In developing your agency’s long-term strategies, critical to achieving success is the ability to accommodate and effect change along the way. Unfortunately, most of us resist or avoid change and have a hard time making the switch. This is where change management practices in an agency is vital – practices that allow for constructing the right team, influencing change, and managing the inevitable resistance that comes when changes are introduced.
To help managers become effective change sponsors in getting a team on board, there are five key goals, based on the ADKAR model, to address, which we first covered in an article in January:
- Awareness of the need to change
- Desire to participate and support the change
- Knowledge of how to change (and what the change looks like)
- Ability to implement the change on a day-to-day basis
- Reinforcement to keep the change in place
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the first goal: Awareness of the need to change. Many employees choose to ignore the need for change either because they’re in the dark as to why the change is being is made, think it’s a waste of time, believe what’s being done is working just fine, or think the change will increase their workload.
For example, let’s say you want to change your agency’s management system for more efficiency and to get better data analytics to improve the customer’s experience. If you communicate to your staff in detail why a system change is being made (big data will allow you to better deliver the products your clients want, for instance), including how long the change will take, the opportunity costs involved in not making the change, the potential impact of the switch on each employee, and the employee training and support involved, the response to the change will become a positive one. Once employees get the reasons behind the change and feel an integral part of helping to make the change possible, they will be ready to participate and support that change.
In future articles, we’ll take a look at the other goals – all integral in making change management successful.