Plan, Prepare, Consult, and Implement
Do you find the thought of facilitating change in your business daunting? You don’t know where to start or what steps need to be covered when implementing a change. Whilst there are numerous change management models that provide different benefits to executing the process, sometimes it’s easier to slow down and keep it simple.
Below are some tips to help make your next change management process easier. We have broken the process down into four steps: plan, prepare, consult and implement.
What is Change Management?
The process of guiding organisational change from its first stages of conception and planning, through implementation, and ultimately to resolution is known as change management. To guarantee that firms successfully transition and adapt to any changes that may occur, a strong management strategy is essential.
Step One: Plan
As Benjamin Franklin said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” As with any plan, documenting the scope, resources, and budget will help improve efficiency. Here are some tips on building your plan:
- Understand the change
- What is the change?
- Why is it needed?
- What are the benefits of this change?
- Assess the current vs proposed change
- Scope the workforce impact
- How will this logistically and culturally impact your business?
- Will there be any financial factors? If yes, what is the impact? (Put together estimates as part of the planning process)
- Will there be any redundancies? (If yes, consider what other processes will need to be run alongside the change process)
- Identify who will be your change champions and what characteristics you should be on the lookout for. Someone who…
- Is open to new ideas
- A team player with a positive attitude and relationships
- Has a good understanding of the business, understands the culture, and can see where improvements can be made
- Will advocate to their peers about the positive impact of the change
- Obtain Management buy-in is important as they will be on the front line engaging with employees daily
- Consider the risks that may come along with the proposed change and mitigate them where possible.
- Don’t forget to consider whether you have any external stakeholders that will be impacted by this process and may need to be consulted.
- A change process shouldn’t come as a surprise, get people on board early so they feel involved and part of the process.
Step 2: Prepare
- Ensure you have a communication plan prepared prior to commencing the consultation process
- What are the goals?
- What is the timeline of the full process? Have a clear step-by-step plan with dates and information ready so the team leading the change are all on the same page.
- Identify key dates (e.g. opening and close of the consultation period, staff session, feedback consideration, proposed date of change implementation)
- Prepare any content/documentation for the consultation process (e.g. emails, presentations, change paper)
- Highlight what the differences are between the current and proposed change
- Identify key dates and ensure they are communicated clearly (e.g. open and close the consultation period, staff session, feedback consideration, proposed date of change implementation)
- Understand the consultation process
- How long are you consulting for?
- What information are you providing employees?
- Will you run an information session?
- Do you need to prepare a presentation or frequently asked questions document for employees?
- Will employees be voting for the change?
- Who will be the contact for any queries about the change? How do you want to receive feedback? Do you want questions/concerns in writing?
Step 3: Consult
Stakeholders are given the chance to offer suggestions during consultation at or shortly after the beginning of the change process. The people consulted alert the decision-makers—who alone are responsible for the success—of pertinent problems or information to change their opinions. The feedback can either be used or disregarded by the decision-makers.
- Provide all employees with information on the change;
- Allow a fair and reasonable time frame for affected employees to consider the proposed change and ask questions or provide feedback;
- Be accessible during the consultation period to answer questions and concerns;
- Ensure documentation is easily accessible (HRIS, Intranet);
- Give genuine consideration to any feedback received. Identify if any variations to the proposed change need to be made.
Step 4: Implement
Once the plan has been made, all that is needed to bring about the necessary change is to carry out the procedures documented. The nature of the endeavour will determine if this entails modifications to the organization’s structure, strategy, systems, procedures, employee behaviours, or other elements.
Change managers must concentrate on motivating their staff to take the essential actions to carry out the initiative’s objectives while also acknowledging any immediate successes.
Some points to consider:
- Communicate the consultation outcome to employees;
- Communicate the next steps for implementation;
- Progress with any flow on processes as a result of the change (e.g., recruitment, redundancy);
- Check in and review how the implemented change is going, make sure it sticks, and continue to provide any necessary support in the future.
Supporting you through Change
So, you want to know how to implement change in your business? You’re in the right place.
At Employment Innovations, we provide proven outsourced HR solutions specifically designed to help Australian SMEs, Australia-wide. Our team of dedicated HR professionals are experts in their field, and can act as an extension of your business. We deliver HR support locally, and our team is available on-demand, both virtually or on-site as required to assist with human resource management.
When it comes to managing change, we’re here to help.
About Employment Innovations
Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.
The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.