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Let’s consider the delicate art of change. When an organization undertakes an exciting project or initiative to enhance performance or efficiency, address key issues or seize opportunities, they often require changes.

These adjustments can include changes to processes, organizational structures, job roles and types and uses of technology. All of which are addressed during the onboarding process. What is often underestimated is the role change management plays in the process.

So what is change management? According to WNDYR’s Deployment Consultant Alessandra Conca, change management guides how one prepares, equips and supports the individuals to successfully adopt change, in order to drive organizational success and objectives.

Here are the 4 things that should not be underestimated when implementing change management and ensure lasting success of your onboarding process.

1. Don’t underestimate people

The one crucial area of change that is frequently overlooked is that of employees. Here at WNDYR, we’ve often seen initial underinvestment into preparing and assisting teams during and after onboarding. The irony is that this, often overlooked element, lies at the root of most issues that can be remedied with successful change management consultation.

Remember, change does not simply involve new technologies and processes, but on an individual level, psychology and emotion play a crucial role. Successful change management brings all the challenges together in order to make the change as smooth as possible for the people that need to face the change.

The change needs to be embraced from the top-down. The executives or team leaders often insist that the new systems be implemented by their teams, but then they do not use it themselves. For smaller teams where leadership and executive roles overlap, this is especially important.

In bigger teams where these are separate roles, executives might not make use of the new system. In this instance it is vital that the executives support and encourage their teams through internal campaigns explaining the importance of adoption.

As our deployment consultant Claudio Mennecozzi points out, “ the most powerful way to enforce a change is convincing people that the change is going to get them closer to their desired status.”

What is important to bear in mind is that when individuals are successful in their transitions, and feel supported in their journey through change, the whole initiative works and the change is successful.

2. Don’t underestimate the value of change management

Most organizations usually understand that training for onboarding is important, but fall short in recognizing that a structured approach for supporting the individuals in their organization – so that they can move from their current systems to their own future systems – is what determines success.

Think of the new system as a sports car. It is all good and well to have the car, but is not of any use if it is sitting in a parking lot.  The real value of change management is ensuring that the new system and processes are adopted – ensuring that you drive the sports car.  If you are investing in the systems and the onboarding, but do not invest in the adoption of the system, you will most likely not see a return on your investment.

The real danger lies in having clear objectives and a great system, but no one is using the system! At WNDYR we use a valuable equation to better understand the importance of change management. As our deployment consultant Alessandra Conca puts it “Change management works with the Q x A =E approach. Quality multiplied by Adoption equals Efficiency.”

In other words, if you increase quality but you don’t increase adoption, the gains in efficiency will likely be very low.

3. Don’t underestimate the time and resources

A primary challenge for our Deployment Consultants is that the organization that is implementing the new systems, usually underestimate how long change management takes. Once the technology and the new processes are understood, what often happens is that the client does not realise that it will take time for their teams to be confident and familiar with working in this new way.

The transition from one system to another does take time, as is dependant on how fast and willing the people are to adopt the new system. Change management is vital to get this right. Unfortunately, often the organizational changes meet requirements without delivering expected results. This is due to the gap that often exists between requirements and results, between outputs and outcomes, between solutions and benefits.

Change management enables a bridge for this gap by effectively supporting and preparing those people impacted by the change to be successful in bringing it to life in how they work.

4. Don’t underestimate the importance of a ‘Sustain the Change’ plan

Alessandra Conca is quick to remind us that “change management is not a finished product”. What this means is – going back to our sports car analogy – that you need to take your sports car in for a service to ensure it continues to work as it should. A strong Sustain the Change plan is like a service or maintenance plan.

Change management has to be managed throughout the use of the product to ensure adoptions sticks. The same goes for new joiners or when a change in leadership happens.

To recap, regardless of what the objectives for any organization are, the common denominator for achieving the intended outcomes of an initiative is focusing on the people. Coupled with the importance of people is the significance of the value change management brings and ensuring that time and resources are allocated to ensure successful adoption.  

Do you want to know more about our Change Management services? Our solution designers and implementation consultants can help you rethink the way your organisation does work. Contact Alexandra Colonel or Michael Blakely to find out more.

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