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5 Change Management Best Practices to Learn from Big Companies

January 6, 2023

When a change is happening, getting employees ready for it is essential. They need to understand why that change has to happen and what it means for them. 

Research among 2,500 managers indicates a minimum of 30% performance boost due to effective change management efforts. In big projects, the return on investment was 6.5 times higher when an effective change management approach was used.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin.

To achieve successful change management, your organization must communicate the change early and often. It should also provide training and support and be available to answer questions. The organization should also reward the staff who succeed. 

Here, you can look closely at the best practices to help you manage effective change. 

Get Involved In Change Management Early On

Lack of effective communication can be a serious obstacle to a successful organizational change. Without building transparency and awareness of the organizational goals and projects, there can be a lot of confusion and misalignment. 

So, companies are spending more time and necessary resources to encourage employees, clarify roles, and communicate expectations.

A recent Prosci Benchmarking report shows that earlier change management involvement can benefit employees. One of the best practices in change management is having a capable change agent to handle the transition.

Also known as an advocate of change, a change agent is an individual who acts as a catalyst for the entire change management project. They help organize the process and transform it to benefit the rest of the staff.

The change agent enables, promotes, and supports the company’s change implementation. When you allocate qualified change management teams, you are helping participants create backup plans and anticipate obstacles. 

Qualified individuals can keep communication open. They can help eliminate rework that would come with the change process. They engage employees early on, support them, and help them better prepare for the change. 

Besides, every organization has risk tolerance, culture, and regulatory requirements. These are all factors you should consider in your change management strategies. A qualified team understands your company’s risk tolerance and can plan accordingly.

How to Choose the Right Change Agents?

Change Agents

There are external and internal change agents. An internal agent is often a team member like a senior executive, manager, or HR professional. They understand human intervention, behavioral science, and organization development.

An external agent is a third-party practitioner or outside consultant with similar experience. Even though external agents offer valuable feedback from a fresh perspective, they may not be the best choice when working with fewer employees. Their presence can threaten existing staff. 

Some of the factors below can help you select the right agent to find the best practices for a successful change management process. The agent must have the following:

  • Strong collaboration, problem-solving, and communication skills.
  • The skills and experience to prioritize key events and ensure employees stay engaged and motivated.
  • Drive and full dedication to achieving the best results.
  • The time management and patience to work under pressure and remain positive with employees.

Use Game Mechanics to Influence Performance

Changes in the workplace are constantly happening, especially in technology. The latest technological advances are driving the way corporations today communicate and collaborate. Including the way organizations are structured. Radical change has become prevalent but unsuccessful. 

Here is a fact: Employees are a crucial component and valuable asset of every organization. When employees become swapped and overwhelmed by drastic change, this can affect the entire company’s ability to function – let alone adapt to the change. 

A survey shows 96% of organizations reported they underwent business transformations. However, just 47% of those evaluated estimated to obtain sustainable value from these efforts. Experts believe that 70% of change efforts do not succeed mainly because employees resist change.

Most people resist change because they don’t want to leave their comfort zone. Some prefer to play it safe, while others prefer the simplicity of working with old-school methods. 

Some of the best practices of change management are to invest in new technology, like gamification. Gamification is a strong tool for transformational change. The new norm can take your change management plan to a completely different level.

How Can Gamification Help With Change Management?

Over 70%  of the Global 2000 organizations have at least a single gamified application to overcome different business challenges. Gamification is used for providing feedback and supporting better user engagement.

Through digital transformation, companies can constantly adapt to an unpredictable and rapidly evolving environment. So, what makes gamified training some of the change management best practices? 

Adding gamified elements to training can boost motivation to 83% and decrease boredom to just 10%. 

Gamification basically means turning any work activity into a more game-like experience. For example, you can use gamification for the following things.

·         Change work habitsGamification uses game mechanics to inspire behavioral change and form new habits. Some of these game mechanics include leaderboards, achievements, points, etc. It can help employees prepare, test, and learn organizational change. You can measure the employees’ abilities. For example, how well they can engage stakeholders, execute, plan, or sustain change.

·         Explain the new change through gamified learning – Gamification in learning uses game-based elements like badges, teamwork, leveling system, and scoreboards to boost engagement and simplify learning. 

·         Support that change – You can use gamification as the best practice in change management to help employees overcome potential challenges. Employees get rewards for learning and collaboration. 

Companies can use gamification to create a structured approach to change management. They can use the new tool to offer more detail and reduce the learning curve. 

That’s because employees understand easier when they use gamified elements. They can get a clear vision of the company’s goal, visualize their success, and earn badges, achievements, and points, all of which make implementing change management strategies easier. 

Based on a 2019 survey, 89% of employees stated gamification made them feel more productive at work. Roughly 89% of people evaluated stated they could increase their productivity if their work were more gamified.

Deploy Smaller Releases to Ensure Minimal Disruption

Change management involves preparing, planning, and assessing for one or more changes. One common mistake many companies make is to release all the changes at once. This is to save time and resources on organizational change management. But, it can backfire. 

So, what is the best practice in change management? It is essential to keep things simple. The organization’s employees should clearly understand the changes they want to implement.

With every new project, you should consider different viewpoints. You can do that by doing frequent and smaller releases. Find the ones that have the highest odds of success. 

Smaller releases make it easier for employees to navigate the different change management models. It also helps them avoid areas of conflict. 

Here is another option:

  1. Test the change out on smaller groups first.
  2. See how your employees react to the change and whether or not it can prove effective.
  3. Document everything that comes with successful change management. 

How Long Does the Change Management Process Take?

The change process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of years to implement. The scope of the transition and the organization’s size significantly affect how long the process takes. The bigger the organization, the more complex the change process.

Don’t know if your change management strategies worked for your current business model? Here are a couple of examples that are a clear sign the transition was successful:

  • The amount of work-related incidents sees a steady decline.
  • Sales numbers keep increasing.
  • The amount of repeat customers goes up.
  • Engagement and social sharing are increasing.

An efficient change management process involves five steps. These include:

Step 1 

Identifying a goal and developing a strategy. The goals should be relevant, time-bound, specific, measurable, and attainable. 

Step 2

Estimating how the change will affect the entire organization. Assess the company’s history of past transactions and get an accurate idea of the business segments the change can affect.

Step 3

Creating a strategy. Evaluate the gap between the necessary level of performance and the current company level. This can help you see if training is needed to meet those goals.

Step 4

Implementing the plan. Put the easiest objectives first. This helps improve confidence and maintain momentum.

Step 5

Doing a post-transition review. Measure the degree of change compared to the initial goals. All employees should understand the changes.

Show Appreciation for Even the Smallest Achievements

Managing organizational change is just as important as implementing it. After you start change management processes, you must keep celebrating big and small achievements. 

But most importantly, you should celebrate the individuals who accomplished those wins.

Showing appreciation can boost morale and inspire more people to accomplish organizational changes actively. When people feel appreciated, it can make the transition go smoothly and speed up the process. 

Incorporate recognition into every gathering or meeting. Make sure that supervisors and management are on the lookout for things to celebrate. You can also use this strategy to provide people with incentives that can inspire them to accept different challenges. 

How to Make Employees Feel Appreciated?

There are creative ways you can reward and show appreciation to employees when managing change. Here are some of the top ways organizations are making people feel valued.

  • Add a Corporate Gamification System

Every staff member can claim tasks that they choose. This task can reward them with points upon completion. The staff can redeem these points for corporate rewards. Such as more work-from-home days or additional vacation. 

This sort of digital transformation is a practical way of allowing people to feel appreciated and offer meaningful results. 

  • Let Staff Receive and Give “Props”

Big companies like to show their appreciation by recognizing staff members daily. They can do that by setting aside some time at the end of each day to give props. Different members of the team can give props to a specific employee. 

This helps create a positive atmosphere and respect for teamwork. When people are more respected for their contributions in front of the entire team, they are more likely to strive for more.

  • Treat the Staff

Bring foods, like pizza or doughnuts, from time to time on the company dime. This is an excellent way of showing appreciation when making complex organizational changes. Food parties or lunches offer numerous benefits. For instance, the staff can socialize and build interpersonal relationships.

  • Show Gratitude Online

If your organization is using social media, you can use the new technology. Recognize the staff on your social channels when you implement and manage change. Posts can include events that highlight the staff’s achievement, their photo, or their latest contribution to projects. 

  • Link the Rewards to Your Organization

Let’s say that your organization is producing and selling golf equipment. Once a month, every team (product, support, marketing, etc.) presents what the staff has accomplished during that month.

The staff can then vote on which team had the most significant impact on achieving the yearly goal. The winning team can get a visit to a mini-golf course while building a close connection with the customers they serve. This is an excellent strategy to use when focusing on organizational change management.

Shift the Burden of Change

Even though the staff can quickly oppose change, especially when it is disruptive and radical, they can adapt even faster to new environments. Your organization can make use of this adaptability by creating a new structure. 

The new organizational structure should have new values, workflows, and processes. You can then gradually transfer the staff from the old one. This strategy offers substantial benefits when you need a transformative and radical organizational change.

Instead of putting all the work on upper management to coerce and entice many employees, you can shift the burden of change to the staff in the new organization. When they get there, the staff are faced with two options: adapt or get left behind. 

Take the First Step

The business world is constantly evolving. That’s why organizations must keep adapting and advancing. Change management can help speed up transformations and drive successful outcomes for companies. But, without effective change initiatives, you will be off to a rocky start. 

In this guide, you can find the best practices in change management that can help your organization evolve in a timely manner. All the tips here are tailored toward different industries to facilitate the period of effective change management.

If you want to add gamification to change management, our team at Spinify can help. Change management gamification help encourage employee adoption and engagement. 

Gamification is often seen as a change management innovation since it crosses over with workplace learning, culture building, and onboarding. This makes it a valuable tool in human resource management. Book a demo with us today!

Be sure to check out our Linkedin page and contact us today.

Put those insights into practice.

Set your team up for success by improving their performance through gamification.

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