Change management, any process that businesses have done for a long time or doing the work with new methods is called change management. Change management is defined as the methods and styles in which a company defines and applies change in both internal and external processes.
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What is Change Management?
The business world and of course business management is changing rapidly: technology continues to evolve, customer trends change, new market regulations are introduced regularly, and businesses have to cope with unprecedented global crises. People, organizations, and our world are constantly changing. Change is the transformation of an ongoing event into a new and different form. While pre-pandemic meetings were held face to face, nowadays online meetings are held. In the past, communication was done by fax and mail, now it is via e-mail. The change aims to improve the organization, such as reducing costs, increasing revenues, solving problems, evaluating opportunities, planning strategy, or facilitating information flow within the company.
It includes preparing and supporting employees, creating the necessary steps for change, and monitoring activities before and after the change to ensure successful implementation. New systems and strategies can be extremely destructive for your business. Organizational change management helps the transition to new processes smoothly. Organizational change management is the ability to manage an event or project that significantly changes the way of daily work. Let's assume that company X is moving to a new ERP software.
In the past, excel and spreadsheets were used in this company, now the transition to ERP has been made. The transition to ERP is a major project affecting daily operations. In the past, the software is now used when orders were taken by mail. While customer information was kept in excel in the past, it can now be kept by software. While daily operations were different from the past, now it is necessary to proceed through the system, and at this point, all of the headings such as convincing employees, managing processes, and adaptation process are called change management.
Change management is not a well-known phenomenon in our country. Moving the company and moving to enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is also a change. While change is taking place, the consequences can be devastating if one is not aware of the existence of the concept of change management. The disruptions and problems caused by change can be risk factors. Change management is a process that needs to be learned, paid attention to, and applied. The change can be big or small. At Prosoftly, we focus on big changes. Major changes can be as follows;
- Transition to ERP system
- The transition from an existing ERP software to another ERP system
- Opening a new market
- Organizational changes (organizational restructuring, job descriptions, hierarchical configuration)
- Changes on the production side (e.g. transition from continuous production to cell-based production)
- Transition to lean management/manufacturing
- Department-based changes
Newton has a Law of Inertia. In the law of inertia; If an object stands in a certain place, it continues to stay there, but if it moves at a certain speed, it wants to maintain the same speed. An external force must be applied to move a stationary object. Transition to ERP requires an external effect, ie change, like entering the European market. At the current constant speed, an outside force is required to stop or accelerate further. When the force acts externally, there will be great turbulence in the company and this process must be managed well with change management.
Obstacles Faced by Change Management and Ways to Avoid Failure in Change
Change is not always perceived as positive and many employees can be resistant to changes in their organizations. Successful business transformation is about getting employees involved and establishing new behaviors in the workplace. 70% of change projects fail, according to the Harvard Business Review. The reasons for failure are as follows;
- 32% Poor project management
- 20% Lack of a correct and effective communication strategy
- 17% The change management plan is not related to the factors that require a change
- 17% Unclear purpose
- 14% Inability to adapt to technology
Change is actually a concept that people and organizations do not want or like. Newton’s as the Law of Inertia, if matter is still, it wants to stop, even if it is traveling at a constant speed, it wants to maintain its constant speed. To change, it is necessary to leave the comfort zone. It is necessary to give an external energy for change. From someone whose opinion is valued even in our personal life, "You better play sports.", "You should make the X decision.". When suggestions such as are received, they are taken into consideration and change begins. Change is often resisted. The reasons for individual resistances are as follows;
- Lack of motivation
- Different priorities (“We were doing it the old way, why change it?”)
- Fear (“Will the new system affect me negatively?”)
The factors that make change management fail on an organizational basis are as follows;
- Change must be initiated by the most authoritative people and, if not initiated, supported. Since the slightest negativity within the scope of change will be despaired, extra energy, motivation, and suggestions will be needed. If change is not led by the most competent people, the chances of change failing are very high.
- There may be obstacles due to the habits of various employees or departments.
- The dynamics of the company can put obstacles.
The above are the most difficult points that can exist on the change side. All employees should be involved in the change, and it should be explained in detail why the change was made. The more coalition partners within the company and the more they are supported, the more effective the change will be.
Organizational Change Management and Adapting the Change to Employees
Change must be accepted by all. Underlying the imposition are psychological factors such as fear of change and anxiety about losing current position. One study shows that only 38% of people like to leave their comfort zone. When a change is presented to these people, they say, "Hey, this is so exciting!" he thinks. These positive comments of change result in positive emotional responses such as greater employee productivity, happiness, and satisfaction. The other 62% look at the same expression and immediately feel fear and discomfort. "Oh, this change will have a negative impact on my career development." or "I can no longer do what I like to do.", "Will they keep me in?" They may have thoughts like.
Various training activities should be carried out for employees to feel safe. Employees should be motivated about change. Various bonuses can be made. The facts must be shown. For example; When looking at the accounting department of the enterprise named X, the expense statement forms are processed manually.
Spreadsheets are used. It should be clearly explained that when there is a change, it can be made easier and faster online, and excels will no longer be used. It should be noted that the change will benefit them and their contribution is expected. Another example is; There is a digital transformation project in the recruitment process in the Human Resources department of Y firm.
Human resources department; “Previously, you were meeting with as many different people as Z to meet your goals. You were sending mail one by one, you were looking. You were finding the candidates' CVs and reaching them. From now on, the recruitment process will be jobs that will save you more time by increasing your efficiency through the system, choosing human resources that can focus on your business, new postings, and new collaborations. " should say.
Explanations such as before and after should be made. People in the organization have different priorities on a daily basis. Their priorities need to help them and make their daily lives easier. It should be shared with employees that things will be better after the transition phase is completed. Change management should be considered as the topmost stone in a great pyramid.
Built-in 2551 BC, the pyramids were built by many people. They carried large stones. Moving the change management stone to the top is one of the tasks. The more people there are to assist in lifting the stone, the lower the load per person and the stone can be moved to the top quickly and easily. When the number of people who remove the stone is increased, faster and more effective project management can be achieved.
The accidents and problems that may occur while removing the stone are solved or reduced and the project is completed much more quickly and effectively. In summary; It is necessary to increase the self-confidence of the employees, to make them feel safe, to help them adapt to change by providing necessary training, to motivate them, to motivate them as a monetary reward, to share facts and figures with them and to ensure that they contribute to change.
You can use SWOT analysis while managing change to see your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats clearly.