Change Management Consulting
Is your organization undergoing a significant change, such as a transformation or merger? According to a recent study, 33% of employees acquired during a merger decide to leave the company. Within a three-year window, the study found that these acquired employees were 15% more likely to quit than new hires.
That fact is a startling statistic for business leaders trying to manage a smooth transition. Clearly, something isn't right if your talent starts jumping ship. Change management consulting can help you manage the people side of a business transformation.
Interested in creating a welcoming environment to help employees transition to new positions? Start looking for a change management consultant. In this article, you'll learn exactly what they can do for you and how it'll improve the transformation experience.
What Is Change Management Consulting?
Change management consulting covers a wide breadth of areas. This is because business change is very complicated. Business leaders are busy handling many details including finance, processes and systems, and employees must adapt to new ways of working.
Transformations and mergers depend on the success of the employees they bring along. Without a successful evolution of employee roles, there won't be a successful transition for the company as a whole. Change management consulting handles the "soft side" of change.
In other words, it helps employees transition into their new ways of working while the company changes.
Change management offers resources and guidance for business leaders. In response, leaders can apply effective processes to employee transitions. Together, they help employees adopt the new systems and roles so they don't become overwhelmed and frustrated.
When Do I Need Change Management Consulting?
When your company is undergoing an acquisition or merger, many technical things need planning. For starters, your company's financial situation and legal agreements will change. Additionally, the established systems and processes are now replaced with new ones.
Many of the changes occur behind closed doors and only management are cognizant of them. Despite that, most of the changes affect the people that work for you. If this is your first time experiencing drastic changes, buckle up. It can be difficult to get a handle on transitioning your own jobs and those of your employees.
Not only are there changes to get used to, but quite a bit of work is involved. Both management and employees must move their projects and data over to new systems. It can be difficult to get employees excited about these changes when many find it overwhelming.
The harder employees find it to adjust to changes and perform their new jobs, the harder it will be for you as a leader. It will become very difficult to finish the transition on time.
Change management consulting comes in handy regardless of your level of experience. It guides your company through an otherwise rocky transition and can help you keep employees. It can also get your business back on its feet so it can start making a profit as quickly as possible.
Change Management Consulting Benefits
Change management has many benefits for both business leaders and employees. A smooth and easy transition is beneficial to everyone, as it helps relieve stress and anxiety about change and helps the business move forward with new processes quickly.
Some key goals and benefits of change management are:
- Lessen the time the changes take
- Reduce change-related anxiety and stress
- Remove disruptions to the transitional process
- Support employees in their understanding and acceptance of changes
- Maintain productivity and morale during the transition
- Set up an effective communication strategy during the process
- Respond to any challenges effectively
- Reduce the risk of change failure
A great change management consultant near you will personally commit to your company's goals and make a strong connection with both management and employees. In turn, you can benefit from a successful business transformation.
The Change Management Process
Change management consulting offers a template that you can follow as a business leader during an acquisition or merger. Four main ways change management consulting will guide your business through the transformation.
These ways are:
- Consultants will learn your goals, vision, and challenges for your transition and become a part of your team to share in your success.
- Consultants will then work with you to create a unique plan for your transition while offering guidance for future success.
- Consultants will help install the plan based on proven methodology. At the same time, they'll remain flexible and responsive to unique challenges and needs.
- Consultants will ask for feedback throughout the process and adjust to meet new developments.
Overall, consultants will help you ask yourself questions about your company's changes and address concerns. You'll be able to proactively foresee potential issues and implement solutions before problems arise.
Steps For a Successful Transformation
When you invite a change management consultant into your transformation project, they will have a template to follow that will help guide you through the process. There are some basic steps and traits that the consultant will foster in your company so you can succeed at your managing your project.
Set a Purpose
First, you'll need to set your purpose. The purpose of your project is not just the change, but the result that you desire to achieve through the change. The consultant will ask you to talk about why your company exists.
You should talk about what values, mission, and goals drive your decisions and bring business leaders in the company to action. This purpose should be motivational and inspirational so that talking about it inspires the change you're looking to achieve.
Choose a Direction
Second, your consultant will want to know what direction you're headed in to achieve that purpose. What is your plan to achieve the company's goals and what type of strategies are you going to implement?
Create a Connection
Working through a business transformation is all about making connections. Your change management consultant will be there with you side by side and fully immersing themselves in the project to help you achieve success. Everyone should build strong relationships of trust and respect and direct their efforts towards the project.
It's also essential that leaders not only connect with each other, but with employees. Everyone on every level needs to be on the same page and working together towards a common goal.
Define Your Capacity
Before you can really get started on the project, it's important to understand the limitations. You need to take stock of your company's resources, including time and money. Business transformations can be costly and time-consuming, so setting a budget and a timeline will help keep the project on track.
Put Together a Plan
Once you have built strong relationships and set goals, you can start defining the plan in more detail. Create a list of priorities for change, including which systems and departments must be changed over first while others can wait. This priority list will help you fill out the timeline with actionable steps you can take towards project success.
Clear and Confident Implementation
Once your plan is together, you can start taking the steps you've outlined for your company transformation. As a leader, it's important to be clear and confident as you communicate with employees about changes. Everything should be transparent and concerns should be addressed with honesty and sincerity.
Weak or wavering leadership can lead to transformations that go off-budget and fall behind on their timeline. Employees typically end up leaving the company and the business is left with more problems than it started with.
Flexibility for Innovation
As you start to implement the plan, the steps you make must be open to alterations. It's impossible to know exactly what will happen at each step of the process, so you shouldn't let unexpected events throw off your entire strategy. A change management consultant will help you deal with curveballs with grace rather than rigidity.
As you near the end of the project, you might be in a completely different spot than where you thought you'd be, and that's okay. Making alterations to the plan as needed will help nimbly solve problems and can sometimes guide you towards your goals better than your original plan.
Assess a Job Well Done
Throughout the project, you and your consultant will be frequently checking progress and bringing the project back on track. Once you've completed the transformation, it's important to look at the project's success as a whole.
Did you achieve all the changes you need to occur? Did all the changes bring your company closer to its vision, mission, and goals? Did you stay on budget and finish in time?
What are the company's next steps now that you've completed your project?
Why Can't I Manage a Transition Myself?
You could choose to forgo change management consulting, but transitions aren't immune to failure. Want to avoid common mistakes? Here is a list of common leadership problems and mistakes, as well as how change management consulting near you can help.
Underestimating the Need for Management
We are often quick to blame new tools and systems introduced during a transition for issues. Transformation projects, though, rarely fail due to these tools. Instead, failures are often due to a lack of leadership and planning.
Organized plans and strong leadership help guide employees through transitions.
To guide employees through a smooth transition, it's important to be as proactive and supportive as possible. Employees need management to give them clear instructions and actionable steps. Taking the time to build a well-organized and detailed plan will make for a smooth transition.
It's not always possible to know what's going to happen in every stage of the transition. Staying on top of concerns and offering solutions with confident leadership will help weather any storm.
Underestimating the Lack of Experience
Taking this transition head-on with no experience or template to work with is a risky endeavor. Having never led a company transition before, you have no experience to which you can compare this period and from which you can learn. Each step of the way will be completely new and will likely take you by surprise.
Change management consultants are experts in the process of transition. They have made it their profession to intimately understand the stages of transformation that companies go through. They have defined the steps necessary for these projects to succeed.
Having experienced consultants by your side every step of the way can help you foresee potential problems, build and enact plans and solutions, and help keep your project on its timeline. They can also make sure your project stays within budget.
There's no reason to not trust a team of experts with a proven track record of helping companies successfully transition.
No Plan for Developing and Delivering Training
When companies focus on the changes in the backend, the experience of the employee is often lost in the chaos. Many employees choose to leave their companies due to a mismanaged transition process.
Employees can often end up feeling left on their own to learn their new position with little guidance. They can end up feeling very pressured by new KPIs as well. While they're attempting to learn new systems and responsibilities, they worry about losing their job.
As a business leader, it's your job to create a thorough and organized training plan for your employees.
Change management consultants understand that you can't just lump all your employees in a room for training.
You shouldn't make them sit through a bunch of generic training modules. Custom training and engaging modules are essential. That way, employees can understand the new systems and their roles.
When you're a big company, it can be hard to deliver personalized training to every individual. With change management consultants, you can learn how to create a better training approach. They will get employees started in their new responsibilities with ease.
You'll never have to worry about overwhelmed, frustrated, and underperforming employees. Instead, you'll have an organization full of workers who understand the new systems and stay productive.
Too Caught Up in Day-to-Day Issues
As a leader, it's easy to focus on your own responsibilities of managing the operations daily. Getting caught up in the present can stop you from being able to see the full picture. With projects like transitions, it's important to keep your eyes on the goal.
Objectively, you should see how the entire company is moving towards results.
You know your business better than anyone, but it's hard to analyze the organization as a whole. Doing so will help you see where there are shortcomings. During the transition process, you need to keep a careful eye on the process to flag any issues.
Having a team of change management consultants can help you keep the right frame of mind. With extensive experience in company transformations, they can easily learn the workflow and the goals. Then, they can document the progress in all areas throughout the process.
You'll get reports on areas that could use improvement.
With change management consultants, you can still focus on your day-to-day concerns and responsibilities. The consultants will focus on the transition specifically so you can keep doing your job. In turn, areas that aren't meeting goals will get immediate attention.
Not Aligning a Plan With Your Goals
As business leaders attempt to transition their companies to new systems and processes, they often get caught up in the need for change. They build a plan that might not actually achieve their goals. It's common to start charging ahead without stopping to assess your mission and values.
Starting to make changes without first thinking about their consequences can lead your employees down the wrong road. In the future, you might need more changes. The key to achieving your company's values and goals is to first have an organized and detailed plan.
Your plan should build new processes that lead your company towards its goals.
Change management consultants understand that even the smallest changes can have a huge impact on processes and job roles. Having consultants from the beginning of your transformation means you'll have an organized plan for change.
The team can help you set your vision and keep your values in mind. As a result, you can build the right structures and systems for your company.
Not Realizing Human Capital
Executives are always looking over numbers and assessing how the business is doing according to equity and market value. These numbers are extremely important and should be kept in mind especially during transformation. There is another type of capital, however, that is just as important.
Human capital doesn't come as a number on your balance sheet but is important nonetheless. Without the humans that make up an organization, there is no organization. The talent, skills, and traits that each employee brings to their job every day is a type of capital all on its own.
Each employee is valuable because they've invested in themselves to become great assets. They've become educated, trained, and skilled. Endless hours and maturing talent equal great value for a company.
There are even less tangible parts of this human capital. Punctuality and loyalty can make or break an employee.
Not acknowledging this true wealth can lead a business down a dark road. When a company is transitioning, the last thing it needs is to lose all its human capital. Instead, this human capital should be supported, encouraged, and given the tools to thrive.
Change management consultants understand this wealth and work towards facilitating the growth of this wealth. They help you acknowledge and appreciate the leadership capabilities, culture, and talent of your employees. Then, they help you learn how to manage it so that it helps the company thrive.
Poor Leadership and Communication
You might be a great leader and communicator in other areas, but transition projects are a whole other beast. They are massive undertakings that need a stern and steady hand. They also need serious effort in clear communication.
Business transformations that lack this leadership will fail.
Business transformation projects need every leader's full effort and attention. The team must make changes confidently and in tandem so that full systems and processes can change fluidly. When leaders do not communicate with other leaders, some parts of the project may propel forward while others fall behind.
Each leader also must have full confidence and trust in the other leaders to do their part. When trust deteriorates, some leaders can become overwhelming while others stop trying. In these scenarios, everyone suffers.
Experienced change management consultants understand the dynamics involved in company-wide transformations. They are well versed in the practical tools that can help you better lead and communicate. That way, every leader adds value to the project and works together effortlessly.
Change management consultants will help you build a good system of communication and a plan for meeting goals. Clear objectives will be set for everyone involved and there will be regular meetings to assess progress and tackle issues. This team will be fully engrossed in your project to make sure the dynamics are working properly.
Successfully Transform Your Business
As you can see, making changes to a company is not an easy project. It takes a lot of time, money, dedication, and commitment to collaboration and leadership. For most companies, the best choice is to hire a change management team that can help guide the process.
Ignite Consulting is an experienced change management consulting company that can integrate into your leadership and help you successfully transform your business.