Historically, the rental and construction industries have been slow to adopt change. From new technologies to innovative approaches to operations, fresh concepts have always struggled to gain traction. And while this reticence is the result of a multitude of factors, the leading cause is simple human behavior. As we’ve explored in past blog posts, change is scary and people are creatures of habit. Thankfully, change management is an entire business discipline dedicated to allaying change-related anxiety and ensuring large-scale transitions achieve success.
Change management encompasses a myriad tactics, but regardless of the specific methods a company employs, common best practices hold true. This blog post aims to outline a four crucial steps organizations should follow when enacting their own change management plan.
Regularly Establish Why Change is Necessary
In the world of business, inertia is a very real phenomenon. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” serves as the unofficial slogan for organizations of all sizes and across all industries. So when a company actually does decide to implement change, the gravity of that move shouldn’t be taken lightly. In essence, change only occurs when problems becomes unbearable. And while that cause and effect may seem obvious, it’s often forgotten when in the middle of an ongoing transition. When a changeover drags on, stakeholders tend to grow weary and lose sight of why evolution is so necessary. By continually reiterating why change is being enacted, organizations can maintain morale even when projects encounter difficulties. In some form or the other, the success of all projects hinge on user buy-in, so the human element should never be underrated.
Ensure All Parties Are Kept in the Loop
Large-scale upheaval is rarely the work of a lone individual or small group. Instead, far-reaching change often involves the collaboration of multiple departments within an organization. Because of this, it’s crucial that all parties involved in transitional projects are kept in the loop at all times. Too often, changeovers primarily spearheaded by one team are conducted in silos. This approach frequently results in communication breakdowns that delay project milestones and frustrate contributors. Such pitfalls can be avoided by structuring transitional projects as group efforts from day one. By ensuring that the ideas and concerns of all parties are equally represented, changeovers can be optimized based on the needs of your entire organization. Furthermore, this all-inclusive approach serves to convey that you value the contributions of all project members.
Turn Doubters into Believers Through Training
For so many things in business, seeing is believing. When change is planned but still far off on the horizon, it can be difficult for people to envision how their day-to-day work will be different post-transition. But when they’re given the opportunity to actually see and interact with whatever new process or technology is set to be implemented, things become far more tangible and easily understood. Change advocates can take advantage of this phenomenon through training sessions. Be they in-person, via webinar, or in the form of recorded video, training sessions can go a long way in winning folks over to your side.
Gauge User Satisfaction After Launch
What many organizations forget about (or fail to realize regarding) change management is that the practice extends well after the change is actually enacted. Difficulties that arise following a significant transition won’t manifest or be detectable until a certain point of no return. Because of this, it’s important for organizations to routinely take the temperature of their users in a way that allows them to honestly convey feedback. Pulse surveys are a great way of going about this. By asking users how they feel about the change or if the new solution is meeting their expectations, you can quickly ascertain your users level of satisfaction and what needs further improvement.