According to a study by Towers Watson, only 25% of change management is successful in the long run. It requires a lot of time, preparation and patience to execute properly. If your most recent change initiative has failed, read on to find out about the top four reasons for these failures, and how to avoid them in your next initiative.
Unrealistic Change Goals
Before beginning a change initiative, goals should be reviewed carefully to make sure that the outcome is possible and sustainable. The goals may sound good and would improve your stance in the market as well as your customer reach, but that doesn’t mean they’re realistic for your company. Ensuring that the infrastructure exists before making changes is vital, and if it doesn’t, implementing that infrastructure before making changes can help avoid unrealistic goals that could lead to failure. Taking inventory of budget, staff capabilities, and other similar concerns can also make sure that your goals can be accomplished before the changes are made.
Disregard for Ground Level
Image via Flickr by Sam Graf
Wide sweeping change initiatives that don’t include plans for making changes on the ground level are destined to fail. It’s inspiring to look at the big picture and plan for a future in which overhauls lead to increased productivity and customer base. But if you don’t take the time to look at the small steps that need to happen to lead to those changes, and to make sure all the pieces will work together before enacting them, then the plan won’t work. Consider hiring change management experts, such as Ruota Consulting, who have the experience to recognize all the small changes and improvements that need to be made for a successful change initiative.
No Setback Planning
It may seem pessimistic to plan for failures and setbacks before they happen, but not doing so can have catastrophic consequences for change initiatives. Without a backup plan, issues can pile up and overwhelm the initiative. Having organized, efficient plans to handle setbacks and work through them can help alleviate the stress on employees and keep the business running as well as possible during the sometimes chaotic change initiative. Sometimes, planning for setbacks ahead of time can help you avoid them altogether.
Employees Don’t Understand The Change
Telling ground level employees, managers, and supervisors that change is happening is all well and good, but unless they thoroughly understand the need for the modifications, and how they will improve the business, the change initiative will face a lot of issues. Understanding the underlying reasons can help employees tackle issues that come up more efficiently, and will lead to less confusion with the new instructions. They will be more likely to help smooth the transitions rather than cause delays through confusion or lack of knowledge.
Change initiatives can help move a company forward toward bigger and better things, but only if executed properly. By using the above information, and perhaps hiring change initiative experts, you can help ensure the success of your change initiative.