change-management.pngManaging change is clearly a challenge for many organizations; only about half of companies’ transformation initiatives accomplish and maintain their intended goals, according to a survey from Strategy&.

Leadership seems to be taking notice. Companies are increasingly being asked to measure how organizational change efforts are working; 45 percent say they’ve had to report on projects’ change management effectiveness, according to research from Prosci.

For businesses that invest the time in trying to enact significant change, the outcome from a failed initiative can be particularly damaging. Employee satisfaction can potentially decline, causing engagement levels to falter; if employees become extremely frustrated, retention may even be at risk.

Some organizations, as a result, are adopting a more structured change management process.

Whether you’re implementing a new piece of technology or overhauling your organization’s succession plan, the key to enabling organizational change — with as few growing pains as possible — is careful planning and implementation.

Make your next change management initiative a success by implementing the following 5 steps:

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  • Ninety-four percent of employees believe change readiness training should precede a successful transformation, according to a Deloitte change management survey.

Don’t overwhelm employees

  • With too many directives to implement at once, change fatigue can occur; it has, in fact, caused change management issues at 65 percent of organizations, according Strategy&’s report.

Involve everyone 

  • Literally all — 100 percent — of Deloitte’s survey participants agreed effective staff engagement is an indicator of eventual business transformation success.

Strategy&’s data also showed the change management process can focus too much on senior managers; its research found 44 percent of employees were left confused about what organizational change they were being asked to make, and 38 percent disagreed with the effort.

Be clear about your goals and process

  • Insufficient communications are the reason change management plans often fail, according to 59 percent of the project management practitioners who participated in a 2014 Project Management Institute study.

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  • Eighty-six percent of highly effective change enablers focus on incorporating well-defined milestones and metrics; similarly, 84 percent assign concrete ownership and accountability in change management initiatives, according to PMI.

In some instances, change can’t be planned for — which is why having a succession plan and ongoing talent pipelining efforts in place are so important.

For additional tips on preparing for organizational change, check out our blog posts on strengthening your succession planning efforts, CEO-specific succession planning, improving your overall internal and external recruiting results and creating an ongoing talent pipelining program.

Our white paper on increasing your succession intelligence IQ contains even more helpful best practice advice — download the white paper for free today to find out more.

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