Change management does not eliminate the process of adopting change, but it reduces its magnitude and duration.
The process of adopting change is the same for everyone, however, the magnitude of the reaction and the time required to complete each step vary by individual. There is no common denominator.
When there is a change, the individual goes through several steps to make the transition to the desired situation. Two major phases must be overcome: the reaction to change, which will lead to acceptance, and implementation, which will lead to adoption. To accept a change, there are four steps to be taken: contact, awareness, understanding and acceptance.
During contact, the person is exposed to the future change. It perceives it according to its reality, therefore feels emotions and expresses its fears. It should be noted that emotions are more intense at this stage of the process. Then it questions to better understand and research the positive impacts; It then becomes aware of a change. Then, it gives feedback, seeks solutions and understands the organizational benefits. Next will be the realization of personal benefits and the acceptance of the change.
The intensity of the reaction and the duration of the cycle vary according to the individual. What change management activities will reduce both the time and the intensity of this phase? It is important for the manager to be tuned in and observe his employees. Several actions of the latter can have a positive effect and reduce the loss of productivity: availability and listening, quality and frequency of the communications, and the management of concerns.
- The quality of communication can greatly affect people’s experience and the time it takes to accept it. Since perception influences reaction to change, it is desirable that the initiator ensure accessibility of communication materials for managers to help them on a day-to-day basis. As there is a lot of information to communicate, it is normal for the manager not to know everything and to have to inquire to answer.
- For most people who hear about a change, it is perceived at first glance as a danger. Some people have concerns or fears, and that is natural. Slowly, information is available and some concerns, questions or fears about one or more specific elements of change are emerging. If these concerns are not addressed, it will be impossible to reach the acceptance phase.
When there is acceptance, it is possible to move on to the second phase, which is implementation. This phase is used to prepare for change, to learn and to appropriate or automate new ways of doing things and finally to adopt it in our daily lives. Synchronizing information and activities can make the difference between a good and a bad transition experience for the employee and for the organization.
Even if change management is done properly, the process does not go away. The effect of change management is to reduce the magnitude and duration of change.
Each person is unique and has its own cruising speed depending on the upcoming change. The experience of people can be improved by being present, listening and taking relevant actions.
An organization that accepts the adoption process according to the individual and plans according to the time required to accompany people until adoption is more efficient and profitable. Upstream efforts considerably reduce costs, lead times and actions to adjust quality after the change.
Globalization brings a new reality. You should adapt quickly and even be at the forefront of competition. It is realistic to say that many changes will take place in the future and being prepared to face them represents a great advantage.