The implementation of change is a distinct stage in overall organizational change. It’s appropriate only when the organization has prepared for change, when the early uncertainty has abated and people are open to a new way of acting. This is the time to implement or introduce the change. When implementing a change plan, there are three tasks: secure commitment, dispel rumors, and involve people.
The first task when implementing change is to secure commitment from those involved. You do this by:
- communicating the nature of the change — employees need to know the reasons for the change, the origins of the need, and the risks of not implementing the change. It’s natural for people to resist change at first. Explaining the nature of the change and why it’s necessary will aid acceptance.
- describing the effects of the change — people need to know how the change will affect them, and how their roles will change. If employees are uncertain about the change’s impact, insecurity and uncertainty will grow, affecting morale and causing resistance.
- clarifying the aims and benefits of the change — This means first being clear about what the change is intended to achieve and why it’s important that the organization achieves this aim. When confronted with change, employees will often ask “what’s in it for me?” Increasing awareness of the aims and benefits of the change will make employees more motivated to make the change happen.
The second task when implementing change is to dispel rumors. You can do this by:
- answering questions with honesty — if there’s a communication void, it will be filled with rumors. Answering questions honestly eliminates uncertainty and ensures that rumors are dispelled immediately.
- addressing problems promptly — quickly identify the source of a problem, determine the best solution, and apply it.
- referring back to operational necessities — this reminds employees about the reasons for the change and gives them a firm explanation for why it’s being implemented. This negates speculation and rumors.
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