5 Steps to Successful Change Management in a Transformational World

 

 

People can’t be left behind in the process of making technology changes.

 

With so many changes impacting the business landscape, this is an exciting time for the insurance industry. Many insurers are racing to deliver an Amazon-level customer experience, and embracing InsurTech to get there. During this race, it is important to remember the impact of change is closely connected to the human condition within organizations. Many CXO’s and IT leaders struggle with the skills which must be cultivated and the different roles which must be played.

 

It’s time to stop and consider that it won’t matter if the technology that is rapidly becoming the major driver for business changes, if the people are left behind in the process.

 
Business Case

In the past 25 years, the largest insurance companies typically experienced one or two major enterprise-wide change projects. Today, even smaller insurers can experience ten or more major change initiatives occurring simultaneously.

 

As change initiatives have become more constant and far reaching, the importance of managing individuals through change has gained attention. Major changes can affect organizations across all levels. Failing to plan for the people impact of change, results in lost resources and change fatigue. Wasted resources come from having to repeat the implementation of a change initiative and increased employee turnover. Change fatigue comes from having employees overwhelmed from facing constant change, skeptical and doubting of the sincerity of the change, and disengaged or not interested in the change.

 

It’s time to stop and consider that it won’t matter if the technology that is rapidly becoming the major driver for business changes, if the people are left behind in the process.

 

Solution

To guarantee the success of major change initiatives, it’s imperative leaders understand the pathway to achieve sustained success. Effective change management programs are comprised of five steps that ensure organizations thoughtfully and intentionally set the stage for a transformational project:

  • Create a Roadmap: Determine the impact the change will have on various stakeholders. Understanding impact will inform the change leaders and/or steering committees of potential issues, areas of resistance and roadblocks, and enable communication plans to be created and the change rolled out in a manner that will be best received, focusing efforts on areas which require the greatest level of attention. Create a roadmap that includes and informs all the stakeholders. Great roadmaps focus on capabilities coming on stream as structural changes happen and new tools come into use.

  • Communicate the Change: This sounds like a simple process, however it’s key for leaders to understand the potential emotional responses to change. Communication needs to flow from the top down. For a change to be successful, all executives must embody the change. All executives need to be on board with the change – one negative opinion can undermine the change effort.

  • Involve Middle Managers: Middle managers are powerful assets that organizations often fail to leverage during change. Use the experience, in-depth organizational knowledge, and relationships of such individuals. Employees are often more receptive when hearing about a change from a manager in a direct report situation. Effectively manage the middle managers, and those individuals will become more effective change agents.

  • Implement the Change: Change must be broken down into manageable parts. Attempting to implement a huge change can be overwhelming. When action planning and rolling out the change, be sure to account for the time needed for employees to adapt and accept the change.

  • Sustain the Change: Ensure that change is sustained by aligning it with other aspects of the organization, including performance appraisals and total rewards.

Results

By following these steps organizations can achieve:

  • Optimized Organizational Performance: This is the realization of the desired outcome of the change. Increased departmental outputs. Decreases in engagement levels are avoided, and productivity remains high. The ability to adapt to changing environments.

  • Improved Perception of Executives and Managers: Increased credibility of the strategic team. Increased trust in leadership. A precedent is established for future change, resulting in smoother change implementation going forward. Increased time for executives and managers to focus on improving the organization instead of doing damage control from failed change initiatives.

  • Improved Employee Performance: The opportunity to learn more skills. Increased employee engagement in work and organizational culture. Improved employee performance. Improved trust and commitment to the organization and leaders.
     

Employees are often more receptive when hearing about a change from a manager in a direct report situation. Effectively manage the middle managers, and those individuals will become more effective change agents.

 

 

Conclusion

Successful change management can be a game changer. It must be well-planned, well-timed, and well-integrated. Other critical success factors include a structured, proactive approach that encompasses communication, a roadmap for the sponsors of the change, training programs that go along with the overall project, and a plan for dealing with resistance.

 

 

About the Author: Sherri Wimes, SHRM-SCP, CEC is a consultant for MVP Advisory Group and can be reached at sherri.wimes@mvpadvisorygroup.com

 

 

 

Please reload

Featured Posts

ITA Pro Game Changers

October 13, 2019

1/10
Please reload

Recent Posts

October 13, 2019

April 26, 2019