Why Does Change Management Fail in Organisations?

February 8, 20168:49 am1535 views

As companies initiate change, the path to success is filled with potential potholes. But where are businesses most commonly tripped up during a transition?

According to Robert Half Management Resources survey, 46 percent of senior managers interviewed for change-management efforts typically falter at the execution stage.

The research shows this often depends on the size of the company, however. While roughly half of managers at small companies (those with 20-49 and 50-99 employees) expressed the greatest concern about the execution phase, respondents at the largest companies (1,000 or more employees) said they experience problems most commonly after the implementation.

The survey findings further suggest clear and frequent communication can be the remedy for what ails change-management efforts. Sixty-five percent of managers said this is the most important aspect of leading a team through a transition. It was the top response for companies of all sizes and far outdistanced the second-leading factor, managing expectations (16 percent).

“Whether major or incremental, many companies are initiating changes, from transforming their business models to updating business systems and looking for ways to enhance productivity,” said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “While change is never easy for a company, it’s even harder for employees.”

Where change management fails (PRNewsFoto/Robert Half Management Resources)

(PRNewsFoto/Robert Half Management Resources)

Hird added, “People naturally worry what a transition will mean for them. To prevent rumors, resentment and stress, managers must quickly and continuously update staff, not just on the nuts and bolts of the change but also on how team members will be expected to contribute and, ultimately, benefit from it.”

Change Management Do’s and Don’ts for Organisations

Dos Don’ts
Communicate early Leave employees out of the loop and let rumors spread
Consider the volume of communication Share limited information or, conversely, overwhelm people with irrelevant details
Manage expectations Sugarcoat issues or set unrealistic goals and timelines
Bring in project professionals for specific expertise and to reduce the burden on staff Overload staff, expecting them to help with the transition in addition to maintaining peak performance with their core responsibilities
Communicate the benefits for your team Forget the success of your business — and every initiative supporting it — is dependent on your employees
Recognize the implementation is only the start; the new process is the beginning of your company’s future and requires ongoing communication and training for employees. Stop communicating after the change is implemented.
Celebrate success and reward those involved. Failure to acknowledge staff contributions


See: 8 Reasons HR Failed the Change Management

 Top 3 Change Management Disasters: How to Avoid Them?

If you want to ensure your change management efforts are a resounding success, it’s important to learn from others’ mistakes. Here are three common change management disasters to avoid:

Failure#1: Refusing to Change

A company that continues to remain stagnant is inviting trouble. There are many cases of well-known brands refusing to stray away from winning strategies that propelled them to the top. To remain relevant, companies must embrace change with an eye to the shifting market around them — even if that means working against some of their earlier successes.

How can CFOs and other financial executives spur change? These three strategies can help:

  • Stay on top of both short- and long-term market trends and adapt accordingly.
  • Build a strong team by hiring forward-thinking employees with diverse perspectives — and encourage dissenting opinions among your staff.
  • Recognize your role as a strategic adviser for the business, which gives you the unique opportunity to drive innovation within your company.

Failure#2: Losing Steam

When it comes to change management, creating change is the easy part. The hard part is keeping the momentum going.

To prevent organizational transformations from losing steam, you must ensure managers are prepared to demonstrate leadership during periods of change. After all, managers are the catalyst for change because they are the ones actively engaging and motivating staff members.

Fail #3: Malfunctioning Messages

Yet another reason change management often falls flat is because executives neglect to guide their staff through the change. Staff management is the key to change management — and managing your staff through change requires flawless communication.

For change management efforts to succeed, it’s critical to broadcast these updates and strategies (and the reasons behind them) loud and clear to the entire organization. Communicate with staff members early and often.

Discuss how each employee’s role will change while highlighting the benefits, as well as the potential new opportunities. Most important, make yourself available for questions and share new information as quickly as possible.

News credits: RobertHalf Blog

Also read: Top 10 Project Management Trends for 2016

Image credit: fortepeople.com