One of the many clichés overheard in a corporate environment is that ‘a company is only good as its employees’. While this statement is certainly true, it also overlooks the importance of how the company is managed and how crucial the management of these employees and their teams is for them to truly unleash their potential.
A business could have a great set of employees, but the business management systems, procedures and processes can limit the ability of good organisations from becoming a great company. Poorly designed processes, ways of working and workarounds that have grown over the years, like a stream filling up with silt, limit flow and prevent employees from achieving their best.
Although effective management is important in any business environment, the current climate necessitates a level of flexibility and adaptability like never seen before. Whether it is the continuous changes in technology or the ongoing volatility of the financial markets, businesses need to constantly adapt and innovate in order to become successful and distinguish themselves from their competitors.
This is where change management comes in. As the name suggests, this refers to any approach for transitioning individuals, teams and organisations from one state of working to another in order to re-direct the use of resources, business processes, budget allocations, or other modes of operation to significantly reshape a company or organisation.
In borrowing another corporate cliché, communication is key to any process of change management. It is essential that an employee has a clear understanding of any changes in the company, and that any misunderstandings or miscommunications can be kept to a bare minimum. And of course, communication goes both ways, and the leaders be listening to the members of their team to understand the ‘real’ process, the barriers to change and their challenges to the new way or working.
At our firm, we specialise in in providing leaders with the support to execute individual, team or organisational change. Using a tailored change management framework, our clients can ensure the process, engagement and communications suit your situation and lower the barriers to embedding successful transformations.
At ChangeWise we believe that employee engagement is critical to successful change. ChangeWise will lead, train and coach your employees to embed successful change and build the momentum to continuously improve and adapt to the competitive environment.
Although each and every one of our clients is different, we do have a certain set of goals which applies to every business. First and foremost, we make sure they have understood the drivers for change, analysed its impact and created a strategic vision of the future. Once this has been achieved, we implement our tailored Change Management Framework which links the process to staff engagement and communications.
Ultimately, the aim is to have prepared effective change management plans, where leaders can manage people through any change. This involves teaching methods to minimise resistance and techniques to influence political and cultural barriers. Lastly, but certainly not least, we teach methods and simple, practical techniques for employees to shape, adapt and embrace change.
Once this process is complete; companies should be well equipped to meet any of the demands of change within their business. They will have developed a range of different skills, including the ability to share their vision for change, prepare for and manage different change scenarios and standardise ‘best practice’ in managing change. Alongside these skills, they will also be able to support staff during the transition journey, reinforce changes made and celebrate success to build trust and employee engagement.
Although many companies in the current climate would be in two minds about hiring a third party to teach effective change management, we believe that the long terms benefit vastly outweigh the short term expenses.
For instance, we were hired by a leading University on the south coast who were investing over £30 million in the future. They had over 40 active strategic change projects and 30 more planned across its campuses, schools and professional service function. Reporting to the Deputy Vice Chancellor the assignment successfully implemented, embedded and evolved a change governance framework for delivering capital projects. This comprised of a number of different approaches, including a change management board to approve, align and prioritise new strategic projects, new project documentation and a streamlined submission process.
Another case study that demonstrates the results we can achieve is the work we did at a major UK retail bank. This involved deploying lean across the front line, back office and support services of the bank which helped them achieve over £34 million of benefits delivered from 152 initiatives sponsored by 103 senior leaders.
‘Lean’ is an approach to management which involves achieving small, incremental improvements in order to achieve continuous improvement. In total, over 10,000 staff were exposed to lean, 2280 were active in projects, 1060 attended training and 183 managers were capable of using lean tools.
We have also urgently re-engineered a payments processing centre with failing customer service levels. We re-designed the centre layout, improved team work-flows and implemented a new cellular operating model. By engaging staff and coaching team managers to gradually transition 352 staff across 3 sites to the new method of working we improved productivity by 19% (67 FTE or £1.3 million per annum saved) and lead-time was reduced by 48%. By exceeding their SLAs it resulted in lower complaints and revived morale with no disruption to business as usual operational delivery.
Looking further into 2017, we are confident that more and more companies and organisations will learn the value of effective change management. Although the future is uncertain, what we can be certain is that changes will come along, and the best way to face up to these challenges is with change management.
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