Overcoming Barriers to Change: How Change Management Helps You Avoid Failure
The Importance of Organizational Change Management
To grow and stay ahead of the competition, you need to continually assess and adjust how your organization’s people, processes, and technology interact. This requires a deep understanding of how your organizational structure actually works. Without this knowledge, change initiatives will fall short and have no lasting positive impact on your procurement operation.
Failure to understand the interplay between your people, processes, and technology can also create divisions within your department, leading to decreased efficiency and productivity. With proper change management, however, you can ensure that changes are implemented in the most efficient way possible, overcoming barriers to change, confusion, chaos, or employee resistance that could potentially impact your performance.
5 Common Change Management Challenges
Change initiative failure usually derives from one or more of the following issues:
Lack of Clarity
It’s impossible to bring your organization to an ideal future state if you’re unsure about how people, processes, and technology interact at the start. Many change management initiatives suffer because organizations don’t have a clear idea of why change is needed, how it will affect their current state of affairs, or how it will be implemented. A lack of clarity in these areas makes it challenging for stakeholders to understand and accept the new status quo.
Many organizations often assume that team members and stakeholders are well-informed about what changes will take place, why they’re being made, how they’ll affect their day-to-day operations, or how to even carry them out. In reality, communication dissipates as it goes from the top of your organization down to front-line managers and team members. This makes it difficult for teams or whole departments to effectively comprehend your goals, which can cause your change initiative to fail.
Change initiatives are complex tasks that involve numerous people, processes, and technologies within your organization. If you dive into an initiative without a comprehensive change management plan, you won’t have the means to navigate it successfully. A lack of effective, proactive planning creates unnecessary confusion, causing you to overspend or miss important deadlines.
Cultural Change Resistance
People become accustomed to cultural norms and may resist changes due to fear of the unknown or not understanding the objectives. These concerns may be amplified if your department has been using the same processes and technologies for a long time—if it isn’t broke, why fix it?
Lack of Buy-In
Many change initiatives fail because there is no collective approach to action. Top-level executives, middle managers, and team members alike need to be committed for change to happen. Stakeholders at every level of your organization need to work together to streamline processes and integrate new technologies.
Learn How to Manage Resistance With Ease
Struggling with one or more of the challenges mentioned above? Velocity Procurement helps you align your change initiative with your business goals and reach your ideal future state with ease. Discover how we can help you overcome barriers to change today.Learn More About Effective Change Management
How to Handle Resistance to Change
Although initiatives can fail in many ways, overcoming barriers to change effectively is possible by focusing on active engagement, support, and planning. Here are five key strategies:
Scope Your Project and Develop a Solid Change Strategy
Before you start, you need to understand why change is being implemented and how it will impact your organization. Take the time to set clear goals and objectives for your project. These help you stay on track and make informed decisions regarding your initiative. You can also overcome barriers to change by scoping your projects to allocate resources properly and identify stakeholders.
Involve Your Employees and Communicate With Them
As mentioned earlier, poor communication is a common source of resistance. To overcome this barrier to change, engage with your team members and involve them during all stages of the initative. By providing your employees with clear, actionable milestones and plenty of details, they can become an integral part of your change initiative. As the boots on the ground, your team can provide crucial feedback, further improving your chances of success.
Implement Change Incrementally
Making a sudden change can lead to confusion, frustration, or even anger. Fortunately, you can overcome this barrier to change by taking things a little more slowly. Gradual implementation allows you to mitigate surprise and identify issues early on. It also gives employees time to adjust and become comfortable with new processes or technology.
Highlight the Shortcomings of Your Current State
You can overcome a change-resistant culture and drum up support by identifying inefficient or unproductive areas within your organization and showing your employees how a change initiative can improve them. This encourages them to be an active participant of change and incorporate the new processes and technologies of your change initiative.
Train and Support Your Employees
Show your employees how to incorporate new technologies and processes into their existing workflows and establish an open line of communication for them in case they have questions or concerns. This helps you sustain your change initiative in the long term.
Overcome Barriers to Change With Velocity Procurement
At Velocity Procurement, we understand how much time, effort, and resources go into implementing organizational changes—you don’t want to deal with internal resistance or delays. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you overcome resistance to change and reach your true potential.