementing change on an individual level.
Depending on the changes you’re trying to implement, the size and structure of your organization, and your overall organizational culture, these components will all look different. The most important thing is to use the framework to keep progress moving forward one step at a time — the worst thing you can do is try to skip steps and force change overnight.
Further reading: 5 Case Studies about Successful Change Management
Change management documentation best practices
One of the biggest challenges associated with organizational change is getting the whole organization on board with the vision behind it.
This becomes even more difficult for massive organizations with multiple locations — there’s no opportunity to get everyone in the same room. That’s why documentation is key. It helps keep everyone on the same page.
Here are some important things to document as part of your organizational change management plan:
- Project scope and plan – What are the specific things you want to achieve, and how long will each item take?
- Communication plan and risk management – What might go wrong during this process? How will you communicate with stakeholders about the changes, and respond to resistance?
- Status reports – How will you document progress? Tools like flow charts and Gantt charts can be particularly helpful for visualizing progress and measuring success.
- Project closure – Once the project is complete, how will you document what went well and what didn’t? You might consider distributing a project evaluation survey to employees and creating a post mortem report.
As you ponder these questions, identify any change management tools and software that might be helpful for your organization to utilize for documentation.
Organizational change can be stressful and challenging for everyone involved, so visualizing and documenting the process is equally useful for employees as it is for employers.
For employees, insight about goals, execution plans, and status updates can help create a sense of security. For employers, organized documentation from beginning to end creates a roadmap for future change.
Gathering continuous employee feedback throughout the organizational change process is easy with TINYpulse. Schedule a demo today!